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80/20 Endurance Blog

blog post 80

Meet Me in Flagstaff

By Matt Fitzgerald | December 6, 2022

My wife and I are in the process of relocating from Oakdale, California, to Flagstaff, Arizona. All moves are momentous—we should know, having executed no fewer than 12 of them in our first 11 years together—but this one feels especially so. Nataki and I have lived in Oakdale off and on (but mostly on) since […]

blog post 78

Want to Improve Your Pacing Skill? Try This Workout!

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 23, 2022

Recently my friend and fellow running coach (and distant relative, I can only assume) Jason Fitzgerald interviewed me for his Strength Running podcast. We had a fun conversation about pacing, which is the subject of my latest book, ON PACE: Discover How to Run Every Race at Your Real Limit. There was one moment, however, […]

The Chased-by-a-Bear Analogy of Mental Fitness

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 21, 2022

There are dozens of different versions of the two-friends-chased-by-a-bear joke. Here’s the version told by Matt Blumberg in the October 11, 2011 edition of Business Insider: Two friends are in the woods, having a picnic. They spot a bear running at them. One friend gets up and starts running away from the bear. The other […]

blog post 77

Who Make Better Coaches: Foxes or Hedgehogs?

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 17, 2022

Few reading experiences have been more intellectually validating for me than the one that’s being supplied to me currently through David Epstein’s Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. I chose it in the hope that it would inform my longstanding belief that generalists (i.e., creative problem solvers) make better coaches than specialists (i.e., […]

blog post 74

Good Old-Fashioned Horse Sense

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 15, 2022

The two strongest individual predictors of health, wealth, happiness, and staying out of prison are intelligence and self-regulatory ability. This fact has caused some psychologists to ask whether self-regulatory ability isn’t just a manifestation of intelligence, but recent research has succeeded in demonstrating that the two phenomena are distinct. Whereas intelligence equates to what is […]

blog post 73

The Protean Coach

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 2, 2022

Among the lesser-known figures in Greek mythology is Proteus, a water god whom Homer describes in The Odyssey as “the Old Man of the Sea.” His signature power is the ability to assume any physical form, à laJayna from The Wonder Twins. Shape-shifters exist in many mythologies, and Proteus represents the Grecian take on the […]

blog post 69

What Is the Difference Between Middle-Distance, Long Distance, and Ultra-Distance Fitness?

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 25, 2022

In last week’s blog post I mentioned that two new studies related to the phenomenon of VO2max had been published recently, and I described one of them, which showed that sustainable power declines more shallowly with increasing time in cyclists with higher VO2max scores. Today I’d like to tell you about the other study I […]


How Your VO2max Affects Your Intensity Zones

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 19, 2022

The concept of a limiting rate of oxygen consumption during exercise, or VO2max, has existed since 1923. For almost a century, we’ve known that oxygen consumption increases as the intensity of exercise increases, that some people are able to consume oxygen at a higher peak rate than others, and are therefore able to exercise more […]

blog post 66

The Other Pacing

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 12, 2022

“Life is full of little ironies,” he said. This wry observation was spoken by my father during a recent phone conversation between us. He’d called me to inquire about my health and to ask how my newly released book ON PACE: Discover How to Run Every Race at Your Real Limit was doing so far. […]


How Conservative Pacing Can also Be Aggressive Pacing

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 3, 2022

On June 6, 2021, Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands smashed the women’s 10,000-meter world record in the Dutch town of Hengelo, besting Ethiopian Almaz Ayana’s mark of 29:17.45 by more than 10 seconds. Two days later, the Ethiopian Olympic Trials Women’s 10,000m was held on the same track. Nobody expected the record to go down […]

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