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80/20 Endurance Blog


A Fresh Look at Block Periodization

By Matt Fitzgerald | September 13, 2021

Many moons ago, I wrote a post for this blog that bore the title, “The Human Body Is Not a Smartphone.” In it I argued that endurance training methods cannot advance indefinitely in the way that technologies such as smartphones can. “Once the best ways to train and fuel the human body for distance racing […]


What Chronic Illness Has Taught Me About Weight Management

By Matt Fitzgerald | September 6, 2021

I don’t look sick. To the contrary, I look like I could run a marathon, or so I’m told. In fact, though, the last time I tried to run I couldn’t get out of bed the next day. This isn’t a figure of speech—I could not get out of bed the next day. And it […]

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Please, Don’t Beat Yesterday

By David Warden | September 4, 2021

I ran 20 miles the day before my first marathon. At 17, I didn’t know any better. Whether by choice or chance I had no running mentor, no athletic background, and this was long before the internet. I reasoned (correctly) that the best method to prepare for a marathon was to work backwards from 26.2 […]

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When the Question Is Cycling Cadence, the Answer Is Nobody Knows

By Matt Fitzgerald | August 30, 2021

Every once in a while an athlete asks me why cadence is never prescribed in the cycling workouts included in our 80/20 triathlon plans. I fear that I will soon hear this question more often than once in a while, as I’m currently building a full selection of 80/20 plans for various types of cycling […]

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Screw Loose, Sh*t Together: A Theory of Athletic Greatness

By Matt Fitzgerald | August 23, 2021

I have a theory about athletic greatness, or more specifically, about what it takes to achieve greatness as an athlete. It’s quite simple. There are two mental traits that I see again and again in athletes of the highest caliber. One is a drive toward greatness that has the untamable ferocity of a full-blown disorder. […]


Do Big Workouts Make You Nervous?

By Matt Fitzgerald | August 16, 2021

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten nervous before a big workout. Whoa, that’s a lot of hands! I guess it’s a universal experience. Here’s another question: Why do big workouts make you nervous? Chances are it’s for one of two reasons: Either you fear the suffering you anticipate experiencing during the workout or you […]


New Study Finds Most Age-Group Triathletes Are Still Stuck in the Moderate-Intensity Rut

By Matt Fitzgerald | August 9, 2021

It’s been nearly a decade since I coined the term “moderate-intensity rut” in reference to the widespread habit among recreational endurance athletes of doing a plurality of their training at moderate intensity. At that time, very few athletes were even aware of the existence of the problem. But much has changed since then. The books […]

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Is It a Real Problem or a Measurement Problem?

By Matt Fitzgerald | August 2, 2021

A few months ago, “Kevin” posted a concern about his training in the 80/20 discussion forum. He explained that lately his heart rate had seemed rather high relative to his pace, and the VO2max estimates he got from his watch had dipped slightly. A newer runner, Kevin was becoming discouraged and beginning to doubt the […]


Leo Tolstoy: Honorary Endurance Coach

By David Warden | July 30, 2021

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina Inspiration can come from unexpected authority. My progress as an endurance coach is nothing extraordinary: a mix of formal and informal education with a reasonable amount of experience and luck. Occasionally, my coaching philosophy is disproportionally shaped […]

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Do You Suffer from Workout Myopia?

By Matt Fitzgerald | July 27, 2021

German-born Canadian spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now has sold more than three million copies. I know this because it says so right on the cover. In the book, Tolle encourages readers to “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” If this advice sounds familiar, it’s because it is. […]

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