Triathlon Archives | 80/20 Endurance

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

By Matt Fitzgerald / August 9, 2021 / 0 Comments

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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Triathlon race workouts

3 Top Rules of Speed Training Workouts for Triathlon

By Matt Fitzgerald / May 16, 2021 / 0 Comments

If the fastest swimming, cycling, and running you do is in races, you’re not training right. Every triathlon training program should include speed work, or efforts that exceed race intensity. Speed work not only changes your perception of race intensity, making it feel more comfortable, but it also enhances fitness in ways that slower training […]

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safety measures to avoid killing your fellow athletes accidentally

How to Not Accidentally Kill Your Fellow Athletes

By Matt Fitzgerald / May 2, 2021 / 0 Comments

On September 21, 2015, Cameron Bean was struck and killed by a passing car while running in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. He was 28 years old. I’d met Cam four years earlier while visiting the ZAP Fitness (now ZAP Endurance) compound for a writing assignment. A dead ringer for Conan O’Brien, Cam was a likeable […]

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Excessive Training for Ironman Triathlon

A Lot of Triathletes Train Too Much During Ironman Prep

By Matt Fitzgerald / February 8, 2021 / 0 Comments

There is a consistent pattern in my coaching of endurance athletes that I wasn’t conscious of until quite recently. When I coach amateur runners for marathons, more often than not I increase their training volume relative to their past habits. But when I coach amateur triathletes for Ironman events, quite often I have them train […]

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athletic development to become fitter

The Difference Between Athletic Development and Getting Fitter

By Matt Fitzgerald / November 1, 2020 / 0 Comments

Last year I was contacted by a very interesting person, we’ll call him Brad, who became a professional skateboarder in his teens, then transitioned to professional snowboarding, and then made a go of qualifying for the PGA Tour (making is as far as the Nationwide Tour), and subsequently started getting into triathlon. Now in his […]

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Paula Radcliffe getting her longer weeks of training

Would Longer “Weeks” Make Your Training More Manageable?

By Matt Fitzgerald / September 28, 2020 / 0 Comments

Originating in ancient Samaria more than 4,000 years ago, the seven-day week has become a standard calendrical feature throughout the world. Most athletes in most sports adhere to this convention as well. I recall noting this during my time with the HOKA Northern Arizona elite professional running team in 2017. Unlike the majority of us, […]

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swimmer doing her workout

How to Convert Pool Swim Workouts to Open Water

By Matt Fitzgerald / May 8, 2020 / 0 Comments

Pools are closed, but the weather is warming and athletes in many places are gaining access to venues for open-water swimming. Perhaps you’ve thought about take advantage of such an opportunity, but aren’t sure how to transfer the pool workouts you’re accustomed to doing to open water. Here are some tips. How to transfer the […]

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150205 Meredith Kessler wins Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships Auckland New Zealand on 18 Jan 2015 Photo Darryl Carey

Is “Peaking” Even Real? Or Necessary?

By Matt Fitzgerald / March 23, 2020 / 0 Comments

The concept of peaking in endurance training goes back many decades. It’s essentially the art of timing your next big race to coincide with an ephemeral highpoint in performance capacity that is achieved through careful manipulation of training load and sequencing of training stimuli. A critical belief (or assumption) underlying the practice is that endurance […]

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alternative swimming workouts

How to Replace and Resume Your Swim Training

By Matt Fitzgerald / March 13, 2020 / 0 Comments

If you are like most triathletes, swimming is a challenge right now, and by “challenge” we mean completely unavailable. Unless you are fortunate enough to have access to a private pool or a Vasa Ergometer, maintaining swim form is tough. Fortunately, there are some options to come out of this situation mitigating the damage to, […]

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athlete getting injured while running

A Novel Approach to “Training Through” Running Injuries

By Matt Fitzgerald / September 30, 2019 / 0 Comments

The August 2009 issue of Triathlete Magazine featured an article titled “The end of Running Injuries.” Written by yours truly, the piece introduced readers to the Alter-G antigravity treadmill, which, I claimed, “has the potential to completely eliminate traditional injury setbacks from the life of any runner (or triathlete) who has access to a machine.” This […]

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What a Quarter Century As an Injury-Prone Athlete Has Taught Me about Pain (Spoiler Alert: Not Much)

By Matt Fitzgerald / April 8, 2019 / 0 Comments

As a youth runner I never got injured. But then, what young runner does? Kids are made of rubber. Act Two of my life as an endurance athlete has been a different story. Since I got back into racing in my late 20’s (I’m now 47), I have experienced four separate multiyear overuse injuries (in […]

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Does Every Second Count in a Daylong Race?

By Matt Fitzgerald / January 13, 2019 / 0 Comments

The other day I had an interesting conversation with an athlete I coach who is training for an Ironman 70.3 event that will take place on the same weekend as the Ironman race I’m training for (specifically the weekend of May 10-11, 2019). In explaining to me why he had done the bare minimum of […]

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no excuses

Make 2019 Your Year of No Excuses

By Matt Fitzgerald / December 3, 2018 / 0 Comments

Recently in this space I wrote about a study in which French researchers looked for associations between “psychosocial factors” and the likelihood of failing to complete a 140-km ultramarathon. My focus then was the finding that runners who scored high on measures of self-efficacy were more likely to reach the finish line. What I did […]

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my first ironman training in 17 yrears

Coaching the Coach: How I’m Training for My First Ironman in 17 Years

By Matt Fitzgerald / November 5, 2018 / 0 Comments

My 2010 book RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel includes a chapter titled “Winging It” in which I advocate—for experienced athletes only—the practice of training without a formal plan. I don’t go as far as to recommend that athletes completely make up their training as they go along. Rather, I suggest they establish certain […]

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Macro Pacing: What It Is and Why It Matters

By Matt Fitzgerald / October 15, 2018 / 0 Comments

Ever since my book How Bad Do You Want It? was published in 2015 I’ve received a steady drip of emails from struggling high school runners, and occasionally also from their coaches and parents. Last week I got one from a runner who was frustrated by a seemingly inexplicable cessation of improvement. He couldn’t understand it. […]

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Is Periodization Overrated?

By Matt Fitzgerald / September 17, 2018 / 0 Comments

An interesting new study by researchers at the University of Western Australia investigated the effects of periodization in the training of runners. Periodization is the practice of sequencing workouts in such a way as to maximize fitness for a race of a particular distance on a specific future date. There are different philosophies and methods […]

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8020 Triathlon book by Matt Fitzgerald and David Warden

80/20 Triathlon Is Here!

By Matt Fitzgerald / September 3, 2018 / 0 Comments

Several years ago I got an idea for a book called A High-Mileage Manifesto. The title pretty much says it all: It was intended to be a hard sell for high-volume run training and an antidote to things like CrossFit Endurance and Run Less, Run Faster, which were leading so many athletes down the wrong […]

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impossible to possible

Why I Never Use the Word “Impossible” with Athletes I Coach

By Matt Fitzgerald / August 6, 2018 / 0 Comments

Quite often, athletes I coach ask me questions like, “Do you think I could qualify for Boston?” or “Am I kidding myself to think I might still be able to PR at my age?” My answer to these questions is always some version of the following: “You won’t hear me say you can’t. Obviously, we […]

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Are You Uncoachable?

By Matt Fitzgerald / July 23, 2018 / 0 Comments

The best teacher I ever had was a sociology professor at Haverford College named Mark Gould. I’ll never forget the first day of the first class I took with him. He basically spent 90 minutes scaring the shit out of the two-dozen 18- and 19-year-old students in the room. He handed out a syllabus featuring […]

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Letters to the Coaches: (Ironman Plan) Power vs. Heart Rate and More

By David Warden / November 2, 2017 / 0 Comments

Hi David I am looking at following the 80/20 ironman training plan (probably level 2) and have downloaded the free Ironman plan.  I have a few questions: 1. When cycling I noticed I can keep in zone 1-2 for heart rate but when I analyse I see my power is spread more over all zones […]

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