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80/20 Distance-Based Run Library

The 80/20 Distance-Based Run Library comprises the full collection of 80/20 structured Pace-based run workouts with the activities prescribed by distance instead of duration. This accomodates individuals who prefer to train by distance instead of duration. Athletes can now replace their plan's duration-based run with the matching distance-based run from the library, or use the library to create custom run plans. We recommend you read this Q&A before using the workouts in the Distance-Based Run Library. 

Q: What are the requirements?

A: A TrainingPeaks Basic (free) account is required to access and export the workouts.

Q: Are these structured workouts? What intensity type?

A: Yes, these are full structured workouts that will export your custom zones to your compatible device like any other structured workout. Please note that the structured workouts in the Distance-Based Run Library are available by Pace only at this time. Our line of complete 80/20 Plans and Subscriptions still come with Heart Rate, Pace or Power workouts, but the Distance-based Run Library is Pace-only.

Q: How do I export these distance-based run workouts to my device?

A: It depends on the device. To setup auto sync to Zwift, follow these instructions. For Garmin devices, use these instructions. If using a manual export, follow these instructions. Regardless of the device, make sure you first setup your zones as outlined in the document Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan.

Q: How do I replace all the duration-based run workouts in my plan with these new distance-based workouts? 

A: Regretfully, the run workouts have to be replaced one-by-one. There are multiple methods to do this, but perhaps one method would be to perform this replacement process one week at a time. Drag the corresponding distance-based workout from the library onto the same day as the duration-based workout, then delete the duration-based workout.

Q: How is this library different from the free 80/20 Workout Library?

A: The free 80/20 Workout Library includes collection of hundreds swim, bike, and run workouts, but has several limitations. The 80/20 Workout Library workouts can only be exported as a .FIT files, and the bike and run workouts are prescribed by Duration. Additionally, the 80/20 Workout Library workouts are not full structured workouts and do not include your custom zones the way a full structured workout from TrainingPeaks will. Finally, the 80/20 Workout Library workouts must be manually imported to your device, while the full structured workouts found in the Distance-based Run Library can be automatically synced to your device each day. See the Q&A at the 80/20 Workout Library page for more information.

Q: I currently have an 80/20 plan on TrainingPeaks. Will my plan now include these distance-based run workouts?

A: No, the run workouts in your 80/20 plan will remain primarily duration-based to preserve the 80/20 intensity ratio. However, you now can drag and drop the matching distance-based workout to your calendar to perform the same workout by distance. For example, you can now execute the RAn1 workout by either duration (default) or distance (from the Distance-Based Run Library within TrainingPeaks).

Q: I currently have an 80/20 Subscription. Will my workout Library include this new Distance-Based Run Library?

A: Yes, this library is already available to every current 80/20 subscriber along with the other eight swim, bike, run and strength libraries available in Pace, Power and Heart Rate.

Q: Are the distances in miles or kilometers?

A: Both. We offer both imperial and metric versions of Distance-Based Run Library.

Q: Some of the runs have crazy distances, like 9.74 miles. Why?

A: This is the natural consequence of converting duration to distance: the result is not always an integer. Don't worry—we're not aware of any research suggesting that whole-number running works best, and your structured workout will tell you exactly when to start and stop each interval.

Q: How can you maintain the 80/20 ratios with a Distance-based workout?

A: You can't. That's why we recommend duration-based workouts and use them in our plans. Here's an example: Imagine that you decide to do 40 miles of running instead of 5 hours of running in a week. With the best of intentions, you plan to do 80 percent of that distance (or 32 miles) in Zones 1 and 2. If your average pace in these two zones combined is 9.5 minutes per mile, and your average pace for the 8 miles you do in Zones 3 to 5 is 6.5 minutes per mile, you’ll wind up spending 304 minutes running at low intensity and 52 minutes running at moderate to high intensity over the course of the week. That’s not 80/20 training. It’s 86/14 training. With distance-based training, actual weekly time at low and moderate intensities can only be determined after the fact, by reviewing the amount of time spent in each zone, an arduous and impractical exercise.

Q: Won't the time required for me to complete a certain distance be different from another athlete? How do you account for this?

A: This is another challenge with prescribing or using distance-based running. Jack has a Zone 2 limit of 10 minutes per mile, but Jill has a Zone 2 limit of 8:30 per mile. If both runners perform a 10-mile run from the Distance-Based Run Library, it will take Jack 100 minutes and Jill 85 minutes. The issue becomes even more complex when we introduce distance-based intervals, where an interval that Jill sails through in 2 minutes might be a 3-minute sufferfest for poor Jack. There is no solution (other than using duration instead of distance!). To mitigate the issue, we use an "average" runner who can complete a 10K in 50 minutes as our baseline. This means our "average" athlete will take about the same amount of time to complete the duration-based workout as the distance-based workout. If you are slower or faster than our theoretical "average" runner, you'll complete the workout in more or less time than the original duration-based workout.

Q: When I load the workout onto my calendar, the planned duration is much shorter (or longer) than I expected. Can I fix this?

A: With access to the library, it's easy to pick another workout of the same type that will more closely match your expected duration. For example, if the RF6 is too short for the day, load the RF7, 8 or 9.

Q: How does TrainingPeaks determine the planned duration of the distance-based workout?

A: The calculation comes directly from your individual run zones defined in TrainingPeaks. Using the most simple example, if your mid-Zone 2 is 9 minutes per mile, and the run is a 10-mile run in Zone 2, the planned duration is 90 minutes. This makes it essential to ensure you have properly setup your 80/20 Zones per our document Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan.

Q: The workouts have no planned TSS. Why?

A: Planned TSS requires a planned duration: something you won't have until you load the distance-based workout onto your calendar and have properly setup your 80/20 Zones. Planned TSS will then appear in the workout.

Q: Hmm. Some of these issues make me think I should not use these distance-based workouts after all.

A: Not necessarily. There may be some drawbacks to distance-based running, but it's not a huge risk if you understand the impact. If distance-based running helps you run more regularly, either because of device compatibility or preference, that's a good thing.

Q: I'm a coach, can I use these workouts commercially?

A: Not for free. Coaches need a monthly coach subscription to use these workouts, or any 80/20 material, for their athletes. Contact us for more information.

Q: I think I see an error in the workout.

A: Yeah, we created almost 1,500 workouts by hand. There may be some issues. Just let us know and we'll fix it.