80/20 no improvement | 80/20 Endurance

80/20 no improvement

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    I’ve been doing 80/20 since November and have seen almost 0 results, maybe even a decline in running capability. I’m alot of people have experienced this and maybe achieved a break through at some point. Prior to 80/20 on runs I was at a 10 min/mi pace with about a 155 avg hr. I ran a 10 min/mi pace yesterday and was peaking into the 170’s in hr.

    I see others with a z1/z2 in the 9 min/mi pace but I can’t see me getting there. I currently am at 1330 in z1 and maybe 13 in z2. How long do I have to keep running this way before improving. It’s actually incredibly stressful to run and continuously watch your hr.

    Is anyone else experiencing this or has experienced this and has overcome this challenge?



    I found following my pace to be extremely taxing and stressful. I switched over to power-based running, and it has been so much more freeing for me. I’m no longer “tied” to a pace, and no longer get stressed on my runs about not hitting a target pace… is that something you would consider? Also, how/where are you measuring your data and is it on the same course? How was your sleep the day before… etc., so on

    I didn’t see improvement in my times right away on an 80/20 plan, I would say it took a solid couple of months including the maintenance plan to adjust from extreme intensity all of the time to one that was only 20 % intense- BUT I was SO MUCH LESS Injured… which I would take over getting faster any day. In the end, I did improve…

    There are many factors you might not be seeing improvement (diet, nutrition, fatigue, sleep, stress, injury, sickness, hormones – the list goes on…), but how do you feel in general?

    David Warden

    Poitivient, divito’s questions and comments are right on. After you answer those questions here, ping me at david@8020endurance.com and let’s get you connected into our TrainingPeaks account and I’ll have a look at your plan and training, just to confirm you are all setup correctly. It’s not unheard of to go backward before going forward, but after 4 months I’d expect progress.

    As divito mentioned, it may also be a matter of changing your intensity type from one type to another. HR in particular can be perilous.



    Hi Divitoca, thanks for responding. I use the Garmin pro hr strap to measure hr. How do you measure power for runs? My sleep and diet have been pretty steady, I can certainly understand having an offf day or two but I haven’t had 5 months of bad diet and sleep.
    I feel excellent in general, mostly because my workouts have been fairly easy. On days when I’m doubled up on swim, run, or bike it’s taxing because I still weight train as well. Maybe switching to a new metric would work. Thanks for the info.

    David, thanks for responding, I will email you.


    I use Stryd. It’s been amazing since I’m a hill dweller, and it makes me keep a consistent effort.

    Fwiw, I’m basing this information off of my personal experience doing the level 3 ironman plan last year (and alot of stopping and restarting it based off of race cancellations etc. Since 2020,). I will tell you that I struggled mentally with the plan at first, and permitting myself to “go slow” since it was so different than what I was used to. I had to tell myself to trust they plan…alot, and I’m glad I stick with it. I ended up cutting out the weight training towards the end because I did find that I was really struggling with fatigue. That’s a tough call though, because I also feel like it accelerated my strength and power. I will say that it was not my best or my worst race, BUT, that was because it was record high temps (102 ish), and I chose to ignore all metrics (didn’t even wear a watch and went off perceived effort) because the heat petrified me and I wanted to remove as much pressure as possible. I do not think any other plan would have gotten me through it though, and doing as well as I did given the circumstances. I just restarted the level 3 plan for ironmans in August and October because I was so pleased with it…. and I’m really curious what the plan can help me do in something with a little less heat. It’s also hard to say because my experience will be and is different from yours…

    Consistency is another key factor… Are you very consistent? Are you seeing improvements in the bike and swim?

    When was the last time you tested? Also what kind of a course are you testing on?

    I’m curious to see what David will say. He’s so great at being a detective and has helped me immensely.

    David Warden

    Poitivient, thanks for working with me on this. I’m glad we were able to identify the root cause and am confident in the fix going forward. Looking forward to you reporting here in 3 months on your progress!

    I’m choosing to not post the resolution here, as I have a policy to not reveal any personal fitness data that the forums poster has not already revealed and will leave it to Poitivient to determine if he wants to add that here.



    That would certainly be interesting to hear/read. I hope @Poitivient will share what was discovered…


    Thanks to David and all that responded. It looks like my LTHR was way too low and not established properly. I’ve had a few workouts after David’s suggestions and they seem to be much better. I’m looking forward to crushing the next 3 months! Thanks again…

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