90/10 Ratio - 1 Hard Day Per Week | 80/20 Endurance

90/10 Ratio – 1 Hard Day Per Week

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    If you were doing more like a 90/10 ratio with 1 hard day per week, how would you do it? What kind of run would you do for the hard run? Alternate between zone 3 workouts and faster intervals? Some kind of mixed interval run?

    Has anyone done this? If so, I’d be interested to see your approach.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    It depends a bit on what you’re trying to accomplish, but for me, there is no one-hard-workout-per-week scenario. There are times when doing everything at low intensity is called for, but in all other circumstances, if I’m going to do ANY amount of running at higher intensities, even if it’s just a little bit, I’m going to do it twice a week, minimum. I just think you can get a little more fitness from equal training stress if you prioritize frequency. If we’re talking a literal 90/10 balance, you could do one honest workout per week plus a lighter session that still gets your pipes burning a bit. Assuming this is more of a maintenance thing and there’s no race in front of you, then as you suggest, you’ll want to give the various higher zones equal emphasis, cycling through them on repeat.


    Thanks for the response. Since my foot injury in April, I’ve been trying to ease back into everything pretty cautiously. As well as doing the rehab exercises, of course. As long as the foot feels good later in the day, after a morning run, I’ll give myself permission to increase the duration by 5 minutes. I’m at 50 minutes for the weekly runs and 55 minutes on Saturday. Really conservative, but it’s working.

    I’ve noticed that my foot recovery time is directly related to the intensity of the run. If it’s all easy, it pretty much feels great most of the time. If I’m doing zone 3, even the 30 minute test run, the foot is back to normal pretty quickly and I’m good for the next day. But if I’m doing the zone 4-5 runs, it takes longer to recover. I’ll normally end up having to do something else (other than running) the next day, and I’m find again the day after.

    So maybe I could keep the hard days in the zone 3 area. Or maybe go to zone 4, but shorten the intervals. There might be a way to make this work until the foot is back to 100 percent.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Yes, there’s no law that says you have to do a lot of Zone 4-5 running if you do any. Tiny doses of running in these zones can be a great inoculator.

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