A few marathon Level 3 Questions | 80/20 Endurance

A few marathon Level 3 Questions

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #14287

    I’ve got 4 weeks and 2 days to go until my marathon. Next week calls for a fartlek workout and a hill workout. I’m just wondering why? Shouldn’t I be doing more tempo runs/threshold work at this point in the cycle? I always thought hills and fartleks were optimal for base building, early-cycle training, and off-season speed sessions. Thoughts? Also, one other thing: two weeks from race day calls for a 20-miler with 16 @ MP. This seems crazy to me. Should I really go this hard two weeks from race day?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by joshcook11.


    I know this seems counterintuitive, but these short speed sessions are so important to race prep. Unless you are doing a completely flat course, there will be points along the run that you’ll need to recruit those fast-twitch muscles to show up for you along the course and keeping up these workouts even as race day approaches keeps that system tuned up. I actually look forward to this point in the training when the long endurance runs subside and I get a chance to get my race day jitters out with a burst of speed. This article that Matt wrote on the importance of speed workouts even late in the training for triathlon is helpful:

    3 Top Rules of Speed Training Workouts for Triathlon

    David Warden

    Thanks, Fast, for your response, your comments on speedwork late in the program are right one.

    Let me address the taper. That last workout is important as both the last point in which you can gain any new fitness before the taper begins, and also as a way to establish and test race pacing. It may seem crazy, but it is a best-practice.

    Very interesting conversation in that I have recently also addresses concerns that the Level 3 plan does not contain enough speedwork, and that the last long run is too short. The truth is that these plans are one-level-fits-all plans, and we have to plant a flag in what we believe will benefits a “typical” Level 3 runner the most. It’s possible (even likely) that some runners would benefit from a very different program that what we write. This is why a coach or custom plan are always better than a standard plan, but I have a lot of confidence in our standard plans and can fully endorse the Level 3 plan as written.


Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

You have races.

We have plans.



- Access to all 80/20 plans

- TrainingPeaks Premium

- Workout Library

- 80/20 Endurance Book


30 day money back guarentee

Unlock your full potential

with our subscriptions