Fitness Test / Marathon Training Question | 80/20 Endurance

Fitness Test / Marathon Training Question

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  • #14285

    Hi All,

    Long time reader, first time poster. First, love 80/20 and recommend it to every runner I know (convinced one to buy and read Matt’s book).

    I hope this is a fairly straightforward question, and I believe I know the answer, but want other people’s opinion based on experiences.

    I am currently in week 9 of Marathon Level 1 (training by pace) and completed the 20 minute fitness test to update my pace zones. My threshold pace went up by 10 seconds (now at 8:01/mile from 7:51/mile). Based on a search of the forum, losing some speed appears to be normal during marathon training (per David, “For marathons … you need to lose a bit of speed and VO2 in order to switch to the specific demands of those distances”).

    I know there is a lot of time left, but I think my 9:00/mile goal for the marathon is unchanged based on today’s test.

    My question is should I be using the new pace for training or stick to the old one so I do not lose more? I am fairly certain the answer is the new one since it is what I currently can do, but do I risk my marathon pace goal?

    Hope this makes sense.


    Matt Fitzgerald

    It won’t hurt you to accept the new zones. More likely, it will help. But if you find yourself feeling consistently good at the upper end of these new zones, go ahead and let yourself slide back up to your previous ones.


    Thanks, Matt! I will start the new zones today.

    Another question, I have my B race, a ten miler, Sunday, September 26 (week 12). How would you (or anyone on the forum reading this) suggest I use that to update my zones? The calculator only has a 10k and half marathon option. Should I use a website to covert the 10 mile result to a half marathon time and enter that in your calculator?

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Yes. Greg McMillan’s calculator is still the best.


    Thanks, Matt! Have a great Labor Day weekend.

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