Fitness Testing in 8020 Plans? | 80/20 Endurance

Fitness Testing in 8020 Plans?

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  • #12562

    Good Day, I hope this is in the right forum. I did google but could not yield an answer.

    I am going to try 80/20 for my next triathlon cycle for a December 70.3. I will follow the Level 3 plan for 21 weeks with 5 weeks of maintenance. One thing I didn’t notice in the plan is that there is no regular fitness testing (e.g. FTP test for cycling, LTHR/functional pace testing for running). I do see swim time trials almost every two weeks.

    I found this weird as the book suggests that fitness testing should occur every 3-6 weeks.

    Now I may be wrong, and just not familiar with the workout encoding and have missed it. Do the plans not include regular fitness testing? I know things like FTP can change enough in a 21 week cycle. If they are not already included/encoded, should they be in the plans and how do you include them?

    Thank you for your time.

    German De La Rosa

    Hi Rbourne,

    80/20 Triathlon plans usually follow the “3 intense weeks / 1 easy week” format. On this “recovery” week usually the training volume drops, from 11-12 hrs to about 6 or 7. But the intensity goes up. Recovery weeks is where you’ll find the fitness tests, but as you very well said, sometimes it takes getting used to the workout codes.

    Running fitness tests are usually “disguised” as RT (running tempo) workouts. In these tempo workouts there’s usually a 20 min or longer Z3 “tempo” effort. You can uses these Tempo workouts to gauge your current running fitness. And confirm or reset your running zones. Don’t be afraid to push a little harder than Zone 3 if you’re feeling strong.

    Same applies for CT (cycling tempo) workouts. You can use these as a sort of FTP test. You can try to push a little harder than your actual Zone 3 power for the duration of the tempo interval to see if your FTP stays the same or increases.


    80/20 ambassador

    David Warden

    Germán, thank you (and great to see you this morning on our call!)

    the frequency of testing that Germán details is listed in our documents Getting Started with 80/20 Training and Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon.



    Thank you both for your time.


    I may be missing exactly how this works if I am running by pace during the RT sessions that are on the training plan during the easy weeks. If I run at my LT pace during the 20 minute session I see how this could help me adjust my LTHR but how do I determine my new LT pace? My first re-test comes next week after starting my plan. I originally used my last marathon as my initial LT pace. Thanks.

    German De La Rosa


    You can shoot two birds with one stone in the RT session.
    You can try to run above your LT pace for 20min.
    Let’s say your LT pace is 5:00 min/km. Try running slightly above that pace for the duration of the 20min interval. In this scenario you ran at 4:50 min/km. Then go to the 8020 Endurance Zone Calculator And type your average pace for the 20 min test and your average Hr to calculate your new zones


    Thanks German.

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