Level 2 half marathon encouragement and those long runs taking too long? | 80/20 Endurance

Level 2 half marathon encouragement and those long runs taking too long?

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    42f 6ft tall. Average build.

    I have just completed the first week of the level 2 half marathon training plan. I have worked out my HR zones properly and have everything set up on my HR monitor when I run. Running so slow, I am only achieving 2.2 miles on the Foundation Run 5, my Long Run 2 took 1 hr 50 minutes. Is this all okay? Especially the long run which I normally can do that distance in 1 hr, at full pace. Will it deliver results? Is this too long, are my foundation runs too short? As my running friends tell me I’m stupid and have ditched me for their philosophy of training as fast as possible. So I am doing this by myself. I just need someone to tell me it will be worth it?

    For info my half marathon is in October, I have ran one before (injured through incorrect training!) in 2hr40mins. I ran 4 days a week prior to starting this plan always at a high intensity.

    It would be good to have your thoughts and encouragement. As I can only see a long and lonely journey over the next few months.

    David Warden


    What a great post. I admire your commitment, and we’ll do all we can to retain your trust in the 80/20 system. If you need some additional encouragement, check out our Testimonials page for athletes just like you who have succeeded using the 80/20 system.

    First, confirm for me:
    – How did you identify your LTHR
    – What was your LTHR
    – When did you test it
    Let’s just validate your existing LTHR.

    Second, don’t use HR. Use Pace to monitor your intensity instead. It is much more reliable than HR. While it is hard to go too slow, there are diminishing returns to too slow. Maybe Pace is a better measure for you, where you can still be slow 80% of the time, but not as slow as you are now.



    Hi David

    Thanks for your response. It is really appreciated. I do feel alone and a bit lost on it. Maybe I misunderstood the book as I thought it was all HR led training.

    In terms of my LTHR, my friend (who quit this prog after a day) used the Project Achilles app, where you can do a HR Zone test. It resulted in the following:


    I tested it twice a week apart and it came up with the same.

    I have been using the HR alert when running using a chest strap. How do I set my pace for the training plan and the different zones? Any support on this would be good as I don’t want to over exert myself which I have done without realising in the past.

    Look forward to hearing from you.



    Update: I’ve just used a 5k Parkrun route time I did a few weeks ago to determine pace zones on this website. Might try it out tomorrow. Hopefully, the walking will stop!

    David Warden


    This is defiantly the issue. Using 3rd-party methods to identify thresholds or zones is usually not compatible with the 80/20 system. An LTHR of 143 is exceptionally low, my guess is that your LTHR is much higher.

    You’ll note that the 80/20 Running book provides methods for identifying both HR and Pace thresholds and zones. Please use those protocols and I’m confident you’ll see a dramatic change in your intensity zones.

    The book was also written in 2013. We’ve since made significant changes and improvements to our documentation and plans. You can use our guide Getting Started with 80/20 Training to identify your thresholds and zones instead of the book.


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