Maintenance plan... Enough volume? | 80/20 Endurance

Maintenance plan… Enough volume?

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  • #9448
    Plantpoweredathlete
    Participant

    After coming back off of the Olympic plan I started maintenance this week. It seems like it’s a ton less volume than the oly plan will I still see improvements? My brain is telling me that because it’s not that hard or that much volume I need to do more. Can you give me some information on that?

    #9451
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Plant,

    Let’s go over some definitions first. Intensity we know, and Duration we know. Intensity x Duration = Volume. “Volume” is often misrepresented as Duration (and I’m a leading offender in my writing) but Volume is a combination of Intensity and Duration.

    First principle to my answer: More volume will always lead to better endurance performance. More intensity won’t, and more Duration won’t, but more Volume will. At first glance, that may seem contrary to the 80/20 philosophy, but it actually is the core of it. The reason Pros can train for 25 hours a week is because the 80/20 system allows them to have more Volume. By lowering the Intensity, they can significantly increase Duration and that in turn maximizes Volume.

    Second principle to my answer: You cannot increase fitness indefinitely. The Maintenance plan is lower Volume than the Oly plan. Given that they both have exactly 80/20 Intensity balance, and that the Duration of the Oly plan is greater, the Volume is academic. But, you must take a break and reset at some point in a season. If fitness could be gained indefinitely we’d all be running 2-minute miles. The key to an increase in fitness is a change in homeostasis. You can only change homeostasis with a stimulus. You can’t introduce a stimulus if there is nothing to stimulate, if you are at peak fitness already. You have to lose some fitness to gain even more fitness.

    The Maintenance plan is a temporary deposit (loss of liquidity) for which you expect a return. Don’t be afraid of stepping back for a month or two. The Pros do!

    The Maintenance plan for a short period will give you more Volume in the long run, as the rest and reset will give you greater opportunity for higher intensity later on.

    David

    #9456
    Charles
    Participant

    The following comment pertains to run plans…

    In my mid 70s, the natural slowing of pace means I must devote more time to complete the prescribed distance based long run workouts in the 10K and 1/2 Marathon plans.

    I like and benefited from both the Maintenance and Stride Academy Plans. But, for my particular situation they do not get me to the prerequisites for the longer distance run plans. I felt I was better prepared when took a break from 80/20 and added a couple of weeks of just Level 1&2 running to build up a mileage base to prepare for the long runs; at least I found it much easier to execute the 80/20 plans as written afterwards.

    #10233
    Plantpoweredathlete
    Participant

    Hey there!

    Should I take a rest week after the mx plan? Like I would for the full plans? What are your thoughts on that?

    #10248
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Plant, first, I love your use of “mx” for the Maintenance plan. I may steal that from you.

    I always recommend a break of one to two weeks after the end of a formal training plan. A “break” just means 2-4 hours of unstructured training, as you feel, not completely off. This includes the Maintenance plan.

    There are accumulated types of fatigue that take years to materialize. Taking a few breaks every year helps keep those at bay.

    David

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