I decided to switch to 80/20 for my next Marathon Training and I am really looking forward to it.
My previous training cycle was based on Pfitzinger 18/55 plan, which features mid-week medium-long runs (say 10 to 16 miles) as a staple workout, while I noticed in my 80/20 Marathon level 2 plan there is nothing of the sort, since all runs except the long run are around 1h in duration.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not losing faith in the plan or anything, just curious as to why this choice has been made and what are the pros/cons, since the medium-long run has been a dear friend of mine in the past and I know I will be missing it 🙂
Matt’s not available to answer this directly, as he wrote the plans, but I think I can represent him on this topic.
Our 2020 Edition plans and earlier (which I wrote) did have a medium- and long-distance run. That’s the way I was educated as well, and it worked for our athletes.
Matt spent a summer training with a professional run team and noticed that they did not do a medium-distance run. They ran as you see in the Level 3 plan: consistently each day with a long run weekly. He noticed the same pattern with other elite runners He then re-wrote the plans accordingly.
I can’t empirically explain why, and I can’t even claim that it is better than the medium runs. What we can say is that this is the way the pros train, and that it has worked at least as well as the previous plans. I have full confidence in this new training method.