Mesophases within a plan | 80/20 Endurance

Mesophases within a plan

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    I’m learning more about macro, meso and microphases within a training plan.
    I’ve used the 50mi level2&3 endurance plans successfully, however, I’d like a better understanding of the different phases/focus within the 19week plan.

    In Matt’s 80/20 book, the shorter distance plans show each plan is separated out into different cycles such as base, build, taper, etc.

    Can you please elaborate on the 50mi 19 week plan as to which weeks have what cycle/focus, please? I’m curious, and can’t quite nail it down myself!

    Thanks in advance,

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Honestly, you’ve sort of answered your own question. The reason you’re having trouble identifying distinct phases in those plans is that there really aren’t any. Instead periodization takes the form of a continuous evolution. The plans are rigidly structured at the microcycle level and the step-cycle level, but not beyond that.


    Ah, thank you.
    So, therein lies my next problem… I’m looking at annual planning of my training (for the first time) and was wondering what you suggested for endurance runners? I know that just doing my 19w 50mi plan 2.5 times every year isn’t the way to go…!

    I was thinking of adding in a base/endurance/strength phase over the winter (combining your maintenance plan with 3x proper gym strength sessions)…
    However, even with a 2w recovery post-event following the 50mi plan, that’s only 33 weeks of the year.

    I’d welcome suggestions of how best to fill the year…? Alternative distance/discipline event to mix things up? Squeeze in 2x 50mile plans as well as a strength phase (doing the latter feels like I’d be going backwards after coming forwards if I just repeated two cycles).

    Sorry for all the questions!

    Matt Fitzgerald

    This article sort of addresses your question:

    The Difference Between Athletic Development and Getting Fitter

    The upshot is that your overall rate of improvement will be greater if you’re almost always actively training for peak performance in an “A” race.


    That’s awesome, thank you so much. A really clear, helpful and useful insight that I hadn’t considered.
    This I why I keep coming back to your programs again and again (and recommending them to everyone!).

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