New TrainingPeaks plans | 80/20 Endurance

New TrainingPeaks plans

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    Hello all,

    I’m excited to try the new level 2 2021 marathon plan. It looks extremely different from the 2020 plan. What would you say are the main differences and why have they been made?


    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Dean,

    Earlier this year I read that, after replacing Alberto Salazar with Mike Smith as his coach, Galen Rupp started doing fartlek runs for the first time in his career–at age 33! Obviously, the absence of this staple workout type in his prior training didn’t hold him back, as his two Olympic medals, his victory in the 2017 Chicago Marathon, and his 10,000 American record attest to. If you were to line up the training plans Alberto and Mike created for Galen side by side, they would look pretty different. But would they really be all that different substantively? They would not. A fartlek run is just a certain kind of interval run, after all, and Galen had done plenty of those before hiring Mike.

    It’s the same with our old and new run plans. On the more fundamental levels, they are extremely similar. The differences are only in the details. Since the old plans were built, we’ve continued to learn and to keep abreast of innovations in run training, and this has lead us to make some tweaks that, we hope and trust, will make the new plans ever-so-slightly more effective and fun. An example is lactate intervals. Some recent research has shown that shorter Zone 4 intervals with very short recoveries yield somewhat better results than traditional long intervals targeting Zone 4, so we’ve incorporated these. The frequency and amount of Zone 4 training in the plans hasn’t changed much; it’s just administered a little differently.

    The other differences you see are of the same order–a bit more than merely cosmetic, but still based on the same principles.

    Coach Matt


    That’s great – thanks Matt.

    I can’t wait to get started, not least because the new workouts give an extra bit of variety over what I am used to from the existing plans.


    I just bought the maintenance plan and when I add it to the calendar all the workouts are built, but my 80/20 Triathlon: IRONMAN 70.3® Level 3 will add the workouts, but I have to build all of them. My question is why?


    Hi again.

    I’m now in week 4 of the new level 2 marathon plan and I have noticed that it is far higher mileage than the 2020 version and I am feeling quite tired as a result, and it is a bigger time commitment.

    I’m not quite sure what I’m asking here, but would you expect a better race result from this new plan and significant extra mileage?

    Many thanks!


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