Run Walk Run(Magic Mile) New to 8020 | 80/20 Endurance

Run Walk Run(Magic Mile) New to 8020

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    Hi 8020 Team,
    This is my first time posting here and I’m still pretty new to the 8020 method so please don’t be too harsh on my questions. I started focusing on working towards doing an Olympic distance triathlon and possibly a 70.3 right after. I started using the 8020 program back in July in training as I focus towards the 70.3 as the “A” race and the Olympic as the “B/tune-up” race. They are scheduled a month apart with the 70.3 being in Waco. My issue comes mostly in the run department as I have slowed down quite a bit using the 8020 method and had historically used the Jeff Galloway run-walk-run method for running races. I was able to even set a pre-COVID half-marathon PR of sub 2 hours at the end of 2019 using a combination of run-walk-run method with a Nike half marathon training plan. I relied on this method primarily due to having played soccer most of my life. I’ll admit I lost a good bit of fitness during COVID but have still been able to maintain roughly a 10 min/mile pace for a 5k. I started my 8020 training focusing on heart rate (“HR”) for cycling and pacing for the run but have started to switch to run HR to focus on a run walk strategy as I’m gearing up for the race. I have noticed that run walk doesn’t really fit into the 8020 run pacing method since I’ll end up running at zone 4 and walk in Zone 1. What has been a good way to leverage run walk with 8020? Possibly a ratio or something else? I’d like to eventually get to point where I don’t have walk at all however I still enjoy racing at a pretty quick pace.

    On a different note, I’m in the later stages of my training and during this week two of the Training Peak workouts have notes about possibly updating my zones for racing after completing the run and cycling tempo workouts. Should I be following a re-test at this point or doing the tempo workouts? I am in training week 12 as my race is at the end of week 18 based on the Level 1 Half Ironman distance.


    First of all, welcome! People are pretty cool here, so I don’t think anyone will give you a hard time for any of your questions. I actually did what you are describing. I used one of Galloway’s programs for my first marathon and 80/20 for my second.

    Because I had been used to run/walking longer distances, I didn’t want to abruptly switch to straight running. So I did it gradually, over the course of my training. By the time the actual race came, I was only walking 30 seconds per mile to hydrate and fuel. Because it was a gradual transition, I didn’t have any problems with it.

    The main things I would suggest are as follows:

    1. Don’t rush it. Listen to your body and increase as you’re ready. If you feel really beat up after a given run/walk interval, keep it there until you’re recovering like you should be.
    2. Increase gradually and incrementally. Try adding 30-45 seconds of running with each increase. I think I started with 60/30 or 90/30. Within a few weeks, I was around 5-6 minutes of running per 30 seconds of walking.
    3. When you’re running doing zone 1 and 2 run/walk workouts, try to keep the run portions close to the appropriate effort level. Gassing it for a minute and walking for 30 seconds isn’t a good zone 2 workout. Try to aim for something faster in the zone during the running portion. And if your average pace comes out a little slow, don’t worry about it. As the duration of your run intervals increases, your pace will normalize.
    4. Be prepared for the fact that, even if you’re adjusting well, straight running will initially be harder on your body. Run/walking does make recovery easier and quicker. Try something like riding a bicycle or stationary bike in the easiest gear and peddling faster for 20-30 minutes after a run. This will help your legs to recovery more quickly.

    That’s all I can think of for now. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!


    One more thing. I’m not sure how much stock I would place in the magic mile. If you’re a slow twitch runner, it might be more accurate. But if you’re disproportionately faster as shorter distances, you might trying something longer like the 30 minute test run. Just a thought.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Thanks, Alan!

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