Running Super slow | 80/20 Endurance

Running Super slow

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    Hey everyone, new 80/20 member here. I used to run a ton. I did a 50k last May. Well since then I’ve completely stopped running and working out. I’m now in the worst shape of my life so I’ve decided to get in shape. I have a marathon planned for December 12th in College Station, Texas (home of A&M). Anywho since I am so out of shape my pace threshold is HORRIBLE. It’s a 12:38 or so. So my zone 2 work outs are ranging from 16:15 to around 14:55. Painfully slow. Right now I’m doing the 80/20 maintenance plan and then starting around august I’ll start the 18 week level 2 marathon plan. Will I be able to run fast enough for my marathon by then? I don’t want to walk the marathon I would like to finish in a half decent time (sub 5:00 hrs hopefully)


    Hi Zachary – I am in awe of anyone that can run a 50k – that’s awesome! How did you calculate your threshold pace? Did you follow the recommended protocol for 80/20?



    Also, what were your race times prior to this time off? The good news is that because you were once fit, it will be easier to regain.


    Thanks for the responses guys.

    I calculated my pace threshold by doing a sort of 20 minute test. I basically ran at a 12:45 for 25 minutes and then just took for like around 10 more seconds for my threshold. I think i calculated it at 12:38 as my threshold. The Zone calculations come out to where Z2 is any where from like 14:30-16:30 +/- . I did a foundation run in Z2 for 25 minutes and It felt right effort wise. I just wish I was faster.

    Last April I did a half marathon in 2:21 which averaged around 10:25 pace a think. I would really like to get back to that for my marathon and even faster. My 50k time was slower just because I didn’t do any speed workouts just straight up zone 2 so I was pretty slow. I also blew up around Mile 23 so I ended up doing it in 7:44:44 I think my avg pace was a 14 or so. I guess for now I will just trust the process of go slow to go fast. I hope I have time by December to get back up to a quicker speed.


    It is probable that you can reach your goal of a <5 marathon. I’d recommend making a B & C goals as well. The one thing I’d caution is to push for improvement but be content with what your body is at. Pushing too hard too soon can result in burnout and injuries.

    The process does work and the plans will get you there. Look to the resource section for the instructions on how to recalculate your threahold. You will want to recalculate that at least every 4-6 weeks.


    Ah okay I was curious on that. Thank you. So for now I’ll stay here for 4 weeks and then recalculate. Thank you again!


    Hi Zachary,

    first off let me congratulate you on starting running again, that’s awesome, so welcome back!
    I’ve just decided to share my 8020 running plans experience with you. In March 2020 I also followed Run Maintenance plan for the first time. And similar to you before starting the plan I also had a running break for many months and was out of shape (aerobically). After 12w Maintenance plan my VO2 max improved by 8 points and moreover running became part of my schedule again and I felt happy and joyful every time I did a workout. Long story short after trying different plans and levels I felt motivated enough to start racing for the first time in 5 years. Now I’m in week 7 of 19 of my second 100k running plan (Level 1) and feeling stronger than ever.
    Keep the good work and don’t bother to switch between the different levels of your future Marathon plan.
    Please feel free to share your progress and 8020 experience here. In my opinion it’d be very interesting and also encouraging to follow how your marathon training develops in the weeks and months to come. I wish you all the best!

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