Sub 2hr HM | 80/20 Endurance

Sub 2hr HM

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    If an athlete has a particular goal (time) in mind, how do you tailor the 80/20 plans to reach those goals?

    or is that not the point. Are the plans designed to work you to ‘your personal best’ and that is whatever it is?

    Basically I just want 2 or under. My PB is 2:07, but that was 7 years ago. Does one need to come into the plan at a certain level to make this even realistic? And if so, what is that.

    Any recommendations of working towards that end if I have 2 months before the plan even begins? TIA!


    I have wondered about this too… Have a finish goal? Then how should that goal inform your training. Kind of top down from a stretch finish time to the training, as opposed to bottom up, from current fitness building week over week to bring fitness to the starting line, with a finish time being a result of the training, not a focus or goal of the training. In the past as a marathon runner, I had a coach and we set goals based on the Boston Qualifying time for my age group. That dictated what my race pace should be (it was a stretch, a faster pace than I had ever run before, but it wasn’t a crazy expectation.) In the training I did for that marathon, along with hard intervals and tempo runs, my long runs always finished with the race pace. So running 8-20 miles, I started with 1 mile (the last mile) at MP (marathon pace) for a BQ finish. Week over week, the portion of the long run that had the MP finish grew, from 1 mile to I think around 10 or more miles. It gave me months of experience learning the feel and building the confidence of MP in a long run.

    I am a long course triathlete now and not currently doing any long run races. But as a triathlete, I have recently thought about my past experience and the sense that picking a pace (or in the case of a triathlon, a swim split, and bike split, and a run split) and then training for that hasn’t seemed to be included in the 80/20 training. I’d love to hear the coaches explain why not, or if I am missing something, point out how best to do it within the 80/20 approach.

    BTW – I didn’t BQ in that race… I came within 5 minutes of the BQ finish time (which was my best marathon finish ever) but just didn’t seem to have the BQ finish time in me on race day. Part of that was a lack of confidence that I could maintain that BQ MP for the full 26.2 May be I needed another race or two to build confidence and get there, but life didn’t allow for me to maintain this level of training (I think I hit 100 mile in a week at least once and often did double runs in a day) so I wasn’t really able to build upon this. But I was able to apply this training plan with the MP finish long runs again 6 years later with a strong finish I was happy with (also not a BQ!)


    yes – exactly.

    during the HIM level 2 i just completed – i had an overall time goal of 6 hours or less; and it was just obvious to me that the training paces i was falling in (specifically long Z2 runs off the bike) – would get me there, so i didn’t question it.

    but with the running specific plan, i wonder if there is a way to be sure you are training to yield a particular time/pace for your race event.

    David Warden

    This one is tough to answer. The variables for making a recommendation include:

    – Age
    – Gender
    – Experience
    – Weight
    – Expected course conditions
    – Weekly time available to train
    Forward or backward helmet wearer (sorry, could not resist…)

    Some athletes can perform a 1.5 hour HM on the Level 0 plan, others can’t break 2.5 hours on the Level 3 plan.

    To answer your specific question, our plans are designed to make you as fast as possible within the Level you have chosen. They are not designed for specific times. However, the HM plans have several race-pace tests sprinkled throughout the plan where you can test your HM pace. That’s how you can “adjust” the plan for your custom goals.

    For a specific time goal, you’d need a coach or a custom plan. Our individual plans are for the masses, for a specific goal tailored to you the plan needs to be custom. Any coach who says “this plan will get any athlete under 2 hours for a HM, regardless of age, gender, weight, history” is being disingenuous.

    From what I know about you (since I do know your age, gender, history, approximate weight from correspondence and pictures), the Level 2 plan will almost certainly get you there, the Level 1 plan *might* get you there.



    well of course you did!!!

    exactly what i wanted to hear – thank you sir!

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