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Why 80/20?

Feb 27: Day 15

Planned workout(s): Off-Day


Well, I survived my all-day meetings.  The session I attended is one I do every year, and they are always high quality, but man, are they info-dumps.  I’m as mentally exhausted after today as I am after a race!  I did have one high-point though, when Scully texted me an I-miss-you “selfie”.

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WRY U NO HERE DADDY????

(She had help)

It’s my off-day and a fasting day, so not a whole lot to touch on.  I thought I would talk a little about the training plan I am on and it’s philosophy.  I am doing what’s called an “80/20” plan, and this one is by Matt Fitzgerald.  The basic premise is this: spend 80% of your time in low intensity zones which build the endurance necessary for the event wihout overstressing or over tiring the body.  The remaining 20% is spent on high intesity work designed to push performance to higher levels.

For each discipline you calculate 7 zones: the typical zone 1 through zone 5 that you may have used before, but also a “zone X” and “zone Y”.  Zone X lives at the bottom of Z3, and Zone Y at the bottom of Zone 4.  You are supposed to stay out of these zones as much as possible because they do not provide the best benefit ratio of effort to performance improvement.

I was drawn to this for a couple reasons.  One is my age, and I wanted to be sure I got to the line healthy as well as fit.  Keeping the stress levels down while still gaining the necessary fitness appealed to me.  The second is when I did the calculations for the zones, I realized I spent in the past 80% of my run time in Zone X.

And I haven’t seen any real improvement in my run splits in years.

I wondered if changing this up might create some better results for me, so that was my other motivation.  After all, a pretty smart guy once had an opinion on what I was essentially doing:

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As I move on in the plan I will keep track and see if I am having any different results.  Stay tuned!

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