Getting Started with 80/20 Training
by David Warden and Matt Fitzgerald
Thank you for choosing an 80/20 training plan. We want your training experience to be successful. To that end, we have created supporting documents to ensure that you get the most out of your 80/20 plan. We recommend that you review these documents in the following order:
- Understanding your 80/20 Run Plan or Understanding your 80/20 Triathlon Plan. This guide will teach you how to execute an 80/20 workout, introduce you to the 80/20 intensity zones, and includes a glossary of workout codes.
- Intensity Guidelines for Running or Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon. This document describes the multiple ways to measure intensity (Pace, Heart Rate, Power, and RPE), but more importantly, how you can identify your individual 80/20 intensity zones through a variety of field testing and the frequency of that testing.
- Understanding Your TrainingPeaks.com Structured Workout Plan. If you have an 80/20 structured workout plan on the TrainingPeaks platform, this is an essential step-by-step guide to setting up your plan and ensuring the intensity zones in TrainingPeaks are using the 80/20 system. If your plan is not a structured workout plan, or not on TrainingPeaks, you can disregard this document.
- You’ll find additional documentation on our Resources page that covers a variety of other training topics and best-practices.
Here are answers to some common questions we receive:
Q: Why do the zones in the workout details and the zones in the workout description not match, or why do my zones look totally wrong in TrainingPeaks?
A: This issue is resolved by following the instructions in the document Understanding Your TrainingPeaks.com Structured Workout Plan. Until you specify and setup the 80/20 zones, TrainingPeaks uses default or previously defined zones which will not align to the 80/20 system.
Q: My pace (or power) and heart rate zones don’t line up. For example, when I’m in Zone 2 for pace I’m in Zone X for heart rate.
A: This issue is resolved by ensuring that you use the same testing protocol for each intensity type as outlined in the documents Intensity Guidelines for Running or Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon. By measuring Pace, Power, and HR in a single test, the three intensity types will align.
Q: Where and how often in the plan do I perform zone testing?
Q: I performed a new CV test on the swim and improved my 400 or 200 time, but my LTSP increased. Why?
A: This is addressed in our document Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon.
Q: The predicted CTL or predicted TSS in my HR-based plan seems really off. Why?
A: This is addressed in the Q&A of the document Understanding Your TrainingPeaks.com Structured Workout Plan.
Q: I think I chose a plan that is too hard or too easy for me, can I switch?
A: Yes, please use the Contact Us form and choose the Level Guarantee when prompted. We’ll get you another level within the same running or triathlon race distance for free.
Q: What zone should I race in?
A: This is addressed in our Race Pacing guide.
Q: What do you recommend for race-day nutrition?
A: This is addressed in our 80/20 Nutrition guide.