The 80 20 Theory of Running


The Long Run 30% “Rule”: Training for Aerobic Endurance by Sage Canaday

Video taken from the channel: Vo2maxProductions


Matt Fitzgerald Zone Training

Video taken from the channel: BSX Technologies


80/20 Running: My #1 Takeaway

Video taken from the channel: Denny Krahe


What’s this 80/20 running you keep hearing about?

Video taken from the channel: Kyle Kranz


80/20 Running: Run Slow To Race Fast Using Maffetone Training

Video taken from the channel: Average Running PT


What Is 80/20 Training? | How A Polarized Training Plan Works

Video taken from the channel: Global Triathlon Network


The “80-20” Rule in Running Training: Balancing Higher Intensity with Volume!

Video taken from the channel: Vo2maxProductions

The 80/20 Theory of Running. Every runner has goals: Some want to lose weight, others want to gain fitness, and still others seek to improve certain health factors. One of the most common running goals is to run faster over a given race distance. Seiler’s endurance epiphany occurred nearly a decade ago when he analysed a huge swathe of studies into training intensity and duration. Since then, further studies by the likes of sports.

N ew York, New York: Penguin House. The principles of 80/20 running can be summarized as running 80% of your training miles at a slow pace or easy intensity, while only running 20% of your miles at a moderate or high intensity. The idea behind this philosophy is you need to build stamina before you can build speed. The history of 80/20 running In 1945 Lydiard conceived the idea that the key to maximum running fitness was lots of slow running. Lydiard believed that endurance was the true limitation in running.

Lydiard therefore believed that training programs should emphasise endurance building. You may know about the 80/20 rule, but in case you’ve never heard of it, the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle and the Law of the Vital Few) is a power law named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. This law states that approximately 80% of inputs (causes) lead to a mere 20% of outputs (results) while just 20% of inputs or causes lead to a whopping 80% of results. The 80/20 rule is pretty simple to define.

In short, 20% of your efforts will end up producing 80% of your results. So, you should manage your time in a way that focuses on that 20% instead of the. The Essential Rule: 20% of the inputs drive 80% of the outputs. This rule originated in Richard Koch’s book, The 80/20 Principle. This book is a solid read and is definitely worth going through.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Let’s not kid ourselves, the rule has been around since 1906, but Tim Ferris is the one who has made it regain traction in recent years. Note that effective 80/20 training requires that you spend 80 percent of your combined aerobic training, encompassing running and cross-training, at low intensity.

In the case of our 80/20 Run plans, this means all of your cross-training sessions need to be done in Zones 1 and 2. If you’re not familiar with running 80/20, it’s really pretty simple: 80% of your training volume should be easy 20% of your training volume should be moderate/hard Like I said, simple right?

List of related literature:

The first group consisted of a random sample of 26 women joggers who jogged “slow and easy” 5 to 30 miles per week, and the second group consisted of a random sample of 26 women runners who ran more than 30 miles per week and combined long, slow distance with speed work.

“Mathematical Statistics with Applications” by Kandethody M. Ramachandran, Chris P. Tsokos
from Mathematical Statistics with Applications
by Kandethody M. Ramachandran, Chris P. Tsokos
Elsevier Science, 2009

The term was adapted by the fitness industry in the early 1970s by physician Kenneth Cooper, whose research on fitness-training effects (primarily running) set the national standard for fitness programming.

“Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being” by Brian Luke Seaward
from Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being
by Brian Luke Seaward
Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC, 2011

David Costill, PhD, of the human performance laboratory at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, cited one runner who, early in his training, could run a 6:00 mile pace at only 60 percent of his aerobic capacity.

“Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide” by Hal Higdon
from Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide
by Hal Higdon
Rodale Books, 2005

This observation led Williams and Wood, both believers in the doctrine of calories-in/calories-out, to suggest that even the most dedicated runners had to increase their distance by a few miles a week, year after year–expend even more energy as they got older—if they wanted to remain lean.

“Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It” by Gary Taubes
from Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
by Gary Taubes
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010

My colleague David Neal and I started with a study of running habits.

“Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick” by Wendy Wood
from Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick
by Wendy Wood
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019

Injuries, obsession, pain and strained relationships are among the negative outcomes that occur in 7—20% of marathon runners (Morgan, 1979; Robbins and Joseph, 1985).

“Physiotherapy in Mental Health: A Practical Approach” by Tina Everett, Maureen Dennis, Eirian Ricketts
from Physiotherapy in Mental Health: A Practical Approach
by Tina Everett, Maureen Dennis, Eirian Ricketts
Elsevier Science, 2013

Despite its flaws, Hill’s conclusion is especially interesting because it is the understanding of the very factors limiting performance in this range of running distances that is the most troublesome for the traditional Cardiovascular/Anaerobic Model of Athletic Performance.

“Lore of Running” by Timothy Noakes
from Lore of Running
by Timothy Noakes
Human Kinetics, 2003

Looking at data on running records by age, Professors Ray Fair (a marathoner in his 70s) and Edward Kaplan of Yale University have calculated how much endurance running performance (5K through marathon) tends to decline with increasing age.

“Advanced Marathoning” by Pete Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas
from Advanced Marathoning
by Pete Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2019

A study published in April 2013 showed that walking provides similar health benefits as running (Williams, 2013).

“Foundations for Community Health Workers” by Timothy Berthold
from Foundations for Community Health Workers
by Timothy Berthold
Wiley, 2016

Some years after jogging began in New Zealand and William J. Bowerman, the University of Oregon track coach, took it home from here, the American physiologist Dr Kenneth Cooper set up an aerobic testing system in which you ran for twelve minutes and then, according to your age, were given a certain fitness grading.

“Running to the Top” by Arthur Lydiard, Garth Gilmour
from Running to the Top
by Arthur Lydiard, Garth Gilmour
Meyer & Meyer, 1997

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

View all posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Maybe you could say 20% of your variety (easy slow mileage) makes up 80% of your programming? Getting back into running so of course your channel is the first place I turn ��

  • Currently doing my long runs fastest on a carnivore diet. Week to week improvements are amazing. I feel 3 hour sub marathon is not far away. Meatheals meat wins

  • I have been in the army for 13 years and hated running every second of that time… until I overheard a couple buddies talking about 80/20 running. I just finished an 80/20 5K plan today and fell in love with running so much I decided to train for my first IRONMAN! Really great method!

  • Thanks so much for these vids!

    I want to prepare for multi day fastpacking adventures in the mountains over technical terrain. I want to do give or take 40km a day for consecutive days. I want to move efficiently and much faster than a hiker, but I’m not concerned about going “fast” or setting FKT’s / PB’s or anything. Is there still going to be benefits from including speed work in my training? Long runs are always my favourite. Can I focus on long slow runs a few times a week to train?

    I only ask since most training plans seem to aim to improve speed over the distance, but I’m not bothered about speed. The distance in a day isn’t going to be a problem but how do I best prepare for consecutive days of long distance?


  • Really informative video thanks!! I heard about this method a few weeks back and I’ve been building a training plan around it. Are there any tips for how to build the time spent training, other than strictly sticking to low intensity efforts? I’m a strong cyclist and have struggled working my runs in without affecting my perceived effort on the bike. Thanks in advance.

  • What do u think about running 800 meters with casusal normal pace and then 200 meters with kinda sprinting or high valume and then repeat it for about 8 km in general? I doing now something like that with time variations like 1 minute slower pace and half minute sprinting, but need to recalculate it for Pareto schedules

  • Yeah, I’ve noticed my body falls apart completely around 3 hours and I can’t imagine ever doing a marathon because right now it would take me about 3:40

  • I’ve been doing this for a few months with running. Seen huge progress with 3 key hard sessions per week (track set, interval set, threshold set), and 10 sessions in low HR and super easy each week. My max HR is 205 and I usually sit at 135-145BPM for these easy runs. I have found that my endurance has increased dramatically and my HR keeps getting lower as the weeks go on. 3 months ago I would run at 160BPM at 6mins/km. Now I’m running at 140BPM at 4:45min/km. While also being able to run much much faster for all distances from 200m through to half marathon.
    I didn’t specifically intend to use the 80/20 program. I just copied a few professional distance runners programs and this is essentially what most professionals do.
    I 100% recommend doing this.

  • So what if you run high intensity intervals such as 800’s,1000’s,1200’s at Vo2 max for 3 maybe 4 days a week, to get that really fast fitness build up, then after a couple weeks when you notice your having a harder time running the intervals you take about 2 weeks purely easy to recover your body, then go at the Vo2 max intervals again, would that work to boost your fitness the most? I plan on trying this, especially knowing that I have 5 months before cross country season starts. I am training for 5K also, trying to get under the 16 minute barrier

  • Been using this type of training principle for a while and it works for me. The type of training we should do will be depend on the type of our fitness level. Thanks for sharing this video as always very useful content. Thumbs up.

  • Very educational. 57 years old started started running about a year ago was doing about 9K on a Tuesday and 11K on Thursday club run and about 18K run at weekend but now injured and not run properly for six weeks. Not sure how long this injury will last hurts in the upper thigh side and sore in lower abdomen

  • I may have missed this in the video but 80/20 are we thinking 8 out of 10 sessions or 8 out of 10 hours or whatever you train as 2 hours of high intensity would be different to 2sessions of intervals etc.

  • I’m loving all this recent content! Very applicable to me right now as well since I decided to use lockdown as an opportunity to reset and start an aerobic base building phase.

  • This literally convinced me (plus a little bit of Matt Fitzgerald) to try 80/20 running. I run 40 miles a week with a 5k test and an interval workout every week. I loved the thoroughness of the video. Do you have any thoughts on how to properly use a moderate pace workout?

  • My pace at 70-75%HRFmax is getting slower and slower. I follow strictly the 80/20 rule; my resting heart rate is normal and not increasing. But in comparison to april 2019, I’m 1min per km slower in the aerobic heart rare zone. What am I doing wrong?

  • Second week of 80/20 and I am seriously doubting. I use summer training to counter the dreadmill and indoor bike fatigue of the winter. I have noticed that I don’t feel like I am actually working on my workouts. Does this really help and how do you overcome the mental fear of wasting training time?

  • My only goal is to be able to run far as I want whenever I want to. Being able to stay out in the mountains all day (8-12 hours) sounds like a good day. I’m trying to figure out the best way to program my training to achieve that with the time that I have. It’s helpful to get perspectives on volume. I’m going with trial and error now and adjusting as my needs arise.

  • I wish I knew more about this like 2-3 months ago, because I think I was doing almost 80% intervals and like one or two runs doing aerobic base training. My fitness crashed entirely about a month ago and I dropped from almost 50 miles a week to under 15. Now I’m doing more aerobic base training and I’m back above 30 miles a week and it feels much better

  • I’ve been using MAF since June 1st and my plan is to just build through the summer and peak in October/November. I haven’t done any specific tests and just kinda trusting it, but that’s fine: I’ve noticed that I can handle higher volumes so I’m going from about 60 to 70km total towards weeks of 80 or more towards the end of the summer (hopefully) We’ll see what happens then:)

  • Im a freshman in high School and run about 55 miles a week. I run the 5k mainly. We do a long run every Saturday where we go out 35 minutes at a fast but relaxed pace and then turn around and comeback as fast as we can. This typically results in about 11 miles. We then go continuously into our cooldown to 90 minutes. In total, the long run is normally about 14 miles.

  • Hi what do you think (in terms of building aerobic base, capacity) of running at about that 77%-82% MHR (Joel Friel’s AeT), it is just slightly above the conversational pace, but is it then mapped at the 80% or the 20% in?your opinion. For example Zach Bitter uses that intensity to build / maintain aerobic capacity / fitness, as one can see from his recent videos. So I am really puzzled about that, middleground running intensity (some would even call them junk miles, but they are not). Moreover, Is the aerobic threshold a range (say 82-84%) of MhR

  • Good video. Two things… 1. This sounds a lot like Lydiard training look up Arthur Lydiard. He trained one of the all-time great middle distance champions, Peter Snell to three Olympic Gold medals in 1960 and 1964. Look up Peter Snell videos too. 2. Your 5:29 mile indicates that you should be capable of an 18:30 5k so if you’re running 19:30 for 5k, you are obviously a little too cautious about pushing yourself. You need to consider recording your performance and doing so regularly, say, once a month. Only by doing so will you achieve real gains. Great new channel. Keep it up.

  • I ❤️ ����‍♀️!!! This geometrically was ���� The 80/20 rule can be applied to other things too like you mentioned earlier. ������❤️Thanks ����

  • Thanks for another great video! In the end you mention that early on in your season you should back down the 20% I just wanted to get clarity on that. Do you mean you should train at a low intensity for MORE than 80% of you time. If so does the inverse apply as you get close to your A race. (Meaning train at lower intensity only 75% as you near race day) Thank you!

  • The MAF heart rate is much too fast for what would be ideal in polarized training. For a 40 year old default MAF would give you a heart rate of 140 or 78% of a max heart rate of 180. Polarized training would have you at about 65% of max heart rate which would put you at about 117 bpm. To me the MAF formula gives you a perfect formula for getting the junk miles in between the 80 and 20 of 80/20.

  • Is this a good training plan?: I have 4 months until cross country if we have it and Im not sure if this is what I should be doing. Im more of a beginner (im a freshman in high school) too and my mile pr is 5:05 and 5k pr last cross country season was 18:19
    Monday: 3 mile progression run 7:30 to 6:30 pace
    Tuesday:Easy 5 miles ( My semi long run)
    Wednesday:easy 3 miles and strength training
    Thursday: 4 mile tempo run @ 6:30 pace
    Friday: Rest or Cross Training and Strength Training
    Saturday: 7 mile long run
    Sunday: easy 3 miles and strength training

    I will keep increasing mileage slowly but im not sure whether to cut the intensity down or build it up knowing I have 4 months until cross country. And which runs specifically should I increase mileage on?

  • Good job! I’m 55 and began MAF training 4 months ago. Am totally hooked. I enjoy running again. I ran competitively in college and was of the “no pain no gain” mentality. Too bad I didn’t incorporate more LSD or MAF back then. Keep up the good running!

  • Would you rather recommend doing the 80/20 method within one workout or to do 1 out of 5 workouts per week in a higher hr and 4 in the green zone aka around 135-140bpm? Thanks for the great content!!

  • At the moment I’m hitting 45km a week with a long run of 15k. Building that aerobic base whilst getting some speed work in for the half marathon. Hoping to build up to 70k ish a week with a long run of 20k before I taper.

  • Things to remember: “if you do less than 30 miles/week (50km) it’s easier to hit 30%+ “”quality workout”” BUT you better do 40 miles (65km) with less intensity”
    and don’t do more than 2-3 of these workouts.

  • Great videos.I’ve been running badly for years and have started taking it more seriously these past few months.I cross train with road biking and mountain biking…All helping to build that aerobic base.Great advice and all makes sense ��

  • I remember this…but need to apply it and so happy to….see it again. sure…makes sense 80/20. 20 % of V affects 80% of all. Hope you -Sandy and family r doing well!

  • Question, Is the long run the same as long slow distance? I’m a newb 30mpw-ish jogger and always thought long runs were for going slow to increase the distance on feet, but some sources had me believe it’s supposed to be faster than easy pace…Hope I haven’t been doing it wrong all this time.

  • I’m sorry… does anyone here have an answer to the initial question “What type of event you’re training for?” because I really don’t. Unless we’re talking about something that’ll happen towards the end of the year.

  • Hi Sage! Thanks for an interesting video! I was just wondering, how do you determine whether you should add volume or intensity? Let’s say I’m running 100k per week, the race is a marathon, should I add distance or speed/intensity?
    Thanks again:)

  • I’m slow and started distance running just before turning 40years. It was few days before my 44:23 10K PB when I had aerobic base workout as 8km on 5:56/km flat pace. My average bpm for each split.

    1km 116bpm
    2km 120bpm
    3km 124bpm
    4km 125bpm
    5km 128bpm
    6km 127bpm
    7km 126bpm
    8km 129bpm

    Is it usual heart rate is climbing on flat pace? or sign of poor aerobic base?

  • Sage, mate, thanks for the great vid. Not only are you a world-class athlete, but you also give world-class advice. God bless, Dave.

  • This was interesting as a taster but would be good to have some more details please in a more specific GTN-training explained video, Mark. A few questions: if you are a ‘typical’ age grouper with a job etc who is able to do say 6-7 sessions a week. Do the swims count as high intensity or can they be in the 80% even if at effort? What if you are doing a couple of bikes and 3-4 runs for the rest I can’t really see how to divide 2 bikes into 80:20 potentially a hard 1 hr session and a 4 hour long slow ride at the weekend? And then I would normally do a tempo run, a track session, 1 LSR and potentially a short recovery run but can’t see that a tempo and a track will fit into an 80:20 week?

  • Hi Sage, as always thank you for this tips and sharing your expertise in running with us. I actually have rediscovered my long distance running since the lockdown especially here in New Zealand I end up running in my local park and because of the 2m distance rules I was kind of forced to run on grass for the walkers. The truth is I have enjoyed it so much, it is slow but so comfortable for long runs…in fact I run an early Sunday morning 45km most around the park and rest road. This is the longest ever run. Bottom ligne I’m 50 years old and pace doesn’t bother me, as longer as I stay injury free and enjoying long distances. Cheers

  • Can you please make a video on how to distribute the intensity across the swim, bike and the run like where to place a hard run relative to a hard bike session for those who can’t afford a coach. Should I do the hard run with the hard bike or separate those two sessions or a combination of both?

  • Thanks for the video, Im wondering if my warm up and cool down (together 1.5 hours) of my interval bike session (1 hour for example 6x5min with 5 min recovery) count for the 20 or 80%? And how about the recovery in between the intervals? Thanks in advance!

  • Any thoughts about cross-training with cycling? I’m 63 years old and took up running for the first time in my life this winter initially to escape outside on bad weather days for my primary lifetime sport, road bicycling…when I would otherwise be faced with riding the bicycle trainer indoors. BORING. Now I’m majorly hooked on trail running and am building my mileage and speed for a first-in-my-life marathon this year, with dreams of ultras someday. I run for mental and physical health, not as prep for competition. Long solo runs in the woods have become critical for me to escape the worst of Covid Cabin Fever.

    My typical week, which I’ve fallen into without much thought or plan, now looks like 5-mile tempo run on day one, 7-mile run on day two, 11 to 15-mile slow run (my long day and 40%-ish of my weekly running miles) day three, 20 slow bicycle miles as recovery day four, 5 run or fast 25 bicycle, 35 to 40-mile bicycle (my long day on the bike…limited by the time available more than by my endurance), 20 bicycle miles day seven…and then back to a short fast run.

    Thoughts? I’m only interested in improving my running, but I don’t want to give up my love of bicycling completely to achieve my running aspirations. Plus, getting out seven days a week is key for my mental health and sleep hygiene.

  • What about the bike ride, train hard race easy.
    If i remember the words of cam wurf, correct me if i am wrong.
    What you don’t do in your training you can’t do in your race.

  • So if I’m restarting running (used to a lot more, but haven’t in about 8 or 9 months), I should focus on all aerobic, conversational pace training first? Need to get in shape so I can get a good 2 mile for the ACFT

  • Hey Sage. I’d love to hear a training talk about when to take a recovery week in a training block and what mileage to do during a recovery week, taking the whole training programme into consideration and the gradual increase in mileage during the whole programme

  • your video is indeed a great great help… in addition to I would like to to request you that my goal to complete 5 k within 30 minutes.. but instead itakes me 29 minutes my ages is 30 years.. therefore I need your suggestions.. how I would be able to complete the 5k within 20 minutes

  • Please can someone tell me the name of the song playing at the beginning, it is driving me insane as it is on the tip of my tongue and I need to watch the rest of the video.

  • Should have watched this video a few weeks ago! Backstory: I am a 6’3 225 pound runner, and I was doing 3 runs a week. I wanted the days off for recovery. I then suddenly started doing slow long runs (150% my weekly mileage.. ouch) on weekends because I wanted to up my mileage and my knees didn’t like it at all!

    Inspired by Sage I am now going to get trail running shoes and add two(later three) extra days of trail running, upping my weekly mileage so that I can eventually do that 30% long runs I am craving.

    I guess it is trial and error and figuring out what works (and what doesn’t:D)

  • Mark isn’t this just kind of implementing the Maffetone Method in to all your training but with the odd training session at a higher level. I try to keep all my training in a Z2 especially on my long runs and bike sessions, it does spike to Z3, but I do try to keep it in Z2 for the majority.

  • 52yo new triathlete here I’m totally on board with easy cycling, but my 10k runs are Zones 4-5 all the way, and even a slow jog puts me into Zone 3. Should I do a brisk Zone 2 walk and hope I adapt to be faster, or keep the Zone 3 jogs and hope my HR drops?

    (Also, every time I do an easy run, my Garmin drops my Training Status to “Unproductive”. What’s up with that?)

  • I’ve been using this 80/20 ‘method’ without even KNOWING it is s THING! Wow!… CONGRATS, The past few videos have been quite INFORMATIVE!!!

  • Great video. I agree it’s only a guide but not sure how 75/15 will work but I like the idea! Presumably other 10 you can just chill out!

  • Hello. What is a good rotation for a whole year of 1600m training. When should each phase start and what would each phase look like

  • If I’m training for primarily shorter distances (mainly the 800m and 1600m), should this ratio be shifted significantly toward interval training? I have been doing 2 interval workouts (e.g. 6×400 + 3×200 or 3×800 + 4×100) for each volume workout (3-4 mile at medium difficulty), but now I am concerned about injury or burn out.

  • Have to say it works, i followed a 80/20 program for my first middle distance and being a old git, it was easier on my body. Shame it was cancelled but stuck with the program anyway. I know whats coming for next year now and hopefully not lose 3 months of swimming:)

  • Hello ARPT, i startet running last november and had some minor injuries. So i did a research and found the MAF-Training. I am now at the beginning of the MAF-Training (48Y, HFmax 132) an have the choice, to walk fairly quickly with a HF of 132, or run very very slow at a HF of approximately 136. What should be my focus for the future weeks / months to become faster at a lower HF? Keep walking and stay under the HF of 132 until i have to run, or can i run at a slightly higher HF-Rate? Thx.
    Btw. I am a very patient person, so any advice is helpfull

  • Psychologically it’s so hard to back off on the intensity when training even though I know it will help me make gains. I need to focus on this more often. Great informative video. Thanks!

  • Question: I’m quite comfortable with high volume 80+ miles/week from training for ultras, but I don’t have a lot of road speed. Does it make more sense for me to follow the BQ training plan or the Very Advanced plan even though I know I will never get close to 2:45?

  • Question: I’m training for a 1600m. Is “Better Training for Distance Runners” still optimal reading (though written in 1997)? Thanks!

  • The problem I see with 80/20 training is time commitment. I’d rather do 2-4 HIIT sessions a week with strength training and have rest days than train 6 days a week. I find long slow workouts pretty boring. I’m still racing pretty fast doing HIIT: 15:50 5k. I think more important than what works is that you enjoy and how it fits in with your overall life. But I don’t race more than a half marathon and stick more to middle distance and sprint triathlons.

  • Great video. I just started running again, and I have been gunning it 2-3 times a week. I check all the boxes you mention. I am getting in shape fast, but my body is hating me for it. I think I have to slow down the pace a bit, and rune more slow kilometers. What do you think a weekly volume should be for a 5k runner. right now I am at 40 km a week, give and take. A slow 10k, a slow 12 k, a threshold 10k at 80-85% HHR, and 5X1000 meter VO”MAX intervals. I just started following your channel, great content. A+

  • Hi, I’ve got a sprint events September which will be my first triathlon! Was wondering if anyone can give advice on what training I should be doing at the moment (time, distance, insensity…) Due to cocid, it’s a bit challenging to get some swimming practice in, si I’m focusing on the run and ride. Any advice?

  • So I was training for London about 3 weeks ago and I decided to do a mock marathon a week ago as London was cancelled; my mileage has dropped quite a bit since. How long does it take for me to lose this fitness I’ve gained, bearing in mind I’m 19 so I would like to say relatively youngish..

  • Thanks for this Sage. Totally off the topic, Was some of the footage going up Ben Lomond in Queenstown NZ?? I live in Dunedin, and love that area

  • How do you manage your effort in race? I don’t have experience and always reserve my stamina, and I left with a lot of energy after my race. I don’t know how to manage that and afraid I will burn out and dnf in the middle of race, or is it about experiment? Any tips?

  • I am pretty sure it’s pronounced Yogging. Great video Sage. I pronounce it “Sah-Jay” to make you sound more like the guru you are.

  • one of the main benefits is injury reduction, fat burning, technique refinement in that zone 2. the spice can be added later with interval efforts or the 20%. the body can go very far in that zone 2 effort

  • Hey Coach, I saw in one of your running clips you had leg compressions on. Is that helpful to protect against shin splints? My left shin is always hurting on and off for years now.

  • I’ve always thought that basically that you run in blocks ie. like 3 months of MAF or until when you don’t see any gains then switch it up.. over that time frame.. its really like 80/20.. ie 3 months MAF and handful of weeks of speed training.. this is on the assumption that you are not really getting ready for a race soon.. but just doing the long term build towards it..

  • Greatest training talk yet! Exactly what I needed to hear! Been going way too hard in my training for years now and always end up injured and burnout.

  • Hi, really interesting content. I am trying to improve my 5k time from 24.00 to below 23.00 and have only just started to understand lower heart rate and higher cadence. Really strange to get my head around it but I will persevere. I always tried to push myself every time I ran thinking that was the only way to get faster………..cheers

  • I began running about 5 months ago since covid hit and beginning at 20miles/wk im at 70m this week, mostly all MAF style training.

    Im curious what your base mileage was to reach the 5:29 mile as our 5k are similar and my 1mile trial is approaching.

    Also. What is a normal base mileage? Im hoping to hit between 80/90m/wk for 3 weeks in the month of august befor transitioning more to speed 60MAF/40speed.

  • Great stuff. I have been a track coach for many years and teach this to my high schoolers. Just went on a run with some newbies (but oldies) this morning. Told me they went hard 5 days a week. Its amazing how many people still think ‘no pain, no gain’ is the only way to go. Keep up the good work!

  • If you want to respect the 80: 20 rule you’ve got to train alone I’m afraid. Group rides in particular are always too high in terms of intensity:/

  • Love the knowledge Sage lays down. A lot of beginners do those runners world easy plans and get hurt bc they think they can just bulldoze through a marathon plan for Instagram and have no idea why they are doing specific workouts lol.

  • i realize when im already super into the long run and am already very tired, I will suddenly speed up without noticing and paying extra effort in the end?

  • Glad you made this video as I’m just starting training again after my 5th injury this year from over training and was going to try this approach

  • I recently got a power meter for the bike to slow me down, I realised I have been working too hard for much of my training. It seems counterintuitive but I’m already seeing gains!!! ��

  • Using my custom HR zones from BSX I can keep my training to 80% zones 1 and 2, with 20% of my total effort in zones 3,4,and 5! it’s an amazing piece of technology! I see patients with running injuries all the time… get BSX to train safely!

  • How? The data provided by the device after a LT test doesn’t correspond with that from the live function, what is the best way to utilise the information provided after a LT test?

  • That was good. You have a good mic. I can hear someone cleaning up or cooking. ��. I’m guessing Sandy.:). I have the Hoka Gaviota 2s. So far I like them. I need to start building my 80% running foundation again. Took a break for awhile. I have to be careful I’m 60 now. I can’t believe that. I did climb Pikes Peak a couple years ago. �� so I recognized your footage. Stay safe you guys!

  • Do you only count for those “20%” the time/distance with HR over LTHR? That would put high aerobic (tempo, zone 3,…) runs into easy basket where only truly easy pace runs should end up.

  • Definitely not easy to do so… just yesterday over did it again with 118km on mountain bike… have to take this in consideration. THANKS ��

  • Great video Sage, I follow the 80/20 rule and love it it also keeps me injury free as I hurt my achilles in 2018 it took most of a year to get back to where I was and now I am finally improving ��

  • Way back in the day I was able to run a 36 min 10K and a 3.20 marathon. After a number of years away from running I’m starting to get back into it. I’m definitely in beginner runner mode and running every other day starting with 2-3 mile road routes over slightly rolling terrain, and hope to get out to 10K distances within the next couple of months. They’ve all basically been slogs and I’m pretty knackered at the end. My question is at what point should I feel like I can or should differentiate between shorter distances at a quicker pace, and more comfortable longer distance runs versus what I’m feeling now, which is one speed fits all?

  • I’m 39 I’ll be 40 in July I run about 30 miles a week for a while now and once a week I do a long run of 11 miles which is more than 30% of my weekly mileage. Do you think that’s too much? I just run because I like to run I have not been training for any specific race or distance. Although I do want to get better and run farther. I’ve been running for a few years

  • My weekly mileage is about 50 or so. Typically 5 or 6 days of 7 miles and a long run of 17-18 miles. Sometimes weather messes up my plans but I try to be fairly consistent.

  • I want to run 7 days a week, but I have to work three 12 hour days a week. I find it hard to find the energy. I feel like I constantly have to eat or I’m very sleepy.

  • How do u get better at going out fast because people always start really fast in the 5k and you don’t want to fall to far behind off the start. Also my track season still has not been cancelled should I train for track or start training for cross country

  • Great video, thanks! I got injured last year (over 40yo) with plantar fasciitis after too many tempo and interval days/week, and now after recovering, I’m slowly trying to increase my mileage with easy runs. These videos really motivate me to keep building my base slowly and not rushing into HIT or long runs too quickly! Running is one of the only things keeping me sane during this pandemic and surreal era.
    Also appreciate how much Sage is replying to the comments here! Makes me wonder if Sage had to cut back on training while self-quarantining. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

  • The runners world program (which is really the Furman program) just replaces the easy runs with other aerobic training, like biking, swimming and rowing. You do six days of aerobic training in that program.

  • So you were talking about the issue with indoor track in high school making it difficult to PR in outdoor so how can I solve that? Obviously we dont have a season this year but I’m afraid it will happen in the future.
    Also another unrelated question: for my XC training, I was going to start adding threshold/easy speed while increasing mileage, but if I’m not going to do that I would have to extend my training by about 4 weeks. So about 24 weeks. Is that too long, will I burn out? I’m a HS freshman right now btw

  • How do you feel about Bob Larsen’s theory about running a much greater % at long distances hard? That’s the edge in Futterman’s ‘Running on the Edge’

  • Thanks Sage, excellent video, I’ve applied the advice in your videos over the last few years 80k100k weeks with one 30k long run a week at 700m elevation & it definitely has helped me, my last 5 half marathons have come 1st 2nd or 3rd in my age group, another thing I’ve learnt lately is after any hard workout race like say 5k 10k half marathon is the week after your race do very little or just walk or few easy bike rides, then the following two weeks slowly build up your milage again with fairly easy intensity don’t just go straight back into your high milage, hope that sounds right & makes sense ��

  • Some training plans like the one I’m on are low mileage with only 4 days of running a week and lots of cross training because I tend to be more injury prone. My long run is like 40% of my weekly mileage and I feel like I respond best to this haven’t had a serious injury since I started this method 4 years ago and have seen way more improvement from this than running 6-7 days a week.

  • This video just blew my mind and comes at a time when my city is experiencing massive pollution from a Saharan dust cloud PLUS temperatures of 105°F! Thank you for giving me permission to just walk this week instead of run ����

  • I don’t know who these you tubers are talking to about training, don’t know anyone who runs more than 3 times a week, or more than 5-6 miles a time, just not real for someone with a career and kids. Fantasy island.

  • If I want to train stamina for footballer should I also stick to the 80/20 rule. I think that during football match (soccer) I use my anaerobic system more. Is this right?

  • While that is an interesting talk and you also learn a lot, there is some contradictionary stuff. So at 9:10 minutes you explain that, since a marathon is >99% aerobic power to be produced, you spend the majority of your training in “easy aerobic pace where you can talk”. That suggests that going “all aerobic” is easy. A half marathon is also almost pure aerobic. Can you speak during a half marathon competition? I can. For the first 3k. While I agree on the “80/20” rule, I do not agree on that “going aerobic” is the same thing as “going easy”.
    And anaerobic capacity and anaerobic power also helps you beyond the 10k distance. There is always a nasty climb somewhere and if not, there is always a last mile where you can hurt yourself the anaerobic way and you have that anaerobic power, 1600m in 4:48 is really bad-ass:D. Don’ tell me it did not burn like hell.

  • Another aspect to consider is that the Sunday long run for many people is their favourite part of running. Spending a long time on the trails is what keeps them going mentally, and is their main reason for running in the first place. If 2 or 3 runs a week with a big day on the trails is what keeps someone running and staying healthy, I say go for it.

  • The way i do it is this:
    cycling: for the 80% i uses heart rate and stick to my MAF limit. For the 20% i use power and do 2-3 times per week sweet spot inter session. This is for every week.
    running: i use heart rate and stick to my MAF limit until i hit a plateau. Then i switch to 80 MAF / 20 tempo intervals

  • As i run and bike….
    is it ok to do the low intensity while running and the high itensity on the bike?

    Or do i have lit and hit in both?

  • Good video. I’m on the MAF train and I’m on my 7th week doing everything a MAF for now.

    I’m mainly a marathon runner. Do you have any advice on what interval sessions I could add in. For me, I’m thinking that will be August time. I’ve read lots but confused as to if I should go for, say, 400m reps at a higher intensity or 1-mile reps at half marathon pace.

  • First, I love lamp. 60% percent of the time it works every time.
    Second, if you’re training for a marathon or whatever, why not train like you’re going to run 30mi, then when you do 26.2 it feels easy? When I was in high school we often ran 5-6mi in practice which was overkill imo for a 5k, but somewhere between the two seems smart?

  • Hey Sage thanks for another great video. Where I live I have lots of hills around, normally when I train it’s difficult to keep my HR below 75% max on hills. How do you manage your HR and pace on hills and downhills?

  • awesome video, What app or website are you using to track your miles in this video? By the way I am half way 7 weeks into your 50 mile training plan and loving it, keep up the good info.

  • What if the long run i do per week is going to the fridge to get booze so I can begin drinking heavily…and yell at the tv…and cry into a soiled sock.

  • I dont know why but if I’m running at a 7min/km or at a 5min/km I’m always in zone 3 and I don’t know how to bring down my bpm while running. Can some of you help me?

  • Hi Sage!
    Always interesting as usual! Is the long run essential during base building? I usually do a base phase of 4 to 6 weeks before a specific training of 14-16 with several long runs up to 22 miles. During base, I run up to 100 mpw but I do a double most of the time for my long run for about 18 miles total. I don’t know if the stress of a long run is crucial so far from the goal race? Thank you! Cheers!

  • I run between 50 and 80 miles per week. My normal run is a 10 mile fasted run before breakfast. Low HR (for me) easy 9 min mile pace trying to build cardiovascular base…Normally max distance is 16ish. Thoughts?

  • I feel like often these types of videos are geared toward serious runners and not the average 5K, 10K or even half marathon runner trying to PR. Build your mileage up, run more. What middle age full time working person (god forbid if you have kids) can commit to running 5-7 days a week? The advice is often so frustrating and I personally am thankful there are 3 and 4 day training plans available.

  • Are there physiological adaptations that you only get by hitting or exceeding 90 minute runs or can you accumulate the same benefits over time with shorter duration runs?

  • Great video and so true ��! I’m a cyclist and really want to get into running more, shall I start slow, aerobic only, do you think the endurance base I’ve got from cycling will be easily transferred into running endurance? Thank you, it’s always great pleasure watching your vlogs ����

  • I have just started with this strategy, and since I am 46 yet, it fits me well so far, as the recovery takes longer than it did 20 years ago.. I guess 2 times/week going hard is enough, if you really do the hard stuff so HARD, that you lose your language, and the low stuff so LOW that in ocasion you get lapped by a granny on a shopping bike. And it feels really nice goin low, instead of that constant intensity mix on every lap, without a real benefit for the efforts, as the studies obvioulsy proved

  • The 30% long run rule still works for me.

    I am now in my mid 60’s and have been running for 50 years. I run 4 x 10K + a 15K long run per week. So 55K total….thus, my 15K long run is about 30%. That’s enough for my age. I still run pretty solid at 4:30 p/klm base training pace with faster 5K tempo runs at the track.

  • You talk too much. Video title asks the question, video should simply answer the question. That’s how this works. This isn’t time for your pontification.

  • So if i only ride my bike twice a week, should i do one long and slow session and one hard and short. Or could i do this 80:20 thing in one session (twice a week), like casually cruising along for a while and then do some interval work for example?
    thanks for die input 😉

  • rain is when the air pressure changes i run the absolute worst in Summer the day after a storm when it has cooled off, my muscles do not respond as well i conversely enjoy the runup to a storm when its hot and humid, i run well in the rain still usually but always try to avoid lightning, rain is fine lightning is my only weather factor i wont even consider running through

  • My understanding of polarized training is that the closer you get to race day, the more race-like your workout becomes. How does 80/20 fit into the traditional base, build, peak, and race structure? is 80/20 only for base or build?

  • Great content as always!
    Just a thing, who’s that guy which Sage compliments at the end of that 3:39 race? He seems familiar but I can’t recall his name.

  • Hi Sage, it would be helpful to get some clarification on how you define “quality” miles. You seemed to base ‘quality’ on intensity level. I have tended to base ‘quality’ miles more on my biomechanics, e.g.posture, alignment, etc. In the context of training, can aerobic miles be quality miles? Thanks for these great videos.

  • Does the 30% percent guideline also count if you do other sports than just running? I’m a rockclimber, I do strength training and I like to do 1 tempo run and 1 long run a week with my other training, the long run is a half marathon mostly around hr zone 2 but it doenst stay under the 30% of my weekly mileage.

  • in other words, you can’t think about your training “volume” purely in terms of distance or time. Intensity/effort is a huge part of the equation. Any “percent” rule begs the question, percent of what?

  • I do two runs per week, 6k tempo and a 20-40 k long run + some biking. Thats it. Did a 34:15 10k and a 2:44 marathon last year. Works for me!

  • I bought a book on the 80%-20 % training running method! I’ve started to train following the method and I confess that it’s working. I go for long run at a very law pace without any kind of tiredness after. The days of training at high intensity workout are better in quality of performance.

  • Thanks for this Sage (from Italy!). One question: which max distance for an ultra trail? Is 70% 3 weeks before suffcient to the purpose? Is it better a 2 consecutive days or a sole long run? Many thanks!

  • What if you only wanna run twice a week max? I train to improve my 10K, doing one 10K race pace and I do a 10 mile long run on the side.

  • I’m always struggling with my long runs, or rather limiting the duration of them. I tend to do them on (non technical) trails and they’re a great way of just chilling in a forrest for me. I’ve been pushing my weekly mileage just to be able to accomodate the 30% rule (barely if I might add; 45km during the weekdays and 20-25km on my long run). I’m taking it easy during my long run and haven’t been injured yet, but it’s just so addicting.

    Loving the amount of content you’re putting out in these peculiar times sage, keep it up!

  • How do pro’s use the 80/20 rule? When riding 15 hours, running like 8 hours and swimming for 7 hours a week the 20% must be around 3 hours, 96 min and 84 min a week. How do they schedule this into their program? Especially for the bike and run where quite a lot of the same muscles are used. Do they perform like 3 higher intensity days for the bike and 3 higher intensity days for the run in one week(6 in total)? Or do they combine these days?

  • Thank you so much for sharing your experience and giving motivation to all of us �� Greetings from Berlin, where we still don’t know if the Marathon this year is happening. Half marathon was already cancelled. Keep on running ��‍♀️ wherever you are ��‍♂️