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80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower
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80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,115 ratings  ·  178 reviews
This revolutionary training method has been embraced by elite runners - with extraordinary results - and now you can do it too.

Respected running and fitness expert Matt Fitzgerald explains how the 80/20 running program - in which you do 80 per cent of runs at a lower intensity and just 20 per cent at a higher intensity - is the best change runners of all abilities can make
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 26th 2015 by Penguin (first published September 2nd 2014)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  2,115 ratings  ·  178 reviews


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Neil Gaudet
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books a lot of runners will avoid because they don't want to be told to run slower. Truth be told we probably all often run our fast runs too slow and slow runs too fast. This is a sensible book. Easy to read and one of the better running books I've picked up this year. Other than the running form advice (I preferred Cool Impossible for running form) I thought the advice given was sound and reasonable.
Laura
Apr 04, 2015 rated it liked it
It felt like there was more background and selling of the idea of 80/20 running than 80/20 running itself, but it's a fairly simple concept so I guess there's not too much that needs to be said about actual application outside of training plans. I read this before reading 'The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition' and I felt like I got more out of that one overall (plus there is a small section there that mentions 80/20 running as well) but this did have a nice overview for someone ...more
Cherie
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, running
B Very dense and better for those into coaching and really seeking every little detail. Basically, if you do 80% of your running easy and 20% at intensity, that is the best combo for awesome successful running. (Someone should tell this to quite a few runner that I know!)
Angela
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The reason why I decided to give this book a whirl: I've been stuck at a 1:49:some change PR for my half marathon since 2012. I really want to break 1:49:00... but I don't want it badly enough to drastically alter my lifestyle to do it. So I keep wondering and researching - do I need run more track workouts/fast stuff? Incorporate more strength training? More cross training? Eat differently? Work on my running form? Or is it all a futile attempt because my body is comfortable with an 8:20 pace a ...more
Sarah Fortier
Apr 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This definitely could have just been one chapter on the science behind the method, one chapter on the different runs,and then the actual plans. There were three freaking chapters just on the 'science' behind it. Ugh, so much wasted time reading this book. AND I actually paid for it on kindle because I didn't want to wait for it! 9.99$ down the drain man.
Rachel
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good info. Fast read.

I’d say this is pretty standard knowledge in the endurance world, but just more in-depth, siting studies and examples.

There are always the HIIT people arguing with the long-slow-distance people, but this pretty much says you need a healthy mix of the two.

I listened to the audiobook so I couldn’t see the training plans, but I’m going to download the corresponding PDF’s & give this a try.

Lots of math and calculations for finding your HR, pace and perceived effort, which I wil
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Diane
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, running
The 80/20 method of training is the one adopted by many top athletes such as Paula Radcliffe or Mo Farrah. However, recreational runners usually train fast because thy don't know better. The author quite technically explains why the 80/20 method would benefit them too.

Running performance is first determined by fitness. Your fitness depends on your aerobic capacity (body's ability to fuel muscles with oxygen) and your fatigue resistance. It’s counter-intuitive to recommend to run slow to run fas
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Michelle Barker
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads, training
Great book about a training method I have finally fully embraced, after learning the hard way.
Meg
Ok. Hm. So I'm not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. I'm doing the couch to 5km thing as part of how I'm dealing with social isolation is all. So I'm not the audience for this book. Now the idea that many recreational athletes go too hard on their "easy runs" is not new to me, I've read a few cycling training books and as a similar endurance sport they have some of the same issues so I didn't need the long justification.

Fitzgerald and Johnson give a history of the training method, some
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Maeby215
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
How often do you get to read a book about running where they tell you that you don't have to kill yourself every single time you hit the trail/treadmill? I loved this book. It's filled with scientific studies and juicy real world examples. The author makes a great case for endurance training as opposed short HIIT workouts, which is so commonly prescribed in the fitness industry. As a person who is an endurance athlete, this is my jam! I am totally fine with running for a couple of hours at an in ...more
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Having done HR based training myself, the contents of this book made perfect sense.
Although more focused towards the beginner. I did like the sections about cross-training and injuries.

I'd recommend this book to friends that are struggling to get started or improving, or deals with injuries. There is a lot of explanation about why doing things at lower intensity is useful.

It also backs up the concept with training plans, which is helpful.

The biggest struggle is probably the conversion between mi
...more
KT
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick read but useful. The first few chapters are skimmable (studies supporting the 80/20 method) but be sure to read the last few, where he talks about injury prevention and cross training.
Garlan ✌
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very informative read but it felt like it had a lot of redundancy built in, and a bit too technical jargon at times. It did help me identify one of the major reasons that my running regimen has plateaued over the past 2-3 years. I'm going to try to implement this philosophy over the next several months and see if it works for me. I think most runners would get helpful advice from this book, even if it is, at times, a bit confusing. Closer to a 3 1/2 star rating.
Tiaan Stassen
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good technical running book. Would def suggest for a beginner runner.
Chris
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second reading of 80/20 Running. I've read quite a few of Matt Fitzgerald's running books, and this is my favorite. I usually chase the "new thing" when it comes to training plans, so it's rare that I use the same one. This time, I'm not only re-using this plan, but it's also for the same race. Why? This book has convinced me of the benefits of 80% easy running or cross-training, building on the famous Lydiard approach (i.e., the more miles, the better). It's not just the science Fitz ...more
Katie Ricklefs
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
A little disappointed. I’ve loved other books by Matt Fitzgerald (How Bad Do You Want It? and The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition: A Cutting-Edge Plan to Fuel Your Body Beyond "the Wall"), but 80/20 running was nothing special. Basically, 80% your training should be easy, truly easy, runs and the rest should be higher intensity. He repeats himself a lot when it’s unnecessary, and the training plans aren’t helpful.

I'd recommend those other two books way before this one.
Donna
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm rounding up on this one even though it wasn't quite 3 stars. This is a nonfiction/health kind of book. I love reading books like this, but this one...well not so much. I used to run for fun and have recently got back into the habit. So I was expecting to really be into this, and I wasn't. A lot of this was so over my head. I think if you want to get the most out of this, don't listen to the audio (especially at double speed). There is so much info that is unloaded here rather quickly.....I h ...more
Rachel
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Good advice at start....thought yes I'm going to take note and maybe try. At end it seemed to contradict itself so I think I'll carry on with what I know and maybe just take note of the extra cross training in my training rather than 80 slow, 20% fast.
Jamie Theriault
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not a lot of new information, but a good reminder and reinforcer. Great for new runners or runners who do not have coaches.
Rory Armstrong
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Yup, another person while in lockdown getting there old crusty running shoes on.

As a newish runner - give me enough time and I can bash out a 5k eventually - I was looking to create a sort of plan to improve my running. Currently I do 4 days a week of strength training so my plan was only up to three days a week of running so as not to interfere with my primary fitness goals. My impression was to go for 'proper' running workouts to maximise my time.
So I first watched a video by the 'Global Triat
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SalsaAram
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book, and I guess I ended up liking it, but the redundancy of it made it seem like I was running an ultra-marathon instead of enjoying a nice long run. Yes, I'm being humorous, but the problem is that Matt Fitzgerald really repeated things over and over and over and over again and again. The history of running and why LSD is now the way to give you the best results was great in the beginning.

However, from that point on he kept repeating, now wait for it, "You should
...more
Chloe Noland
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've always loved Matt Fitzgerald's tips and techniques for runners, specifically his nutritional advice and brain-training formula. After a couple of setbacks due to injuries, my running goals have plateaued a bit lately, and I picked this up on a whim, knowing that Fitzgerald is a wealth of good information and resources. I wasn't expecting to want to change my entire approach to the sport after reading this, but it totally has happened! He goes into amazing detail on the main reason why recre ...more
Sagar Chamoli
3.5 Stars

Well, so back to back this has been my second book in running. The first one was Ready to Run by Kelly Starrett which was disappointing. Though this book was better but overall it is still an average read.

Let's start with the good pointers. Personally the biggest takeaway for me from this book was the 80:20 rule to be applied in running. What it means is that if you run for 10 minutes, 8 minutes should be with low intensity whereas 2 minutes should be with higher intensity. This may sou
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Samantha Sprole
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book revolutionized the way I train. The two main exercise factors to consider are volume/mileage and intensity, and, generally speaking, the aim of the 80/20 method is to increase your capacity for greater volumes of high-performance exercise by executing 80% of your workouts at low-intensity (heart rate zones 1 and 2) and 20% of your workouts at moderate- (zone 3) or high-intensity (zones 4 and 5). Executing the 80/20 workouts optimally requires continual self-monitoring of perceived effo ...more
Thomas
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The main idea behind this book that runners should complete 80% of their training at a low intensity and 20% of their training at moderate or high intensity. This is something that I need to implement better in my running/half-marathon training (I think I'm more of a 60/40 runner). Now I'm also convinced that the 80/20 method is the best way to develop fatigue resistance in training. I'm specifically going to use heart rate monitoring for low-intensity training and pace for moderate to high inte ...more
Keely
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
In 80/20 Running, fitness pro Matt Fitzgerald makes a compelling case for a high volume, mostly low intensity approach to distance running and other endurance sports. This approach was first promoted by New Zealand runner Arthur Lydiard in the 1950s and '60s, and later confirmed by exercise scientists such as Stephen Seiler. The principle of mostly low-intensity training is one I've heard about from other runners and dabbled in more and more in the past year, but Fitzgerald's well-supported expl ...more
Andrew Chandler
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-selfhelp
As a new runner, there is lots of advice out there. Lots and lots of it. As a new runner who recently went through an Achilles tear, and the resulting surgery, I can say I really appreciate the advice given in this book.

The title and preface give you a lot of advice early on, and from that you can easily guess what their recommendations are, but the majority of this books breaks down the science and study of running and how it fits into the suggested running presented in this book. I am working
...more
Michael Driscoll
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty short book overall to read, and yet definitely padded. The book's basic whole philosophy is to get you to run slower more often then HIIT. Personally I felt the science section wasn't expanded on enough to really *prove* the case. It was mostly anecdotal, though compelling, data that this is the workout style most elite runners use. But I'd love some more graphs and analyses of the actual biology of why it works.

Anyway, by far the most important section are the actual running plans. Other
...more
Geoff
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fitness books often have this air to them that gives the reader a sense of non commitment if they're not willing to dedicate their lives to the sport they're reading to learn more about improving in. This book fails on that front less than most.

Like all books of this sort of ilk, 80/20 expects you to fully dive into its methodology. I understand this going I'm. So you read these things with a grain of salt.

Given that my training regiment is slightly different than many, I have to take everything
...more
Patrick Tucker
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: skills, 2018, outdoors, fitness
The first 60 or so pages were great. Lots of background on this history of training and the evolution of this method. After that it got further and further away from useful for me.

Writing as someone with a lot of years of reading dense training information and scientific papers, this book had me bored to tears. VO2Max this. Training volume that. After getting through the information heavy sections I think the real disappointment is the training plans are equally confusing and dense.

If you are a
...more
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Matt Fitzgerald is the author of numerous books on sports history and endurance sports. He has enjoyed unprecedented access to professional endurance athletes over the course of his career. His best-sellers include Racing Weight and Brain Training for Runners. He has also written extensively for Triathlete, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Outside, Runner's World, Bicycling, Competitor, and countless ...more

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