80/20 5k to 50m in 14 months success and what’s next?

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    I’d like to start with a huge thank you to Matt, David and any other contributors to the training and online help. I was introduced to 80/ in September of 2020, at which time I could barely complete a 5k without walking. Previous injuries put me into a hole I couldn’t climb out of because every time I started running I overdid it and re-injured myself.

    Anyway, my friend had me read the 80/20 book and I decided to try a 10k plan. Upon finishing that plan, basically being zero to 10k in 12 weeks, I cut 10 minutes off a timed 5 mile at work, putting me well into the passing zone.

    I then decided I kind of like this, and went straight to a HM plan, and after doing so, crushed my HM goal of 2 hrs at 1:49.

    Then, the guy who got me into this talked me into the avalon benefit 50M, which I followed a level 2 ultra plan and finished yesterday in 9:51. I want to say first that there was no point in the race that I did not feel FULLY prepared for 50 mile based on the training. You folks at 80/20 have absolutely perfecting these training plans. I may be laid up in bed dreading a recovery run right not but I want to say thank you for taking me from literally 0 to 50 miles in less than 14 months.

    Next is my training question on what plan to hit next. Here’s the deal, I’m military and need to maintain my strength. I put 100% focus into running for the last year and never touched my garage gym as a result. I need to incorporate that back in to some realistic degree, but I want to start training for a 100k. Which plan would you recommend to allow to me hit the gym and or swim 3x a week without being overburdened? I could add about 30 min to the level 2 daily training times and call it “my fitness time” if that helps your recommendation. I just no longer have time to do full 2x a day workouts with kids and everything.

    Long story short, fitness wise I’m interested in increasing my ultra fitness and my strength (which I have a 15 year base in so I don’t need a ton of time) also have a fully outfitted garage gym. So a run can finish with a lifting session or vice versa.

    Thanks in advance for the advice and thanks again for writing plans that have taken me somewhere I never thought I could go in life.


    I don’t see an edit button. One other note is that I did not get any faster for the ultra plan, likely as it’s more focused on endurance. I don’t hate the idea of doing a plan to build up some speed (I’m REALLY slow, zone 2 is 9:11-10:30) then building endurance based on that

    David Warden


    Thank you so much for the kind comments! You made my day, and I had a really good day already before I saw this. Always nice to hear about another success story.

    Based on your comments, I recommend either the Level 1 or Level 2 plan plus the Premium strength plan. You will modify the plan by replacing 1-2 of your runs with swimming using the cross-training section of our document https://www.8020endurance.com/understanding-your-8020-run-plan/

    With the Level 2 plan, you’d be replacing 3 of 7 runs with swim. With the Level 1 plan, it would be 3 of 6 runs. Both of those make me a little nervous, as you should be running a minimum of 5x per week. So, I think the best option is the Level 2 replacing 2 runs and adding 1, so you are running 5 and swimming 3.

    The Premium strength plan will give you the strength you’ve ben missing.


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