8020 for Middle Distance

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    I know that 8020 doesn’t have any plans targeting middle distance, but wondering if anyone here has done some middle distance training with 8020 as the base, maybe customized the hard workouts for the target distance?

    Middle distance is where I feel the strongest and I think in my next round starting in May and over the summer, I’m going to focus on 800 meters and/or the mile. I wish 8020 had some plans, but I figure I might take a 5k plan and make some adjustments for some track workouts.

    Anyways, love to hear from anyone who has done something similar πŸ™‚


    You might want to consider the running faster plans. The plan isn’t specifically for the distances you are wanting, but it did help me pick up speed, which I assume is your end goal.




    You can also try the Stride Academy Plan. I don’t see it offered for purchase any longer, but I think you can still have it applied with a subscriber plan.

    I’ve used it a couple of times. It’s not distance based, and the Level II plan has been a nice fit when I just wanted to stay active with a balanced program.

    Where you might benefit is the speed/strength focus. The plan includes; strides, drills & plyos, cadence workouts, hill workouts, and shoe cue workouts (the inserts are helpful, but not necessary).



    Hey Andrew and Charles πŸ™‚ Thanks for the replies! The Run Faster and Stride Academy plans look great for what they are, but still aren’t in the ballpark of what I need/want. The Run Faster plans don’t look like they target the training distances needed for 800 meters or the mile (100-400 meter repeats for example), and the Stride Academy definitely doesn’t, though I have already added in running drills and I will be adding in plyometrics along with continued focused strength training. Those are big components, but I still need to the targeted workouts for the specific race distances.

    ShoeCue seems intriguing and I’ll have to give that a try sometime!

    I’m taking the 8020 coaching certification course, and I’m feeling fluent enough that I can hack together speed workouts for 2 days a week and keep the foundation and endurance runs the same, maintaining 8020 balance. But of course, I’d love for the team to create a few plans for middle distance one day πŸ™‚

    Interesting data note: My fastest 800 and mile recorded was last August during an all-out mile test. Since then I’ve repeatedly set PRs for everything from 5k-10k, in races and workouts (the latter is a standout point here). I’ve only raced 5ks, aside from my only ever half-marathon in October. For 5k, 5 mile, and 10k, in TP it’s a continual upward trajectory of data points. I haven’t had a single point of data for mile or 800 since last August, even though I obviously know I would beat my time easily, which I’ll test later this month.

    But point is that the 8020 workouts don’t ever target these in workouts, otherwise I definitely would have beaten my times from last summer, even more so because I’m stronger the shorter the distance goes. So, I both need targeted workout and to start at least TT these periodically for myself.

    That being said, training at 8020 5k plans has been essential and really the very best for me as I have as strong foundation, especially doing things that are my kryponite like tempo runs πŸ˜› I’m ready to now go in and kick some butt in my strong areas.

    Anyways, guess I’ll experiment and report back! πŸ™‚


    You can find some general guidelines for the shorter distances here: https://www.coloradotrackclub.com/training-plans.

    Personally, I find the individual workouts understandable but putting them together into a workable plan is difficult. That’s why I’m here.

    Interested to hear your experience with the coaching schooling and if it helps putting together custom plans.


    Oh yeah, found Colorado Track Club last month in doing some research, great nerdy stuff on there!

    I’m with you on the individual workouts and getting them into a workable plan. One big difference it doesn’t make much sense to program them is as a structured workout because the GPS won’t be accurate tracking 100, 200, 400 meters. I definitely like going on auto-pilot and having my watch trigger me. But I think with how recovery is integrated, which can often just literally be resting still or walking, I think they’ll be enough space to hit the lap button, but I’ll need to take a piece of paper with me.

    Easy thing for this is that 8020 team considers a full section of intervals to be in the 20% category, including any recovery/rests. So I think it’ll be easy to calculate, but definitely takes a little more effort than the using the plans out of the gate.

    Coaching course has definitely been insightful and helpful for me as an athlete, let alone helping others. Giving it an easy 5/5 stars so far πŸ™‚


    You could ask ChatGPT to create a plan for you. As an experiment I asked it to create a 10 week plan for a half marathon using the 80/20 principals. It created it based on time, but I also asked to create one based on mileage. One of the consistent themes was the use of repeats for all the speed work (i.e. 5×800 at 5K pace or 5×2 minutes at 5K pace).

    You won’t be able to load it to TrainingPeaks or your watch, but if you have a premium TrainingPeaks subscription, you could easily create them.

    Personally I will not be using the ChatGPT plan, but it was a fun experiment.

    I am also taking the coaching certification class. I’m just waiting for them to approve my SafeSports certification so I can take the final tests. I’ve really enjoyed it and a few of my friends have volunteered to be my first athletes.


    @maddenap ah, thanks for the idea! I’ve been having a lot of fun with ChatGPT, and I find it pretty useful for things I have experience with already, but wanting to bat around some ideas, or synthesize some info. I’m definitely going to feed it some info specifically for the speed days for 800 meter training, see what it spits out.

    Congrats on almost being done with the certification! I’ve been moving along slowly, but super looking forward to getting some friends to volunteer πŸ™‚


    Let me know how it works, I’m curious to hear how it handled the principal of specificity.


    Gave it it go with a pretty specific prompt:

    “I want you to provide me with a 9 week endurance training plan for racing 800 meters. I will be training 5 days/week. However, I only need you to give my workouts for 2 days out of the 5. The 2 days should be speed workouts. The other 3 days I will do easy endurance runs, and I already have those workouts. Also, keep in mind that I am 45 years old, but I am also an experienced runner.”

    Basically, I just want some ideas for the speed workouts, and I’ve read a bunch on 800 meter workouts plus did them in HS, so wanted to see how it responded to that.

    Sample of a few weeks it gave me for just the speed workouts:

    Week 1
    Day 1: 6×200 meters at 800m goal pace with 200m jog recovery
    Day 3: 3×400 meters at slightly slower than 800m goal pace with 400m jog recovery

    Week 2
    Day 1: 6×200 meters at 800m goal pace with 150m jog recovery
    Day 3: 4×400 meters at slightly slower than 800m goal pace with 400m jog recovery

    So, yeah, ballpark for sure. I followed up and asked why it didn’t give any 100m repeats in the plan, to test it, gave a decent answer:

    “The reason I didn’t include 100-meter repeats in the plan is that the focus was primarily on developing endurance and race-specific speed for the 800-meter distance. However, incorporating 100-meter repeats can be beneficial for improving your speed and stride efficiency, which can also be helpful for your overall performance in the 800-meter race.”

    Then gave me a few example workouts to swap.

    In the end, not going to use it, and no competition having a coach create a plan is a million times better right now, but I imagine if I fed it a lot of specific starting info from good resources and asked it to crunch the data, it might spit out something decent.

    But 800 meters feels like it really needs to be tailored to the athlete. Googling for plans gives few options, mainly the results focus on types of workouts, different strategies to training. Too many variables for stock plans probably, though I think the 8020 team would knock it out of the park with some different level options.

    Decided I’m going to use 8020 plans for my base, and then swap out a few days for some structured 800 meter workouts from some other TP plan sources, match me where I’m currently at. Bit of a jigsaw puzzle, but going to see if I can put it together lol.


    Interesting discussion, but I’m a skeptic. It’s not real AI.

    I like your approach to tweak the 5k Plan. For ideas you can look at your power duration curve on Stryd, specifically section 3 of the energy systems report and select a couple of key workouts to target the left side of your curve.

    Training Peaks, the 80/20 Plans and Workout Library the Stryd Power Center are a powerful combination for coaches and athletes personalize their training.

    If you have had a good training segment with one of the 80/20 race plans I would suggest you look a Stride for that date range, and you will get a pretty good idea of what workouts you might want to tailor to shift the curve.

    Good luck.


    Thanks Charles! Yeah, Stryd is at the top of my wish list, hoping to get one relatively soon, think it will be super helpful for this training.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    I would be happy to create a custom mid-D plan for anyone who wants one. Probably better than what ChatGPT will give you. Email me at matt@8020endurance.com if interested.


    @Matt Fitzgerald awesome! infinitely better πŸ™‚ Going to email you now.

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