Extending the training session

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    Hello 80/20 community!

    I’m targeting my first iron man 70.3 in fall and want to use the 80/20 Lvl2 plan for bike HR and run pace. As I completed my first training sessions a question came up:
    Is it okay to extend the session if I have more time or want to train a bit longer some days? For example yesterday I skipped the evening bike ride. But today I had to do an CCI1 which I extended by additional 45 minutes as I finished the training roughly halfway on my home track.

    Or example #2: I want to go on a ride with friends on a sunny saturday. As far as I understood, the best thing is to shift my trainings so I have a longer bike session planned on that day. But what if we want to ride a longer distance? Can I simply complete my training in the beginning of the joint ride or even before it and then attach the ride with friends? Or would this cause overload?

    Thanks in advance!




    Hopefully a coach or IM veteran can reply with knowledge. I could not even consider doing an iron man, but I have injured myself a few times in the past from overloading which is why I use 8020. I would be vary wary of extending the training by a significant amount (45 minutes sounds a lot to me). The whole 8020 philosophy is about doing most of your training at a relatively easy level. An if you extend your session one day then you need to make sure you ease off the next day, which might impact the day after that. So moving things around is possible but it all gets a bit complicated quite quickly :-). Having said all that, low impact leisure cycling will be less of an issue than running as it is less stress on the body.

    Its common for the first few weeks to feel easy as they are designed to be as you get used to the system. I expect you will find it more challenging over the following weeks.


    Hello FatDad,

    your last note makes a lot of sense! I guess the training is not as hard as I would like it to be, but I guess you’re right: in the beginning I should get used to the rhythm of the plan.

    My biggest ‘concern’ is in fact the cycling… I like to take a group ride with some friends and if I would strictly follow the plan, there would be no option the whole season long to do those kind of rides.


    Personally I would weave in the cycle with friends. Just see how you feel the next day after the first one and back off for a day or so if needed.

    It’s meant to be fun occasionally 🙂

    Leyla Porteous

    Hey Constantin,

    If you feel you can add more volume to your weekly training then going up a level in the plans will allow you to do that without jeopardizing the 80/20 Intensity balance built into our plans.

    That being said, adding occasional additional low intensity volume to some sessions is not a huge issue, but taking shorter intensity sessions and pushing them to ver 90mins does impact the training load and nutritional requirements for the session – which overtime could lead to over-training, and/or impact future sessions. If you can maintain the overall balance of the training week, and keep an eye on your progression and weekly volume or any one sport (running in particular) progression – you can avoid overload issues.

    Hope thats helpful advice.


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