Single Workout Volume

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    Discovered 80/20 via a route that first put me on to Maffetone a few weeks ago and then eventually to buying your 80/20 triathlon book. Boy was I surprised to find out how incorrect my training was even for managing 5:31 1/2 irons at 54. My question about aerobic training sessions: is there a minimum amount of time for an aerobic workout to bring benefits. For the past few weeks I’ve been doing MAF based runs and rides of 45-60 minutes 6 days a week. I’ll be transitioning to 80/20 workouts as I make my way through the book but was just wondering for a single workout to build aerobic capacity how long it needs to be.

    David Warden


    Great to hear you are enjoying the book! I look forward to hearing about your results.

    Yes, 30-35 minutes pf Zone 1-2 appears to be the “maximum effective dose” for many aerobic training benefits. However, that duration does not capture the full spectrum of the specificity behind training. “Benefits” are almost always event specific. A 3-hour bike ride is really a minimum aerobic requirement for 70.3 training, but completely unnecessary for Olympic training. A 2-hour run is a minimum long aerobic run for Marathon training, but overkill for 10K training.

    So, to answer your direct question, if I were to do a back-of-the napkin minimum weekly Zone 1-2 aerobic run workout by distance, it would be the following:

    (run only)
    5K – 45 minutes
    10K – 1 hour
    HM – 1.5 hours
    Marathon – 2 hours
    Sprint – 1 hour
    Olympic 1.5 hour
    70.3 – 2 hours
    IM – 2 hours


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