Running is a great way to stay fit and healthy. It’s an excellent cardiovascular exercise that helps you lose weight, improve your mood, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
The 80/20 Rule in Running
The 80/20 rule in running is a training principle that suggests that 80% of your running should be done at a low intensity, while the remaining 20% should be high intensity.
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a concept that suggests that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Applied to running, this means that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your training. In practical terms, this means that you should focus 80% of your running training on easy and moderate intensity runs, while dedicating 20% of your training time to high-intensity workouts such as tempo runs, intervals, and hill repeats. Easy runs build your aerobic base and help you recover from harder workouts, while high-intensity workouts improve your speed, endurance, and muscular strength. Balancing both types of training can help you avoid injury, improve your running form, and achieve your running goals. It’s important to note that the exact ratio of easy to high-intensity workouts may vary depending on your fitness level, goals, and training plan. Consulting with a running coach or a qualified fitness professional can help you develop a personalized training plan that suits your needs and abilities.
Low-intensity running involves keeping your heart rate at a low level for an extended period. This type of running is useful for building endurance, improving your aerobic capacity, and burning fat.
High-intensity running involves running at a high intensity for a short period. This type of running is useful for improving your speed, power, and anaerobic capacity.
The Benefits of the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is an effective way to train for runners of all levels. It helps you avoid overtraining, reduces the risk of injury, and improves your performance.
How to Apply the 80/20 Rule
To apply the 80/20 rule in running, you need to track your heart rate during your runs. You can use a heart rate monitor or a smartphone app to measure your heart rate. To calculate your low-intensity zone, you need to take 180 minus your age. This number is your maximum aerobic heart rate. Your low-intensity zone is 70-80% of your maximum aerobic heart rate. For high-intensity running, you need to run at 90-95% of your maximum heart rate for a short period.
Here are some steps you can follow to apply the 80/20 rule to your running routine:
- Determine your training goals: Before you can apply the 80/20 rule, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your running. Are you training for a race? Are you looking to improve your endurance or speed? Understanding your goals will help you develop a training plan that’s tailored to your needs.
- Calculate your training time: How much time do you have available to dedicate to running each week? This will help you determine how many easy and high-intensity workouts you can fit into your schedule.
- Allocate your training time: As a general rule of thumb, aim to devote about 80% of your running time to low-intensity, easy runs, and 20% of your time to high-intensity workouts. For example, if you’re running five days a week, you could schedule four easy runs and one high-intensity workout.
- Choose your workouts: There are many different types of easy and high-intensity workouts you can incorporate into your routine, such as easy runs, long runs, tempo runs, intervals, and hill repeats. Choose workouts that align with your goals and fitness level.
- Track your progress: Keep track of your workouts, including the duration, intensity, and distance covered. Regularly reviewing your progress can help you adjust your training plan as needed and stay motivated.
Remember, the 80/20 rule is just a guideline. The exact ratio of easy to high-intensity workouts may vary depending on your fitness level, goals, and training plan. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust your training plan as needed to avoid injury and achieve your goals.
Example of Applying the 80/20 Rule
Let’s say you are a 35-year-old runner. Your maximum aerobic heart rate is 145 (180-35). Your low-intensity zone is 101-116 (70-80% of 145). You can run at this intensity for 80% of your training time. For the remaining 20%, you can run at a high intensity, such as sprint intervals.
Here’s an example of how you can apply the 80/20 rule to a weekly running schedule:
|Monday||Easy run||Low||45 minutes|
|Tuesday||Interval workout||High||30 minutes|
|Thursday||Tempo run||High||45 minutes|
|Friday||Easy run||Low||30 minutes|
|Saturday||Long run||Low||90 minutes|
In this example, you can see that 80% of the weekly running schedule (Monday, Friday, and Saturday) is devoted to low-intensity, easy runs, while 20% of the time (Tuesday and Thursday) is devoted to high-intensity workouts. The Sunday and Wednesday rest days are important for recovery and injury prevention.
Again, it’s important to adjust the specific ratio of easy to high-intensity workouts based on your fitness level and training goals. This is just one example of how you can apply the 80/20 rule to your running routine.
The 80/20 rule is an excellent training principle for runners of all levels. By following this rule, you can improve your endurance, speed, and overall performance while minimizing the risk of injury and overtraining. Remember to track your heart rate during your runs to ensure you are training at the right intensity.