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Understanding the 80/20 Running Method

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Understanding the 80/20 Running Method:

A Comprehensive Guide

Hey there, fellow runners! Today, we're diving deep into the 80/20 Running Method, a strategy that's been generating quite a buzz in the running community. If you're interested in optimizing your performance while minimizing the risk of injuries, stick around because this is a topic you won't want to miss.

What is the 80/20 Running Method?

The 80/20 Running Method was popularized by renowned exercise scientist Stephen Seiler, and it's quite straightforward in its principle. The idea is that 80% of your running should be at a low intensity, while the remaining 20% should be at moderate to high intensity. It sounds simple, but the magic is in the balance it provides between effort and recovery.

Why Low Intensity?

When we say low intensity, we're talking about running at a pace where you can easily hold a conversation. (Usually 1-2 min/mile slower than your race pace.) It may seem counterintuitive, but lower intensity running helps you build endurance, improve fat metabolism, and, yes, even speed. It's about "training smarter, not harder."

Why is the 80/20 Method a Good Idea?

Lower Risk of Injury

Running hard all the time increases the risk of injury. When 80% of your mileage is low-intensity, you're giving your body the rest it needs to recover and build strength over time.

Improved Overall Performance

The 20% high-intensity training ensures that you're also building speed, power, and performance. This blend of intensities makes you a more well-rounded runner.

Psychological Benefits

Let's face it, constantly pushing yourself to the limit can be mentally draining. The 80/20 method allows you more relaxed running, making your training more sustainable and enjoyable in the long run.

How to Implement the 80/20 Running Method?

Step 1: Assess Your Current Running Schedule

Take a good look at your current training plan. How much of your running is done at a low intensity? You may be surprised to find out it's less than you think.

More on Zone 2 training: here.

Step 2: Recalibrate Your Training Plan

Make the necessary adjustments to ensure you're sticking to the 80/20 ratio. Utilize tools like heart rate monitors or pace calculators to ensure you're hitting the correct intensity.

Step 3: The 20% High-Intensity Workouts

Incorporate interval training, tempo runs, or hill sprints for the high-intensity part of your training. Make sure these sessions are well-spaced throughout the week to allow for proper recovery.

Step 4: Consistency is Key

It might take a bit of time to adapt to this new training paradigm, but be patient. Consistency is vital to experiencing the full range of benefits the 80/20 method offers. More on becoming a consistent runner: here.

Step 5: Reap the Rewards

Over time, you'll notice improved endurance, speed, and possibly even a newfound love for running. And who doesn't want that?

I dive deeper into the different types of runs here:

So there you have it! The 80/20 Running Method is a powerful tool for any runner looking to enhance their performance and reduce injury.

Are you considering giving it a try? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

🏃‍♂️ Run happy 🏃‍♀️


Want more help?

Wednesday Nov 1st - we are holding our last workshop of the year. This is very hands on! Come ready to learn not only how to run more efficiently but what YOU can to do help YOUR running form.


The 🩸 blood 🩸 does not lie. Want o find out what your true training zones are, so help with your 80/20 training plan? Lactate testing is the answer for you!

(We only do these 1-2 times a month. DM/email/text to get on the next round schedule.)


Other programs to help you

Join our Running Workshop here!


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Join our online 12-week strength program here!

I'll be posting more ideas this week on my IG & FB accounts

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