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80/20 Rule -- Is This a Meme?

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80/20 Rule -- Is This a Meme?

Old 04-14-19, 11:53 AM
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dooner90
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80/20 Rule -- Is This a Meme?

What's the group consensus on the 80/20 rule? For those not familiar, it's a training regimen which suggests that the athlete train their body at a slow, slow rate for the duration of their exorcise (80%), while exerting themselves maximally for the remaining 20% of the exorcise. Has anyone tried this practice for an event? Cat V, Triathlon, etc.?

*My girlfriend got me a book on this subject and instead of returning the book (because it sounds like BS) I figured I'd at least ask others for advice first.

Thanks
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Old 04-14-19, 12:06 PM
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Old 04-14-19, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dooner90 View Post
What's the group consensus on the 80/20 rule? For those not familiar, it's a training regimen which suggests that the athlete train their body at a slow, slow rate for the duration of their exorcise (80%), while exerting themselves maximally for the remaining 20% of the exorcise. Has anyone tried this practice for an event? Cat V, Triathlon, etc.?

*My girlfriend got me a book on this subject and instead of returning the book (because it sounds like BS) I figured I'd at least ask others for advice first.

Thanks
i haven't tried. this is scary
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Old 04-14-19, 01:53 PM
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I assume this is the same as plans many runners and triathletes use. If so the way the question is worded, some might not understand. The rule applies over a long period like weekly or monthly. 80% is slow and easy and the rest is moderately difficult to hard. With running and 60 mile weeks, you could do a 10K race and and some intervals. The rest is at a comfortable talking pace.
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Old 04-14-19, 03:58 PM
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Dunno. I've tried all kinds of training programs. What works best for me is the fartlek concept used by some long distance runners. Besides suiting the terrain I ride, it also emulates the natural ebb and flow of group rides. And it has "fart" in it. How could it go wrong?

I do occasional HIIT sessions, but only at home on the trainer. I take a rest day after those short, intense sessions. Mostly interval training helps me keep up with surges on semi-fast group rides so I don't lose the draft and get dropped. "Fast" for me is 16+ mph average over distance. At my age with some health problems and injuries, my A-group 20+ mph rides are long gone.
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Old 04-14-19, 04:50 PM
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Relationship hint- don't "return" the book or tell your girlfriend you think it's BS. Nothing to be gained and it's just rude. Thank her and if you feel compelled to give an opinion, tell her you found it interesting.
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Old 04-14-19, 08:19 PM
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Numbers aside, moderate (not low) intensity time is worthwhile. You can't go full gas all the time. And if you only rode when you could give it all you've got, you wouldn't be getting enough volume. I think that's the basic premise.

How much time at what intensity is a pretty individual thing based on how fit you are, your goals, your age and recovery capacity, and what you had for dinner last Tuesday.
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Old 04-14-19, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dooner90 View Post
Thanks for the advice, baby boomer. Now answer the question that I originally posted or go back to your grateful dead collection.
Wow. The advice was meant in good faith.
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Old 04-14-19, 08:43 PM
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Definitely real. Polarized training is definitely a legit thing. A lot, likely a significant majority, of pros train this way. Stephen Seiler has done a lot of work on this. You can see a presentation by him in an embedded video int this article (and the article is pretty good too).
https://philwilks.com/polarized-trai...n-b334eb99e440

As that article said, it may not be the best way for someone to train when time constrained. In general, there's a limit to how much intense work one can do in a week, but low intensity work can be increased significantly before running into issues. If someone has a lot of time to train, like a pro who's full time job is training and recovering from training, they simply add more and more low intensity volume to their program. For someone who is riding, say, 6-8 hours a week, it probably isn't the best idea.
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Old 04-15-19, 02:44 AM
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There's some very useful info on this thread from a few years ago.
https://www.bikeforums.net/training-...hile-back.html

I posted this case study of a 'fringe' pro rider on that thread

Very short version: former Norwegian pro soccer player, Knut Anders Fostervold, took up cycling and, after training very intensely for a couple years, he did "well" at time-trialing. After ~2.5 years of doing lots of 4min zone 5 intervals, he drastically altered his training by cutting his zone 5 stuff heaps, increasing his z4, and more than doubling his time on the bike, almost all of which was done by quadrupling his time in zone 1.

After 18 weeks of his new program, he improved markedly, and eventually got himself on the podium of the Norwegian road TT national championships, beaten only by 2 pros, one being Thor Hushovd.

Summary (sightly longer version): before his training program was modified, he was doing 45mins/week of 4min intervals in zone 5, no zone 4 stuff, some zone 3 (~30min/week), and a few hours a week in both zones 1 and 2. His new program cut the zone 5 stuff dramatically (to 5min/week), increased zone 4 from nothing to 40min/week, increased zone 3 a little, cut zone 2 work to very little (to 1hour/week), and virtually quadrupled his zone 1 work from ~4hrs/week to ~15hrs/week!!

The revised program resulted in an increase of his Vo2 by 11%, and his threshold power increased 14%!!

It should be mentioned that the guy has a naturally high VO2, and was possibly frying himself for the previous 2.5 years with all the Zone 5 intervals, right? Also, perhaps he simply needed a change and/or a 'rest'. Perhaps the intense stuff built a good foundation.

Longer version (the article):
-----------------------------------------------

Case study #1
From Soccer Pro to Elite Cyclist

Intervals, Thresholds, and Long Slow Distance: the Role of Intensity and Duration in Endurance Training

"Knut Anders Fostervold was a professional soccer player in the Norwegian elite league from 1994 to 2002. A knee injury ended his soccer career at age 30 and he decided to switch to cycling. Knut had very high natural endurance capacity and had run 5 km in 17:24 at age 12.

After 15 y of soccer training at the elite level, he adopted a highly intensive training regime for cycling that was focused on training just under or at his lactate threshold and near VO2max; for example, 2-3 weekly training sessions of 4-5 × 4 min at 95 %VO2max. Weekly training volume did not exceed 10 h.

After 2.5 years of this high-intensity, low-volume training, Fostervold initiated cooperation with the Norwegian Olympic Center, and his training program was radically reorganized. Weekly training volume was doubled from 8-10 h to 18-20. Training volume in Zone 2 was reduced dramatically and replaced with a larger volume of training in Zone 1. Training in Zone 5 was replaced with Zones 3 and 4, such that total training volume at intensities at or above lactate threshold was roughly doubled without overstressing the athlete.

The typical effective duration of interval sessions increased from ~20 min to ~ 60 min (for example 8 × 8 min at 85-90 %HRmax with 2-min recoveries). The intensity zones were initially based on heart rate but later adjusted relative to lactate and power output measurements made in the field. Table 7 shows the training intensity distribution and volume loading for the athlete during the season before and after the change in training to a high-volume program. Table 8 shows the outcome.

Table 7. Comparison of weekly training intensity distribution and total volume in 2004 season and 2005 season – Case 1.
Intensity zone

.Zone...................old program.............new prog
(%HRmax)..............hours:min..............hours:min
5 (95-100 %)............45m (8.5 %)..........0:05m (0.5 % of week)
4 (90-95 )................0..........................0:40m (4.0 %)
3 (85-90 %).............0:30m (5.5 %).......1h:00m (5.5 %)
2 (75-85 %)............3h:05m (36 %).......1h:00 (5.5 %)
1 (55-75 %)............4h:20m (50 %)......15h:20m (85 %)
Weekly totals...........8hr40m................18h:05m

Table 8. Physiological testing before and after training reorganization – Case 1.

...................Pre......after 8wks......18wks......improvement
VO2max.........81............90................88...............11 %
VO2max........6.8............7.3..............7.3................7 %
LT power......375w.........420w............440w............14 %
W/kg-1:........4.5...........5.2................5.2..............15 %

The athlete responded well to the training load amplification and reorganization. During the 2005 season, after 2.5 y performing a low-volume, high-intensity program, a season training with higher volume and lower average intensity resulted in marked physiological and performance improvement. Although the athlete’s training de-emphasized both training near his lactate threshold intensity and training at near VO2max, both of these physiological anchors improved markedly.

Fostervold won a bronze medal in the Norwegian national time-trial championships, seconds behind former world under-23 time trial champions and Tour de France stage winners Thor Hushovd and Kurt Asle Arvesen. His failure to perform even better, given his exceptionally high VO2max, was attributed to poorer cycling efficiency and aerodynamics and a lower fractional utilization at lactate threshold compared to the best professionals with many years of specific training. In 2006 and 2007 he represented Norway in the world championship time trial. His absolute VO2max in 2005 was equal to the highest ever measured in a Norwegian athlete.

'
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Old 04-15-19, 08:51 AM
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There is a book floating around called "The Time Crunched Cyclist" that, essentially, advocates dumping the 80%.

All of Trainer Road's product is built around the concept.

The cornerstone of all of it is get off the couch.
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Old 04-15-19, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Definitely real. Polarized training is definitely a legit thing. A lot, likely a significant majority, of pros train this way. Stephen Seiler has done a lot of work on this. You can see a presentation by him in an embedded video int this article (and the article is pretty good too).
https://philwilks.com/polarized-trai...n-b334eb99e440

As that article said, it may not be the best way for someone to train when time constrained. In general, there's a limit to how much intense work one can do in a week, but low intensity work can be increased significantly before running into issues. If someone has a lot of time to train, like a pro who's full time job is training and recovering from training, they simply add more and more low intensity volume to their program. For someone who is riding, say, 6-8 hours a week, it probably isn't the best idea.
this is great. Thanks
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Old 04-15-19, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CraigMBA View Post
There is a book floating around called "The Time Crunched Cyclist" that, essentially, advocates dumping the 80%.

All of Trainer Road's product is built around the concept.

The cornerstone of all of it is get off the couch.
so what do you think though? Is there any particular training style you like to use?
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Old 04-15-19, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by dooner90 View Post
so what do you think though? Is there any particular training style you like to use?
Training depends on what you want to be able to do, but also on what you enjoy doing and thus will do. I tried periodized training, but it was too boring. My favorite training is group rides with people who are faster than I. I also do interval training at various intensities.
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Old 04-15-19, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Training depends on what you want to be able to do, but also on what you enjoy doing and thus will do. I tried periodized training, but it was too boring. My favorite training is group rides with people who are faster than I. I also do interval training at various intensities.
This, IMO, is a good point. Most of us aren't super serious racers who need to optimize and plan out every last detail. Getting out and riding hard will get you most of the way there anyway, so no need to overthink things (unless you enjoy overthinking things).
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Old 04-15-19, 11:54 AM
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IMO, there's no such thing as junk miles, provided you've done an adequate amount of volume at intensity.
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Old 04-15-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigMBA View Post
There is a book floating around called "The Time Crunched Cyclist" that, essentially, advocates dumping the 80%.
*If training <6 hours/week and for events under 3 hours.
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Old 04-15-19, 12:47 PM
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I don't think there's any inherent reason to use the Pareto Distribution as the basis for a training regiment. If anything my own personal success has followed more closely to >90/<10 based on hours at effort during "training".

I also don't think maximum exertion should be measured as a percentage of total activity time. I know I have a finite amount of zone 5 riding I can do regardless of whatever other riding I've done. I race into shape every year because that's the only way I can do it. Training exhausts me so much that I'm too fatigued to race as a high form if I train more than a minuscule percentage.

Personally I'd keep the book because it was a gift but find a better training plan to follow.
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Old 04-15-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
I don't think there's any inherent reason to use the Pareto Distribution as the basis for a training regiment. If anything my own personal success has followed more closely to >90/<10 based on hours at effort during "training".

I also don't think maximum exertion should be measured as a percentage of total activity time. I know I have a finite amount of zone 5 riding I can do regardless of whatever other riding I've done. I race into shape every year because that's the only way I can do it. Training exhausts me so much that I'm too fatigued to race as a high form if I train more than a minuscule percentage.

Personally I'd keep the book because it was a gift but find a better training plan to follow.
How are you tracking this? IME as CTL goes from ~40 in the offseason to closer to 100 during peak season, the amount of zone 5 I can do in a week always increases, but the % ends up being ~8-15%. How much does your FTP vary throughout the season and is the zone 5 training based on this change?
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Old 04-15-19, 01:41 PM
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Sorry for posting this again, but it's such good advice and has worked well for me, that I almost feel obligated. It's the "one hour per week at 90%" meme, one that Race Across America champ Lon Haldeman came up with. I love its simplicity, and the fact that you don't need to buy a heart rate monitor, power meter, or even a speedometer. No excuses.

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Old 04-15-19, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dooner90 View Post
so what do you think though? Is there any particular training style you like to use?
tl,dr skip to the bottom.

Depends on how much time I have. They all work, with trade offs. If you have six hours, why not maximize it? If I have 20 hours I'm gonna do more volume, but most people have life commitments that don't allow that.

I had myself rode into shape last year, and lost two prime months in the summer to these stupid fires in Northern California. Which put me in a bad place and with a nasty respiratory infection, and I had to skip a gravel race I really wanted to ride. So I bought a Wahoo so that wouldn't happen again. Got myself back into shape by Thanksgiving. Then I got the flu. Then Christmas. Then my job imploded. Then I moved 200 miles away (and packed my power supply for my . Then it rained all of February and most of March. The interruptions are a killer.

Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
*If training <6 hours/week and for events under 3 hours.
They are pretty explicit that this is for the time constrained cyclist. In fact, I think they even put it in the title. Somewhere in the first chapter they explain the trade off between high intensity and high volume training.

Is high volume better? Probably, but definitely not if staying married, being a parent (or dealing with aging parents), and having a demanding job aren't in your other life goals.

What trade off works for you? That's the best plan for you.
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Old 04-15-19, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Sorry for posting this again, but it's such good advice and has worked well for me, that I almost feel obligated. It's the "one hour per week at 90%" meme, one that Race Across America champ Lon Haldeman came up with. I love its simplicity, and the fact that you don't need to buy a heart rate monitor, power meter, or even a speedometer. No excuses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FfA6VM7iT4
That is fantastic advice, but assuming that you did a 10 minute warm up, 5min 90% effort, 10 min off 4x and a 10 minute cool down that's still 3 hours a week of brutally hard intervals.

Physically this would be challenging enough, but IMO I would start to dread my workouts if this is all I did indoor. Outdoor into a steep climb might be a hoot.

I love that his general point. Intensity is your friend.

Last edited by CraigMBA; 04-15-19 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 04-16-19, 11:55 AM
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For the past couple decades, my LTHR has been at least 90% of my MHR, so that's not a good metric, even if you can find your MHR. I gather that he's talking about being over VT2, which is the definition for that 20% of training time in the polarized 80/20 plan as practiced by elite athletes in some Scandinavian countries.

Most of us are simply not going to be able to do that. I could never get over 10% when I was trying it because I did other stuff too. Four 8 minute climbs over VT2 is 32 minutes. I probably could have done that twice a week and then 4 hours below VT1. I really didn't want to torture myself twice a week and spend the rest of my training time on my rollers. There's not much flat around here. What I really like to do is play with my friends, just a kid at heart. IMO that stuff is for folks who are also elites like Lon..

OTOH, my main training metric is to spend 1 hour/week in zone 4, which is below VT2. Most folks call that sweet spot training. I think we can all do that and still have fun. I get at least half of that on my weekly group ride, sometimes all of it. I often get a little over-VT2 time, maybe 10 minutes a week.
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Old 04-16-19, 12:17 PM
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Excluding running, I don't average much over 5 hours a week. I tend towards intensity because I don't have time. I can contribute the following, where the zones are done by the zones in the "time crunched" book.

If you're doing the really hard intervals right, for every minute of Z5/Z6 you'll wind up with 30 sec to 1min of Z1/Z2. So, this still skews the Z1/Z2 time a little heavy.

I keep a huge spreadsheet of data and my zones over about a year by % are:
Z1 - 33%
Z2 - 28%
Z3 - 17%
Z4 - 10%
Z5 - 4%
Z6 - 8%

This is all good for the following:
5sec: 1165
1min: 500
2min: 390
5min: 347 (320)....I think the trainer/meter had dubious #'s the day I hit 347, I think the 320 is more realistic
12min: 300
20min: 300
Hour: 260.......never tried all out hour, this is just a SS workout.

It works OK for me. I wish I had time for more "base" or SS work. All of this at 70kg.
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Old 04-16-19, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Excluding running, I don't average much over 5 hours a week. I tend towards intensity because I don't have time. I can contribute the following, where the zones are done by the zones in the "time crunched" book.

If you're doing the really hard intervals right, for every minute of Z5/Z6 you'll wind up with 30 sec to 1min of Z1/Z2. So, this still skews the Z1/Z2 time a little heavy.

I keep a huge spreadsheet of data and my zones over about a year by % are:
Z1 - 33%
Z2 - 28%
Z3 - 17%
Z4 - 10%
Z5 - 4%
Z6 - 8%

This is all good for the following:
5sec: 1165
1min: 500
2min: 390
5min: 347 (320)....I think the trainer/meter had dubious #'s the day I hit 347, I think the 320 is more realistic
12min: 300
20min: 300
Hour: 260.......never tried all out hour, this is just a SS workout.

It works OK for me. I wish I had time for more "base" or SS work. All of this at 70kg.
While its useful to look at yearly totals, in terms of training for specific adaptions % of time in each zone isn't that useful if its sprinkled throughout a ride or multiple rides. Intervals of set duration/power with set rest is more important
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