80:20 training is a lie?

Interesting episode from GTN this week, thoughts?

I think Seiler beat them to it with his own modification towards a two zone 80% easy/ 20% hard model.


Seiler says that in practice his athletes train pyramidal. Not sure why they didn’t mention that.


I don’t see it as a Lie, more a miss interpretation of what Seiler said, as far as I can tell (and I’ve only watched a couple of Seiler interview, and not the one above), Seiler is saying that you should ride as much as possible, and add in as much intensity as you can, to the level where you can repeat the following week, for the Norwegian cross country skiers where this was observed by Seiler, the ratio is about 80:20 … and everybody has hung off the 80:20 ignoring the rest (which is the important part)

But that’s my opinion, and maybe I over simplify things


I know he said that when you look at the heart rate distribution of Polarised training it looks pyramidal.

Thus you could see a 80/20 split of easy / hard sessions. But if you examined heart rate distribution over the period it’d look pyramidal.

Or you know in actual cyclists where seiler has maintained from the beginning that they train more pyramidal

Cycling-intensity-and-volume-of-elite-Spanish-U23-cyclists-training-in-the-period (1)



Click bait titles all around.


Very feisty and contrarian weekend on the TR Forum.


Is the 80% defined as what’s below your 1-hr power or is the 20% above your FTP?

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Yes its BS.
Devil is in the detail.

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I thought it was if you could make it passed the letter J when reciting the alphabet then you’re in the 80

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GCN/GTN/GMBN/etc. have been abusing the clickbait more lately for sure, but I guess they’re over a decade old now and it’s hard to get clicks rehashing the same shit over and over again.


No, it isn’t.



People finished off dry January and they’re now ready to fight


Dry January reduces the threshold for it.


Just to add to that: Seiler uses hard in two ways, one in the above/below FTP sense (Z2 and Z1 of 2), and two in the sense whether or not you can recover from a ride within a day (= easy) or not (= hard). A 5-hour endurance ride will be a hard ride for many.

(This is one of my gripes with Seiler: many of his pieces of advice are good if seen from the perspective as a coach, but he lacks the necessary precision for a scientist who is an expert in the field.)

That’s just Quantum Superposition nature of Polarised. Hard and easy at the same time till someone observes you then the probability wave collapses into one or the other.


I would love to train 80% at z2 and 20% at or above my FTP. However, no one can agree what those numbers are or how to achieve them. So I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing until the internet hashes out the semantics.


The original term 80:20 was not coined by seiler it was matt Fitzgerald and is not intended to mean simply polarized, but that 20% could be any kind of truly hard work.

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In chapter 7 of his book, “Running Formula”, Jack Daniels discusses how the 80:20 principle applied to running: “By following this principle, 80% of training efforts should be run at an easy aerobic volume while the remaining 20% should be done at high intensity. When combined together, this type of training yields the best results and allows runners to stay injury free.”

This book was 1992, did Matt write something earlier?