top of page

The 80-20 Running Rule | Find Your Stride | Edinburgh Podiatrist


Effective training is a crucial aspect of achieving optimal performance for endurance running. Aspiring runners, both amateurs and professionals alike, are continuously seeking ways to maximise their endurance and speed. One approach that has gained significant attention in recent years is the 80-20 running rule. This rule suggests that training should consist of a balanced mix of easy runs and intense workouts, with 80% of the training time spent at low intensity levels. In this blog post, we will delve into the 80-20 running rule, its benefits, and its potential limitations.

The 80-20 running rule stems from research conducted by exercise scientists and training experts, the rule asserts that runners should spend 80% of their training time on low-intensity workouts while dedicating the remaining 20% to higher-intensity exercises. The goal is to strike a balance that allows for active recovery while simultaneously challenging the body's physical thresholds. By emphasising the importance of easy runs and incorporating moderate to high-intensity workouts in a disciplined manner, runners can enhance their overall performance and minimise the risk of injuries.

Runner takes to the streets
Have you heard of the 80-20 rule for endurance running?

What are the benefits?

Adhering to the 80-20 running rule offers several significant advantages. First and foremost, dedicating the majority of training time to low-intensity workouts helps build an aerobic base. This increases the runner's endurance capacity, allowing for more extended periods of sustained effort. Furthermore, easy runs promote active recovery, aiding in muscle repair and preventing burnout. On the other hand, allocating a portion of the training plan to high-intensity sessions contributes to improving speed, lactate threshold, and VO2 max levels. By incorporating focused interval training, runners can efficiently challenge their bodies and simulate race-like conditions.

Potential Limitations

Despite its merits, it is important to acknowledge the potential limitations of the 80-20 running rule. For certain competitive athletes specializing in short-distance races, a more balanced approach with increased emphasis on high-intensity workouts may be warranted. Additionally, individual variances in fitness levels and goals make it necessary to customize the training regimen accordingly. It is vital for runners to consult with coaches or professionals who can provide guidance tailored to their specific needs and aspirations.


The 80-20 running rule, a concept grounded in scientific research, is a valuable framework for endurance runners looking to optimise their training routines. By dedicating the majority of time to low-intensity workouts and selectively incorporating high-intensity exercises, runners can strike a balance that maximises their performance potential while minimising the risk of injury. However, it is crucial to recognise that individual variances and personal objectives might require adaptations to this rule. Consultation with professional coaches and a personalised approach remain essential in tailoring training plans to meet specific fitness goals. Embracing the 80-20 running rule effectively can elevate an endurance runner's performance and serve as a valuable tool in attaining their desired results.

Find Your Stride!

5 views0 comments


bottom of page