The 80/20 Endurance training method has come full circle. As you know, the plans we offer are based on research into how elite endurance athletes train. It was only a matter of time before a true (as in professional-caliber) elite athlete started following one of these plans, and at least one athlete we know of is now doing so.
Juliana Nievergelt became a professional triathlete way back in 1984, at age 24. She had a successful career that was highlighted by a second-place finish at the 1987 World Championships in Perth, five top-10 finishes at the Ironman World Championships, and a ninth-place finish at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials at age 40, 18 months after the birth of her second child. Now 61, Juliana, who lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, is making a comeback after a four-year competitive hiatus, and she’s chosen to pursue her new goals they same way you pursue yours—with 80/20 training plans.
“I felt I knew myself well enough as an athlete and person to try a program that was somewhat self-guided,” she says of her decision not to work with a one-on-one coach this time around. So far, no regrets. Last month Juliana finished first in her age group and 23rd overall at Ironman Chattanooga with a blistering time of 5:05:25. Here’s a pro tip from a triathlon pioneer who, nearly 40 years on, is still pioneering: “If you are self-motivated and take the time to do a little research, it is a great program. I have been coached by some very high-end coaches, and I feel that 80/20 is just as beneficial without the price tag.”