Shawna Pitts

Shawna Pitts

“Okay, I’ve gone from couch to 5K. Now what?”

For Shawna Pitts, the answer to this common question was running a marathon, and then a deep dive into trail running, and then a pivot toward triathlons, where she’s made a home for herself, athletically speaking. Before she completed that first 5K, Shawna hated running, but now, at 42, she couldn’t imagine giving it up any more than she could imagine giving up her husband, Zach, their two children, or her work as a concierge shopper.

Her discovery of 80/20 came about as a disguised blessing of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shawna and Zach both had completed Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga three times, using cut-rate internet training plans each time and getting predictably underwhelming results. The postponement of the 2020 race to this year gave the couple time to get their hunger back and try something different, which for Shawna turned out to be a Level 2 80/20 Ironman 70.3 plan.

The results were not underwhelming. “I was more prepared for Chattanooga than I had ever been for any race,” Shawna says. Despite a few mishaps, including the loss of her bike nutrition, she met her goal of breaking six hours for the first time, crossing the finish line in 5:54:43, good for 29th place in her age group.

Still hungry, Shawna now wants to see what the 80/20 system can do for her running. In a sense, though, she already knows. “I have no doubt with continued Zone 2 and 80/20 run training, I will continue to become a stronger runner and more well-rounded triathlete,” she predicts. “Pretty awesome stuff!”