Sports come in many varieties, but all of them develop a single, athletic mindset that is transferable from one sport to another. Hailey Higgins discovered this when she started running in her mid-30s after previously training, teaching, and performing as a classical ballet dancer. Says the married mother of four boys from Hampshire, England: “I think my ballet background really helped me [transition to running]. I love the feel of a hard speed session and I often compare ballet training to running training in the psychological challenges.”
The only problem was that, lacking any background in running, Hailey didn’t know how to train properly for the sport. Despite being relatively young and healthy, she needed two days to recover from each run, and she got injured often. Only after she discovered heart rate training, and through it the 80/20 approach, did Hailey learn what she’d been doing wrong. “I quickly realized, I was only ever working on speed,” she says. “Every run I went on was aiming for a new PB or finding a segment to improve. I absolutely loved races and started getting placed now and then. I loved it but my body didn’t.”
In the nine months since she made the switch to 80/20, Hailey has been able to consistently run almost daily without injury, her Zone 2 pace has improved by 90 seconds per kilometer, and her endurance has increased dramatically. The former ballerina who once struggled to complete a 5K is now a marathoner, and eyeing her first ultra!