Tonight our group met at the Vanderbilt track to do Yasso 800s, which is designed to be an indicator of what marathon time someone is capable of completing. For those of you that are not familiar with this workout, here is the lowdown…
Yasso 800s are a popular workout among runners who are trying to achieve a specific marathon goal. The name “Yasso” comes from Bart Yasso, the chief running officer at Runner’s World magazine, who popularized this workout. Here’s how to do Yasso 800s:
- Take your marathon goal time in hours/minutes and convert this to minutes/seconds. For example, if your marathon goal is 3 hours and 10 minutes then convert that to 3 minutes and 10 seconds.
- Try to run 800 meters (approximately 1/2 mile) in your converted time (3:10 in this example).
- Recover after each 800 by jogging or walking for the same amount of time (again, 3:10 in this example).
- Start with three or four repetitions in the first week.
- Continue with Yasso 800 workouts once a week and try to add one more repetition each week until you reach ten repetitions. The first few should feel pretty easy, but you’ll notice that they’ll start to get more difficult as you continue to add repeats.
The theory is that if you can complete 10 of these at your goal splits, then it indicates you should be able to achieve your marathon goal. Well, since the group was getting together to run Yasso 800s, John put the following in my schedule:
- 15 to 30 minute warmup
- 8 to 10 Yasso 800s (Goal time 3:05 / 3:05 active recovery)
- 15 to 30 minute cool down
I did my warm up around the Vanderbilt campus and on the track for just over 26-minutes, and then did two quick 100m stride outs with the group. For the Yasso 800s, my goal split time was 3 minutes 5 seconds (6:10 pace), since my goal marathon time is 3 hours 5 minutes. Also, per the design of the workout, I was supposed to run easy for 3 minutes 5 seconds between repeats.
Other than the start of the first one, I ended up running the workout by myself. However, in spite of this I still felt FANTASTIC! I was expecting this to be brutal, but I felt great, and nailed my splits. The biggest thing I had to fight was going too fast. Here’s a rundown of the splits for my 10 repeats.
I’m very excited about how this workout went, and it was a BIG confidence boost. I don’t necessarily buy into the idea that this means I can definitely run a 3:05 marathon, but I am pleased with how I felt throughout the workout. I think I could have easily run 2 to 4 more and maintained consistent splits.
At the end of the Yasso 800s, I ran a 30-minute cool down on the track, and then back onto the Vanderbilt campus. My legs still felt great during the cool down, and I felt like I could run all night. BTW….We had awesome weather tonight, which was a big plus.
In total I finished with 15-miles on the button at an average pace of 7:44 per miles with warmup and cool down. Might be hard to get going for my 75-minute run in the morning, but tonight was awesome.