Friday, November 10, 2006

What's your take on Yasso?

Today's workout was an 800 meter interval workout, also known as Yasso 800s. The workout is named after Bart Yasso from Runner's World. Many marathon runners use this workout as a marathon predictor workout. The time you run the 800s is the approximate time in hours and minutes that you're capable of running the marathon. In other words, if you run 800 meters in 2 minutes and 50 seconds, then you can run the marathon in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Yasso and Greg McMillan states that you should work your way up to 10 repeats with 400 meters of recovery. In his website, Greg says that the workout predicts about five minutes too fast for most marathoners. I think it all depends on how you approach the workout. I've done this workout for my last couple marathons and I personally think it predicts about 1-3 seconds too fast. I guess I'll find out after I cross the finish line.

After 29 minutes of warming up, I end up at the track where my running friends (Mike, Kerryn, and Melinda) have already started their workout. They are doing the same workout, but just a few less repeats than I'll be doing. I started helping the three of them by creating a training schedule for them to follow. I'm no certified coach (hopefully one of these days I will be), but I think I have enough experience and knowledge of running that they will improve in their race times. It's great seeing friends run faster. Don't we all want to run faster?

The goal is to break my marathon PR of 2:38 and with the way my training has gone the past couple months, I think it's a great possibility it will happen. Knowing this, I went into today's workout with the goal of averaging 2:35-2:36 for the 800s. That will be a 2:35 or 2:36 marathon according to Yasso. To get to the point, my workout went very well. The pace felt comfortably hard and I ended the workout knowing that I could have ran one or two more repeats. My 400m recoveries stayed between 2:10 - 2:15.

Here are my splits:
2:36, 2:36, 2:36, 2:35, 2:35, 2:35, 2:33, 2:33, 2:33, 2:33

Today's Run: AM - 1:34:23 (14.5 miles - 10 x 800s w/ 400m recoveries); PM - 30:11 (4M shakeout run)

Tuesday: (11.5M / 1:18:50) easy run
Wednesday: (6.7M / 49:14) easy recovery run
Thursday: (11.5M / 1:18:20) easy run


Mike said...

Not sure how accurate it is as a predictor, but I think 800's are a great workout for a marathoner closing in on his or her race. When I do them I try to get in touch with at what point the legs start to "feel" the effort in each rep. When they start feeling "loaded up" with lactate at only 200 in (rather than 40-600 in) I know I've done about as much good as I can do out there.

Your splits show patience and a sensible starting pace, both important for a marathoner. Nice work.

Mark said...

Way to go on the 800s! I never ran this so I will have to give it a read and try sometime.

Phil said...

Great negative splits! I'm not very confident that Yasso 800s does all that well predicting marathon times for slower runners like me. I can manage 3:30 800s all day (well maybe that's a stretch), but I couldn't run a 3:30 marathon if I straped on skates. I don't have the endurance.

However, it might apply perfectly well for someone of your caliber. On the other hand, I think your best predictor is the fabulous pace I see you holding on your long runs. You've got the stamina and speed to approach the magical 2:30 mark.