Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yasso 800's w/Active Recovery

Ugly dude next to a Hawkeye
Sometimes on business, I have the opportunity to do things that normally I wouldn't get to.  This morning, I had the great fortune of running on the The University of Iowa's outdoor track, in Iowa City, IA for my Thursday Speed Workout.  Unlike a lot of university towns I visit, U of I leaves the gate to it's complex open so scrubs like me can sneak in for a quick workout without jumping a fence or  trespassing ... which not having to break the law at my age is always nice!   While it was really cool, I can't say that it was much different than the Campbell Jr. High Mustang's track that I usually call home for speed work.  It was still 400 meters per loop ... and there were still imaginary fans in the bleachers cheering me on. (don't judge me ... I use whatever it takes to get through a tough workout THAT early in the morning)

This morning I ran Yasso 800's, which you probably know by now are not my favorite workout, but this morning they served their purpose.  The theory of the Yasso 800's is to run 800 meter repeats, and then use your average time in minutes as a marathon finishing time predictor in hours.  For example, if you ran 10 sets of 4 minute 800 meter loops, the Yasso 800 theory says that should be in shape to run a 4 hour marathon.  If you completed the same workout in 3:30 per 800 meter loop, it would indicate you're capable of a 3:30 marathon. I've actually spoken to Bart Yasso about his plan, and I just don't feel the Yasso 800's are an accurate predictor of race times.  Plus, I really feel that for marathoners, the starting and stopping after twice around the track doesn't do as much good as longer repeats like 2 or 3 miles for speed work.  Plus, I just don't think the workout is that difficult.  But based on where I'm at right now, this morning's workout certainly got my heart rate racing and my legs felt it when I was finished.

Here's how things went this morning ...

2 mile warmup
800m #1 ... 3:12
2:30 active recovery (jogging about 400 m, no stop after the 800m)
800m #2 ... 3:12
2:38 active recovery
800m #3 ... 3:06
3:00 active recovery
800m #4 ... 3:11
2:22 active recovery
800m #5 ... 3:06
3:06 active recovery
800m #6 ... 3:07
2:36 active recovery
800m #7 ... 3:06
2:52 active recovery
800m #8 ... 3:06
1 mile cool down (9 miles total)

For the most part I hit my times, I really wanted to be at 3:10 per 800m, so I met all of those.  Plus I took a little more time than normal between laps, but I didn't stop.  Also, it was pretty chilly this morning in Iowa City - about 29 degrees with 86% humidity - hazy and cold conditions.   So all and all I felt fairly good about the speed laps all things considered.  I still have a looooong way to go in 6 weeks.  But this was a good benchmark.  Have a great week!
... be great today!


  1. I never did the Yasso 800's workout, mostly because I don't understand how it can be predictive of marathon time either - and other than that, it is not a useful marathon workout, like you said. Nice to get a chance to run on a different track, and great workout. Very consistent.

  2. "Bart Yasso's Math is Bad" - By Jim W.

  3. Solid workout! Your doing great considering you just ran like a billion miles a week or so ago. Speed work is speed doesn't matter about the times you hit (save that for the race) it's all about the effort.

  4. These people in the bleachers - are they the same ones from your home town? Are they imaginary stalker fans? That's a really creepy thought.

  5. These people in the bleachers - are they the same ones from your home town? Are they imaginary stalker fans? That's a really creepy thought.

  6. Tearing up the track. Wow! Great pacing too. I think mine were done in around 4:00 give or take. Yes, I have a very active imagination when I run. When I do a long run, I often see spectators, and when in the track, there are a ton of people in the stands like I am something else....the next BIG thing. lol. Take care, and keep ripping it up man. oh, except for if I am at the track at night, there are some lights, but who knows what is lurking below the bleachers. Freddy? I blaze! haha

  7. Lol on telling Bart Yasso that his workout doesn't work- what did he say back?

  8. Nice speedy workout! Bart also says 20 400's will predict your half marathon time. I was going to try it for my last half until I got hurt. Do you plan to do the 10x800 workout before your next marathon?

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