Yasso 800’s. This is the workout that can help you to gauge your possible marathon time. This is the workout that my coach (The Sustainable Athlete) Denise had on the schedule for me today. I needed a track (or as an alternative a flat half mile stretch).
What are Yasso 800’s?
From McMillan Running: “The theory behind Yasso 800s is that your time in minutes and seconds for a workout of 10 times 800 meters (two laps of the track) with equal recovery time is the same as the hours and minutes of your marathon time.”
Here is a more detailed description of how to complete this workout from About Health:
How to Do a Yasso 800 Workout:
- 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.
- First, do an easy warm-up of a 5-10 jog and a few warm-up exercises.
- Next, try to run 800 meters (approximately 1/2 mile) at 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.
I tried for the track first for this workout but struck out. Living in a more rural area access to tracks is limited so I went on a quest to run at one of the few tracks in our area and this is what I found . . .
Hmm . . . a track underwater wasn’t going to work however the thought of swimming laps or waiting for it to freeze for some ice skating sounded appealing. So I went for option two, an indoor track at another local high school. I struck out again. Vacation track practice was in action so I was denied access. Sadly, I bailed out on the idea of running on a track and drove home to my little town to the perfect flat stretch of road. The road, a dead end was quiet with only the mountains looming in the distance and the mooing of a few cows as I ran by on my warm-up. The location was perfect for what I need to do. I was on a mission.
I warmed up for about 15 minutes with some striders, butt kicks, high knees and more. I stripped down to a tank top enjoying every last minute of the weird 50 degree weather and knowing I would be a dripping sweaty mess by the time I was done. The workout called for 10×800 meters (or half a mile) at 3:35-3:40 pace with equal rest time in bewteen. She said that this pacing would be a good predictor of the ability to run a 3:35-3:40 marathon.. My coach warned me not to go out too fast or risk burning out my legs and having a dismal experience. I didn’t want to go out too fast and am working on consistency but today my body just wouldn’t let me hold back. My legs felt loose and strong and my breathing felt easy as I settled into paces that were much faster than the suggested. I tried to settle down but after a few gave in and went for it. I knew once I got to the half way point I was good to go to keep charging at the paces I was working at. I also felt mentally on.
Yasso 800’s. A closer look.
Here is a look at my pacing for each 800 meters (half mile):
When I had two to go I knew I had a little left in me so cranked the pace a little more and went for it. When I was finished with the workout I made sure to get in a nice cool down and immediately messaged my coach. She looked through my numbers and did some magical calculations to see where this could put me for my final marathon time if I run a smart race.
The verdict? My coach thinks I have it in me to run a 3:24-3:30 Marathon if I stick to my plan and run a smart solid race! I am stoked! If I stay on track with my training I know that I can do this and this would be right in line with my big marathon goal to break 3:30! My PR is a 3:33 and now I am seriously on the hunt to go after a new PR!!!!
I know I CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What was your best workout recently? Tell me all about it!