Tag Archives: half marathon training

Bart Yasso is my new BFF (kind of)

10 Oct

Earlier I mentioned that I had my first run in with Yasso 800s a couple of weeks ago. I also mentioned that I’d be hitting the track one more time for another round. Well, that second part turned out to be a big fat lie. I couldn’t manage to get to the track at a time that involved any kind of daylight, so I had to scrap it. Bummer.

So, this little post is going to be all about that one time I did Yasso 800s.

If you aren’t familiar with Yasso 800s, it’s not hard to find out about this classic workout with a simple Google search. Originally designed as a speed workout  to predict marathon times, it can be used to help work toward a goal pace for half or full marathons.

The formula is super simple – whatever your goal time is for the marathon, just shimmy that decimal over a little and you have your goal time for your 800 meter run. For example, if you want to run a marathon in 3 hours, 45 minutes (3:45:00), then you shoot for an 800 meter time of 3 minutes, 45 seconds (00:3:45). For a half marathon, take your race goal time and double it.

The workout: Warm up for about a mile, run 800 meters at your target pace, jog 400 meters, then repeat. It’s recommended to begin with 4-6 repeats and working your way up to 10 within the last few weeks of marathon training. Or, if you’re like me, you do one set of them 3 weeks before your half marathon.

I determined my Yasso 800 goal time by making a guesstimate on my half-marathon time. I picked 1:45 because it seemed realistic considering how my last one went. Then I doubled that time to get my “marathon” pace of 3:30. That gave me a goal of 3:30 for each 800 meter run.

Yasso 800s in the dark

The sun set on me while I was running my last 800

Since it was my first time with Yassos, I gave myself a goal of 4 sets. Here’s how it went:

  1. 3:15 – Whoops, too fast. This actually hurt a little bit.
  2. 3:24 – OK, a little better. Still too fast but not quite as painful. Wondering how people ever work themselves up to 10 of these…
  3. 3:26 – Much better, still pretty hard. Wondering if Bart Yasso designed this workout as a form of torture.
  4. 3:26 – Hey, a little consistency! Ow. That was tough. My body hurts…. Sooo ready to be done. 

Then, I essentially limped and plodded home cursing Mr. Yasso. After my legs loosened back up, I started to feel that distinct high that comes from smashing a tough workout and decided that I might really like these Yasso 800s after all. And then Bart Yasso and I became BFFs…. image imageOr something like that….

Question for you: Have you done Yasso 800s? What was your experience? 


Not every run is awesome

7 Oct

It’s half marathon week! That means two big things – 1) tapering and 2) carbo-loading! This morning I started to feel the twinge of pre-race giddiness. I’m very excited to be running the Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon for the second time. This race holds a special little place in my heart because it was my very first half last year. This time around it will be my fourth! I still can’t believe how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned since then. But, that’s a post for another day.

Today, I’m focusing on recapping my second entry into the Fall 5 or 10 Virtual Race Series. This month, I chose to run 10 miles as my entry.

You may often hear read here at run+breathe+be that running is the most amazing thing in the world and I love it. That’s usually the case, but sometimes – I’m less than thrilled with a run or feel downright miserable.

That’s because not every run is awesome.

There. I said it.

Yes, sometimes running sucks. And if I’m being honest here, which I usually am, Saturday’s 10 miler wasn’t awesome. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t awful and I didn’t vomit (thankfully), but I wasn’t loving it.

It actually felt harder than my fantastic 15.5 mile run of fabulousness last weekend. I don’t know if my head just wasn’t in it or if I was more tired than usual, but my pace was all over and I had to fight for a few of the miles.

The stats – 10.03 miles | 1:26:39 total time | 8:38 avg pace

All in all it made for an OK last long run before the half marathon, so I won’t write it off. Isn’t also true that if you have a mediocre long run, the next one is always 1000 times better?!

Well, I sure hope so. 🙂

Question: What was your last less than awesome run?

Fall is my favorite and a new PDR

3 Oct

Oh HEY! Has it really been nearly over two weeks since my last blog post?! (Yes, I started this post three days ago. Whoops.) Good thing my last post was about flexibility…

Anyway, I have had such a busy schedule of Fall funtivities, games with friends, meeting babies, visiting family, planning for the Italy trip, and running long that blogging has been pretty far from my mind. Well, I’ve definitely thought about blogging, but I always chose Real Life first. And I have no regrets about that. Here’s a brief glimpse into a couple of the things I’ve been doing and enjoying!

Seasonal decorations make me all giddy inside, so I made our house a little festive…


Festive AND chevron – How Pinteresting!

On my list of favorite Fall things, cider donuts and hot mulled cider are toppers.


Cider. Donut.

Fall also means craft fairs around these parts, and I spent the day with my mom perusing handmade goods and eating more cider donuts at a real cider mill.


A day at the cider mill and craft fair

A couple of Saturdays ago, I convinced Mark to hop on his bike to join me for 14 miles early on a beautiful day. He obliged without complaint and took this photo of the trail with the colors of early autumn peaking in.


Hints of Fall on a long, long run

That 14 miler was a great but tough run. We hosted a game night with friends the night before, so I was a little tired and dehydrated. To get through the tough spots, I took some cool running selfies.

When you run 14 miles, selfies are mandatory

When you run 14 miles, selfies are mandatory

One night last week, I gave Yasso 800s a try. Conclusion: Bart Yasso is my enemy/best friend for inventing this workout. I’m planning to do a second round before the week is completely over, so I’ll write up a specific recap of the whole experience after that.

Yasso 800s in the dark

Yasso 800s in the dark (the sun set on me)

This past Saturday I achieved a big (but secret) goal of mine. I challenged myself to go for a personal distance record of 15 miles this season. So, I woke up early and headed out on my own (I was a nice wifey and let Mark sleep in) for the longest run I have ever run.

The weather was crisp and foggy, perfect for a detour through a cemetery.

Fog is creepy

Fog is creepy

Despite the slight creepiness, I thoroughly enjoyed this run. There were plenty of smiling and encouraging people passing by, I could smell autumn in the cool air, and I felt energized and strong the whole way.

The longest run of all

The longest run of all

Before I knew it, my Garmin was telling me I hit 15 miles. Then, I decided I could go just a little farther…


A new Personal Distance Record! (Avg pace was 8:44)

This will probably go down as one of my all-time favorite runs. I can’t describe the joy I felt once I stopped my watch and took in the reality that I had just run 15.5 miles. All at once. It’s a beautiful thing.

Question for you (if you’re still reading): What’s your PDR?