Tag Archives: speed workout

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? 


It’s been a good week for running

15 Sep

With fast new shoes, (mostly) crisp autumn weather, lessening foot pain, and a long run with my hubby by my side, it’s been a good week for running. Here’s a quick look back on last week’s training…


First run in my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s. This was a recovery run since I did my last long run on Sunday evening. Nice and easy 3.21 miles for a total time of 30:38. I made sure to do a lot of stretching, since my hip flexor is a bit tight. I also did an arm strength training circuit.






An unseasonable hot, humid, steamy day that led to a little stint on the dreadmill after work for 4 miles at an average pace of 8:45/mile. Oh, and I did get in an arm and ab workout in the early morning!

Treadmill time

I took this to prove I actually went to the gym.




I incorporated a speed workout from the Fall 5 or 10 Virtual Race Series online coaching group. It was a neat little interval workout that kicked my booty into gear.

30-20-10 Intervals

Warm up for at least ten minutes. Then jog 30 seconds, run at a comfortably hard pace for 20 and sprint for 10, and repeat for five total cycles.

Then jog for two minutes. Beginners can cool down for another 10-15 minutes. Advanced runners can jog for two minutes and then repeat the five cycles of 30-20-10 another 2-3 times.

This workout has also been featured here in Runner’s World. I did 3 sets for a total of 3.71 miles, including warm up and cool down.

I then spent the evening with ice on my left foot, left hip flexor, and right knee. NBD.


REST! (Seeing a pattern here?)

We spent the day at the museum with our friends and their kids. I was eaten by a T-Rex.




Being the super awesome husband that he is, Mark let me wake him up at 6:30 AM so he could bike alongside me during my long run and keep me company. The sun was bright, but the air was crisp and cool and the river alongside the bike path was smooth and peaceful. This is truly the best weather to run in.

Today's view

Today’s view

Love, love, loved this run! My mind and body felt good the whole time (even with a hip flexor that took forever to loosen up) and I really enjoyed having Mark with me.

How does a Garmin get foggy on the inside?!

How does a Garmin get foggy on the inside?!

Mile splits: 9:24, 8:52, 9:11, 9:05, 8:57, 8:54, 8:53, 8:48, 8:36, 8:39, 8:32, 8:26, 8:15, last .11 – 7:47 pace.

Negative split, baby! 

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Question for you: How was your training week?

Etiquette for Runners: On the track

26 Jul

The weather has finally been beautiful lately with lower temperatures and less humidity. On Wednesday evening I took advantage of the gorgeousness and headed to the high school track for another round of 600 meter breakdowns. Have to keep working on some speed for upcoming races – a 5K next Saturday and a half marathon on August 10!

600 meter breakdowns


1.7 mile warmup, stretch

600m – 2:10 (5:37 pace)

400m – 1:31 (5:57 pace)

300m – 1:11 (6:11 pace)

200m – 0:44 (5:39 pace)

1.75 cooldown, stretch

Total: 5 miles, 48:00

This workout kicked my butt! I didn’t feel as fast and strong as I did last time I hit the track and it took my lungs a long time to recover. I’m going to attribute that to the strong headwind on the back stretch of the track, I was definitely sucking some wind and it hurt!

tracksunset_rbbSeveral other people had the same idea about the track and were getting their run on as well. Awesome! However, I think a couple of the track goers could have used a little lesson in etiquette. So I will just leave a few tips here and maybe somehow this information will find its way to them. I’ve also added some general points that can be helpful to anyone considering a track workout and wondering about the do’s and don’ts.

  • A little friendliness goes a long way. If someone nods, waves, says hi, etc. and you aren’t in mid-sprint, at least smile or nod back for crying out loud.
  • Run counterclockwise. Unless you’re on a track south of the equator.
  • If others are on the track, reserve the innermost lanes for people doing speedwork or going at a faster pace. If you’re moving slow or walking, take an outer lane.
  • If you’re passing someone in the same lane, pass on the right.
  • If you’re coming up behind someone or passing, let them know by calling something out such as, “behind,” or “on your right.” This can help avoid collisions in case the person you’re passing suddenly decides to switch lanes.
  • If you bring any gear, stash it on the grass, on the bleachers, or anywhere nearby that is off the track surface.
  • Stretch in an area out of everyone’s way.
  • Unless everyone else is in agreement with your choice in music, don’t blast your tunes at max decibels.
  • Check the track schedule to make sure there aren’t any practices or events going on. It’s also helpful to find out any policies the school or facility has.

There you have it! Now you can head to the track with some confidence and manners.

Question for you: Any track rules you would add? Have a bad track manners story to share?