Thursday, June 21, 2007

Speed Intervals (Yasso 800s)

Today's workout definately earned a reward sticker! After a 15 minute warmup, the plan was to run 4 x 800m at 3:27 and 4 x 400m at 1:42. I elected to run around the neighborhood for a short while and then to the elementary school across from our subdivision. The school has a large grass field that is used for soccer and baseball games throughout the year. As the kids are enjoying summer vacation, I knew that I would have the field to myself. Additionally, the Garmin allows me to know the distance I've traversed so I could create my own 'track' around the field.

When I arrived at my pre-planned starting point (a shaded area in the corner of the field), I had completed just one mile in about 9 minutes. I decided that was 'good enough' for a warmup and preceded with the plan for the day. I started the first 800m not knowing exactly how many times I would have to circle the field but I had an idea it would be 2-3. When the Garmin showed 1.50 as the distance traveled, I hit the stop/lap buttons to record my pace. I ran the first 800m in 3:19. SWEET! Here's how the remaining intervals were completed:

2nd 800 - 3:22
3rd 800 - 3:21
4th 800 - 3:30
1st 400 - 1:36
2nd 400 - 1:39
3rd 400 - 1:41
4th 400 - 1:36

I then threw in two additional 800s for good measure.... and followed it up with a 1 mile cool-down.

5th 800 - 3:42
6th 800 - 3:36

In a Runners World article by Amby Burfoot, Yasso 800s can predict your marathon finish time. Bart Yasso was quoted, "If I can get my 800s down to 2 minutes 50 seconds, I'm in 2:50 marathon shape. If I can get down to 2:40 (minutes), I can run a 2:40 marathon."

I'm very excited by this. After the intervals this morning, my average 800 time was 3:28. I strongly doubt I'd actually be able to finish 26.2 miles at this pace. But it does give me hope that I can at least qualify for Boston at 3:45. It's good to dream, right?


  1. wow.. what a workout. that was incredible! and thanks for the link on the yasso 800's. you're in great boston shape!

  2. Ugh - Yassos. I've NEVER had success with that workout predicting my marathon time. There are too many other variables.

    It's certainly an excellent marathon training workout, though - just don't get caught up in thinking the numbers are magic.

  3. Donald ~ I'm sure that you are right. I don't have a marathon slated just yet but when I do run another... I'll be certain to report my thoughts on the Yasso predictability. But I do enjoy the workout. I'm only dreaming now. :)


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