Around the same time I started running workouts I read Bart Yasso’s book. It was highly entertaining but one thing I took away was a new workout, Yasso 800s. Basically 800m interval with equal time recovery. So if you run a 2:45, you get 2:45 to recover before your next one. The idea is to start out at 6 and work your way up to 10. The time you hit on your 10th interval is supposed to equal the marathon time you can run.
This is an easy workout to crush when you’re only doing 6. For a really long time I was only doing 6 repeats because I was running them too fast. Instead of 5k pace, I would hit closer to 3k pace and the 6th interval would be hell and my legs would be sore for days. Now I’ve built up enough strength so that I’m not so sore the day after. If these things are done correctly, you won’t feel sore at all. Tired yes, sore no.
I finally started slowing these down this season so I could do more intervals. It’s basically 10x800m at 5k pace, which is doable but difficult towards the end. I will say, I don’t think it’s a good marathon indicator if you’re a speed guy like me. A few months ago I ran them all around 2:40-2:43 and I certainly wasn’t in that kind of marathon shape. The trick is to run them while feeling like you’re holding back. For me the difference is 2:30 versus 2:40. It was almost frustrating because I wanted to run harder, but you need to realize that the stamina you’re building is incredibly useful.
My run club did 6x800m yesterday. True to my old form, I crushed them. I wasn’t trying to. I let myself get beat on two of the reps by someone who isn’t quite as fast so I wasn’t really going all out, but I did all 6 and he had to drop the last one. That’s the difference in fitness right there. But running these a little fast was a good confidence builder since they’re so easily comparable to past seasons. I think I’m in pretty good shape. I’m looking to run 16:30 at the Magic Shoes 5k in a week and a half. Let’s just hope my barky hip/piriformis stays in check.