I remember reading about Yasso 800s in Bart’s book My Life On The Run. It’s a good book, entertaining and worth reading. I read the book at around the same time I was starting to learn about serious training. So of course, I went off and did a set of Yasso 800s. Except that I couldn’t do 10 reps. Yasso says basically that you run an 800m repeat with equal rest and whatever you run for the 10th rep is what you could run for the marathon. (2:45 equals 2hr45m in the marathon roughly) I started at 5 and never worked my way up past 6. I could run them fast, but they really fatigued my muscles. I know now that I was running them way too fast for my fitness level.
This season I started doing 800m repeats again, but with a different bent. Instead of running them so hard, I’d keep it towards 5k pace. The first time I did them I ran 9 and didn’t feel too bad the next morning. I’d been running them at 3k pace instead of 5k pace and boy what a difference it makes!!
So tonight I planned 800m repeats for our track workout. I initially said 6 to my partners, but intimated that I would do 8 so they all did as well. I was shooting for my goal 5k pace (5:08) which means 2:34 per 800. I was pretty close to on, although I kept going through the first lap in 76 and then running a 79 or 80 in the second lap. On the 8th interval I ran a 2:33 and felt pretty good. So I decided I’d make the leap and try for 2 more. 2:33 and 2:30. According to Yasso, I should be able to run the marathon in 2:30. Fat chance!! But at least it means I’m on the right track. This is the best set of 800s I’ve ever done.
8000m worth of work at goal 5k pace. (2:35, 2:32, 2:34, 2:34, 2:35, 2:36, 2:32, 2:33, 2:33, 2:30) 2:33.4 avg. Rest was 2:30-3:00 depending on the other guys I was running with (I would start 5 seconds behind).
I’m a few steps closer to that sub-16:00 barrier.