Yasso 800’s…get faster…simply

I was talking with my son last night…training for his first marathon…cool!

…and one of my Iron Buddies a couple of days ago added a comment to our blog, that after over 25 years of training, she has a Heart Rate monitor for the first time

…I was reminded that there are lots of training programs and ideas that work…that don’t require complex formulas and recording massive amounts of data, and deep analysis.

One of those simple ideas that I was following years ago to get my speed up, as ‘I’ was training for my first marathons, was Yasso 800’s…a rather simple idea developed by Bart Yasso, and widely published…if you Google it, you’ll get lots of details and discussion points that go back over 10 years. 

Click here for one link from Runners World in 2001.

The basic idea is…(I would do them even earlier in the season to see where my speed was at):

One day per week for a few months leading up to a marathon you mix interval training into your weekly run schedule. The intervals should consist of 800 meter runs. If you’re aiming for a 4 hour marathon finish time, then run your 800 meter interval in 4 minutes. Jog for another 4 minutes and then repeat by running another 800 meters in 4 minutes. And if you’re trying to run a 3 hour marathon then do 3 minute 800 meter intervals followed by 3 minutes of jogging, and repeat. Do this until you can do 10 total repetitions in a given workout at your marathon goal pace. After 2 or 3 months of Yasso 800′s along with your typical marathon training schedule you should be prepared to charge the marathon and complete it at your target pace based on the Yasso intervals.

So just simply interval training.  The simple idea that if you want to get faster, you need to train faster…at least some of the time…so let’s call it once a week. 

A lot of reading that I’ve done, says that a little bit of speed work goes a long way.  The classic run training formula for decades has been, in any one week, at least 1 fast, 1 long, 1 easy.  That’s got a lot of people to the finish line in Personal Record (PR) time…and that 4 workouts a week, is much better than 3, and 5 is quite a bit better than 4, and that 6, is better than 5, but diminishing returns.

A lot of the ‘stuff’ that I’ve been writing about…vDOT, Lactate Threshold, Functional Threshold Power (FTP), therefore is largely a refinement on those simple ideas…and a way to be more efficient in my training…therefore get the most benefit, for the least amount of time…and I enjoy the ‘data’ challenge.

It’s the Work that Works of course…not the numbers that you record.

I think that any plan, is better than no plan…exercise with no plan, is working out…working out is better than not working out…having a plan is training…training with a detailed plan leads to a goal…having goals lead to achieving goals.

…alright I’ll stop now

sooo, maybe you just want to run a bit faster…try a few Yasso 800’s and see where you’re at 🙂

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