Marathon Training and Discussions


Yasso 800s (Read 594 times)


    I'm new to the forums, been logging my training for the last few months with RA, getting ready for Denver Marathon on Oct. 17.  Was curious if anyone has had success incorporating the Yasso 800s into their training.  I try to use that as my only real 'speedwork' on the track, as I flat out don't like speedwork but know it's necessary. 


    I'm working my way (hopefully) towards a BQ attempt in the spring at sea level, which for me would be 3:15:59.  Shooting for sub-3:25 in 5 1/2 weeks.  Any other speedwork ideas would be appreciated even though I'll do whatever I can to avoid them!



      I don't think that Yasso 800s are particularly great speed training. In fact they were never designed to be training. Burt Yasso created them as a test prior to a goal marathon (note: not really a predictor). The thought was that if you wanted to run a 3:00 marathon, you should be able to complete a set of 10 Yassos in a 3:00 min average. Note: this does not mean that if you can do 10 x 800 in an ave of 3:00 you can automatically run a 3:00 marathon - rather that if you want to run a 3:00 marathon, you should be able to complete the session. Clearly, other training factors are of much higher relevance to marathon performance than 800m repeats. Tempo runs, long runs, long (LT) repeats with short rec. The recovery time in Yasso 800s means that they lack any real training value. If you want to use the session as speed training (I am reading that as LT training - as you should'nt be bothered about speed for a marathon should you?) then you should cut the recovery down to 30 - 60 secs and maybe slow the repeats down a bit. Just my thoughts.

        I'm not sure I have much to add but, since I did a set of Yasso 800s last week just to satisfy my curiosity about them, I'll chime in. I thought they looked much easier than what was supposed to be implied. They were. I averaged 3:03 or 3:04 with a 2:20 400M jog between each set. I was unwilling to do the required recovery as I thought it would have diminished the value of the workout. Regardless, my recovery was probably too long for good sets of 800s. I dare not attempt attempt the "corresponding pace" next month unless I want to detonate early. So, having done them, I think doing sets of 1200M offer a better "speed" workout. Still, I think it's the tempos, long runs, and progression runs that have been most beneficial to me.


          Yeah, I think I'll just stick to trying to get in as many miles as possible, I'm not to worried about the speedwork right now.  Just ran one of my (hopefully) two 20 milers yesterday and felt really good.  Five weeks until the race and I feel like I'm in a good spot right now, just need to maintain the momentum for another month!