|Sample Speedwork Splits - 6 Cycle Yasso|
(Qualifier: I am not fast, but I do want to be faster!)
It was while marathon training last fall that I was introduced to the Yasso 800’s speed workout. Without going into much detail, I can tell you that for a non-sprinter, goal oriented distance runner, this workout really worked. I am convinced that by including speedwork every other week of the training cycle, I could not only better predict my race time, but I was in much better shape to finish the race strong.
In short, there are several variations of the workout, but the formula that worked for me was:
5:00 min warmup, followed by 8 x (800 sprint + slow jog at equivalent pace), followed by 5:00 cool down.
Example: After warm-up, you run a 3:40 800. Then you jog slowly for 3:40. Run the next 800 at 3:45, then jog slowly for 3:45. Continue this sequence of running the 800 as hard as possible, then jogging the equivalent split time. The theory, according to training legend Bart Yasso, is that you can predict your marathon finish time by using the very slowest 800 that you can run in this 8 cycle workout and converting it to hours:minutes. In the example above, if the 3:45 split was your slowest of the 8 - 800’s, then you are prepared to run a 3 hour 45 minute marathon. Weird, but it really worked for me.
The bottom line is that the real goal for distance runners is to finish. We enjoy running for running’s sake. However, most of us do want to go a little faster than we did in the prior race. We like the feeling of a new PR. Yasso 800’s are a great way to break up your training plan and become FASTER! And the best part is, “fast” is always relative.