"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Speedwork, Works!

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.   

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