Yasso 800’s


So today I had my second set of Yasso 800’s. I am in the final few weeks of my training and my coach wanted to see where I was in comparison to when I did them back in July.

The whole concept of the session is that you run 10*800m with an active recovery. The time you choose for the 800m is what your recovery should be. So if you run the 800m in 4 minutes your recovery should be 4 minutes.

They were invented by the mayor, Bart Yasso, and in his words….

“I’ve been doing this particular workout for about 15 years,” he continued, “and it always seems to work for me. If I can get my 800s down to 2 minutes 50 seconds, I’m in 2:50 marathon shape. If I can get down to 2:40 (minuses), I can run a 2:40 marathon. I’m shooting for a 2:37 marathon right now, so I’m running my 800s in 2:37.”

So the idea is, if you can run the 10 sets in 3.20 (minutes not pace) you will run your marathon in 3.20. Obviously assuming you have done all your long runs etc.

I did my first one back on July 9th – I was aiming for around a 4.20 m/km pace which is 3.25 minutes for 800m.

I ended up doing the following – all times, not pace.

  • 3.30
  • 3.30
  • 3.30
  • 3.21
  • 3.28
  • 3.26
  • 3.29
  • 3.19
  • 3.21
  • 3.05

Each one of these had a recovery of 3.25mins at a really slow pace. So based on the above I would be aiming for approximately a 3.24 / 3.25 marathon?

10 weeks later and coach recommended I go out at approximately 3.57 pace so about 3.10 minutes for the 800m. It was pretty windy so a few sets were affected by that – the same effort wasn’t delivering the same result. And my last one I decided to go ‘balls to the wall’….which was ironic as when I finished it turns out ‘balls to the wall’ was the same as my previous effort without the nausea.

  • 3.05
  • 3.17
  • 3.06
  • 3.15
  • 3.06
  • 3.14
  • 3.07
  • 3.09
  • 3.06
  • 3.06

I was spent by the end but felt good to have reduced my time so substantially. And I got an unsolicited hug and a high 5 from my coach. It was just the 2 of us doing this session this morning – no one else who is doing the marathon was there. Legs 2, 4 and 6 were thrown out a bit by the wind; but we’ll see in a few weeks how accurate this session is!

However the best was yet to come! I tweeted Bart Yasso after the session and he tweeted back!!!! Now, I am not a big twitter user….I follow like 4 people and rarely tweet. So maybe it’s normal that he responded. Twice!

But in my eyes I am now best buds with Bart. I am BBB…….Bart’s Best Bud.


Thanks Bart, will keep you posted on my results.

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