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"Yasso 800s: Running Circles Around Your Goals"

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Hey there, fellow road warriors and pavement pounders! Today, we're diving headfirst into the rhythmic world of Yasso 800s—an intriguing running workout that's as challenging as it is satisfying. Whether you're a seasoned marathoner, triathlete, or a newbie to the multi-sport scene, Yasso 800s might just be the secret sauce to propel you to new personal records. So lace up those sneakers, and let's hit the track!


What in the World are Yasso 800s?

Named after the running guru and former Runner's World Chief Running Officer, Bart Yasso, Yasso 800s is a workout designed to predict your marathon finish time. Intrigued? You should be! The concept is simple: you run 800 meters (or half a mile) at a pace that corresponds to your goal marathon time in hours and minutes. So if you're aiming for a 4-hour marathon, your Yasso 800 target pace is 4 minutes.


A Brief History of Yasso 800s

Bart Yasso stumbled upon this magical workout during his training for the 1988 Olympic Trials. As he honed his speed on the track, he discovered a correlation between his Yasso 800 times and his marathon finish times. The rest, as they say, is running history. The Yasso 800s quickly gained popularity, becoming a staple in marathon training plans around the globe.


How Does it Work?

Running, math, and a bit of wizardry. That's the Yasso 800s formula! Here's the breakdown:

  1. Determine Your Goal Time: Let's say you're eyeing a 3-hour and 30-minute marathon.

  2. Convert to Minutes: Convert that time to minutes. 3 hours and 30 minutes becomes 210 minutes.

  3. Set Your Pace: Your Yasso 800 pace is 210 seconds (3 minutes and 30 seconds).

  4. Hit the Track: Run those 800 meters like your personal record depends on it (spoiler: it probably does).

Training Sessions That Will Make You Scream... with Joy!

  1. The Classic Yasso 800 Workout: Warm up with a light jog, then hit the track for 10 repetitions of 800 meters at your Yasso pace. Recover with a slow jog or walk for the same duration as your run.

  2. The Yasso Pyramid: Mix things up with a Yasso Pyramid. Start with 400 meters, then 800, 1200, 1600, and back down. It's a workout that'll keep you on your toes—literally.

  3. Yasso 800 Intervals: Spice up your interval training by incorporating Yasso 800s into your routine. Run an 800, recover with a shorter jog, and repeat.


Ah, triathletes, the real-life superheroes of the athletic world! Now, you might be wondering how the mystical Yasso 800s could possibly benefit these masters of swimming, biking, and running. Well, let me break it down for you.


1. Building Running Endurance:

Triathletes often face the challenge of sustaining energy across multiple disciplines. Yasso 800s, with their focus on running speed and stamina, help triathletes build the endurance necessary for the final leg of their race—the run. By regularly incorporating Yasso 800 workouts into their training plans, triathletes can develop the stamina needed to finish strong after conquering the swim and bike segments.


2. Improving Running Form:

Efficient running form is crucial for triathletes, as it directly impacts energy conservation and overall race performance. Yasso 800s, being a speed workout, encourage runners to focus on their form, stride, and breathing techniques. This improved running mechanics can translate into better performance during the run portion of a triathlon.


3. Mental Toughness:

Triathlons are as much a mental game as they are a physical one. Yasso 800s, with their demanding nature, help triathletes develop mental toughness. The ability to push through the discomfort of a challenging run workout can be a valuable asset when facing the fatigue of a long race. It's all about conquering those mental hurdles and pushing your limits.


4. Mimicking Transitions:

In a triathlon, the transitions between disciplines are critical. Yasso 800s, by incorporating high-intensity intervals followed by recovery periods, mimic the transitions between swimming, biking, and running. This helps triathletes improve their ability to switch gears and adapt to different intensities during a race.


5. Time Management:

Triathletes often face time constraints due to the multi-disciplinary nature of their sport. Yasso 800s offer a time-efficient way to improve running performance. These workouts can be tailored to fit into a comprehensive triathlon training plan without monopolizing an athlete's schedule.


So, there you have it! Yasso 800s aren't just for marathoners; they're a versatile tool that can benefit triathletes by enhancing their running endurance, improving form, building mental toughness, simulating transitions, and fitting into their busy training schedules. It's like a triple-shot espresso for your run game in the triathlon world!


Remember, the key is consistency. As Bart Yasso himself would say, "It's not about doing one workout, but the cumulative effect of a series of them."



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