YASSO 800s – BOOST your Speed and Power!

Yasso 800s

Ah, Yasso 800s – the workout that sounds more like a secret spy code than a running training regimen. But fear not, fellow runners, because in this blog post, we’re going to unravel the mystery of Yasso 800s, dive into their benefits, describe a typical running session, and help you figure out the best time to incorporate them into your training routine. And trust me, it’s not as complicated as it sounds!

The Mysterious Yasso 800s

First off, let’s address the name itself. Yasso 800s were created by Bart Yasso, the former Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World magazine. He devised this workout as a way to predict your marathon finish time. But here’s the twist: it’s not some cryptic code. The “800s” in Yasso 800s stands for 800 meters, which is equivalent to half a mile. It’s a pretty straightforward concept, right?

The Benefits of Yasso 800s

Now, why should you care about Yasso 800s and what can they do for you as a runner? Well, let’s break it down:

  1. Predict Your Marathon Time: One of the key benefits of Yasso 800s is their ability to give you a rough estimate of your marathon finish time. Bart Yasso’s theory is that if you can complete 10 repetitions of 800 meters with each 800-meter interval time in minutes and seconds matching your goal marathon time in hours and minutes, you’re on track to achieving that goal. For example, if you aim to run a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes, your target time for each 800-meter interval would be 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Pretty cool, right?
  2. Build Endurance and Speed: Yasso 800s are an excellent way to simultaneously work on both endurance and speed. Running at a faster pace for shorter distances can help improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall running speed.
  3. Mental Toughness: Completing multiple repetitions of 800 meters at a challenging pace can also help you develop mental toughness. It’s not just a physical workout; it’s a mental game too.
  4. Structured Training: Yasso 800s provide structure to your training program. Knowing you have a specific goal time to hit for each interval can help keep you focused and motivated during your workout.


A Typical Yasso Session

Now that we know the benefits, let’s delve into what a typical Yasso session looks like:

Warm-Up: Begin with a thorough warm-up. This should include light jogging, dynamic stretches, and some drills to prepare your muscles and joints for the upcoming workout. Spend about 10-15 minutes warming up; you want to be loose and limber.

The Main Event: The heart of the Yasso 800s workout involves running 800 meters (or half a mile) at your goal marathon pace. Remember, if you’re aiming for a 3-hour and 30-minute marathon, your target time for each 800-meter interval is 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the session:

  • Run 800 meters at your target pace. (Eg. 800meters in 4 minutes for a 4-hour marathon).
  • After completing the 800 meters, take a recovery jog or walk for the same amount of time it took you to run the interval. For example, if you ran the 800 meters in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, your recovery period should also be 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this process for a total of 6 to 10 repetitions, depending on your fitness level and experience. If you’re new to Yasso 800s, start with 6 and gradually work your way up.

Cool Down: After you’ve completed your repetitions, it’s crucial to cool down properly. This helps your body recover and reduces the risk of injury. Do some easy jogging and static stretches to improve flexibility.

The Best Time to Do Yasso’s

Now, you might be wondering when the best time is to incorporate Yasso 800s into your training schedule. Here’s the deal:

  1. Marathon Preparation: 800s are especially beneficial when you’re preparing for a marathon. It’s recommended to include them in your training plan about 10-12 weeks before your target marathon race. This gives you enough time to build your endurance and speed gradually.
  2. Track or Treadmill: For Yasso 800s, it’s ideal to run on a track or use a treadmill. These settings allow you to precisely measure the distance, ensuring your intervals are accurate. If you don’t have access to a track or treadmill, you can use GPS devices to approximate the distance on a flat, straight course.
  3. Rest Days: Avoid doing 800s on consecutive days. They are a demanding workout, and your body needs time to recover. It’s best to schedule them on days when you’re well-rested and not fatigued from previous workouts.
  4. Consistency: Consistency is key with Yasso 800s. Aim to incorporate them into your training plan once a fortnight. This consistency will help you gauge your progress and make necessary adjustments to your marathon goal time.


In-Depth Analysis: The Science Behind Yasso 800s

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a deeper dive into the science behind Yasso 800s. Understanding the physiology and training principles can help you maximize their benefits.

  1. Energy Systems: Yasso 800s target both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. When you run at your goal marathon pace for 800 meters, you’re primarily tapping into your aerobic system. This system relies on oxygen to produce energy and is crucial for marathon performance. By repeatedly training at this pace, you improve your body’s ability to utilize oxygen efficiently.
  2. Speed Endurance: Yasso 800s also work on your speed endurance. Speed endurance is the ability to sustain a faster pace for an extended period. It’s vital for maintaining your marathon pace throughout the race. The repetition of 800-meter intervals challenges your body to maintain a specific pace when fatigued.
  3. Lactate Threshold: Another benefit of Yasso 800s is their impact on your lactate threshold. The lactate threshold is the point at which your body starts to accumulate lactic acid faster than it can clear it away. Running at a challenging pace during Yasso 800s pushes your lactate threshold, allowing you to run at higher speeds for longer durations before reaching that threshold. This means you can sustain your marathon pace with less discomfort.
  4. Neuromuscular Adaptations: Yasso 800s also lead to neuromuscular adaptations. When you’re running at a faster pace, your nervous system becomes more efficient at recruiting muscle fibers. This can improve your running form and efficiency.
  5. Mental Resilience: While not purely physiological, the mental benefits of Yasso 800s are equally important. Running at your goal marathon pace for multiple repetitions teaches mental toughness. You learn to push through discomfort and stay focused, which is invaluable during the latter stages of a marathon when fatigue sets in.

Yasso 800s marathon

Incorporating Yasso 800s with a Smile

Now that we’ve covered the serious side of Yasso 800s, let’s inject a bit of humor into the mix. After all, running should be fun, right?

Picture this: You’re at the track, ready to tackle your Yasso 800s session. You’ve got your running shoes laced up, your playlist loaded with energizing tunes, and your inner marathoner’s spirit soaring high. As you start your first 800-meter interval, you can’t help but imagine yourself as a secret agent on a mission to outrun the bad guys.

With each step, you’re not just running; you’re outpacing villains, leaping over obstacles, and making a dramatic getaway. And when you finish that interval, you’re not panting; you’re calmly catching your breath, just like James Bond after a successful mission.

As you continue through your repetitions, you might even give each one a codename—Operation Speedy Sprint, Mission Marathon Pace, or Pursuit of Personal Best. Suddenly, those Yasso 800s don’t seem so intimidating; they’re an adventure waiting to happen.

And as you complete your final interval, you cross the finish line with a triumphant grin, knowing that you’ve not only improved your marathon preparation but also had a blast doing it. Because, in the end, running should be a journey filled with excitement and personal achievements.

shin splints

The Verdict: Yasso 800s are Worth a Try

In conclusion, Yasso 800s are a valuable addition to any runner’s training arsenal. They provide a structured way to predict your marathon time, improve endurance, speed, and mental toughness, and offer a fun and challenging workout experience. Whether you’re a beginner aiming for your first marathon or an experienced runner looking to fine-tune your performance, Yasso 800s can help you reach your goals.

So, embrace the mystery of these 800s, lace up those running shoes, and hit the track or treadmill with confidence. You might just find that these half-mile intervals become your secret weapon in the world of running, helping you unlock your full potential one stride at a time. Happy running, fellow athletes!

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Happy running!

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