Need For Speed – Yasso 800’s

yasso800Running is a fickle hobby, not to mention an addicting one.  With that comes the constant pushing for one to increase distance or that dreaded idea of SPEED.  Unfortunately that was the area  I realized I needed to focus on in my training in order to hit my target marathon finish time of 3:30.  I wanted to be faster, so I reached out to the running community for workouts and the majority stated, “Do Yasso’s”.

So what is an actual “Yasso” and how could they benefit me?  So I started my search and soon came across the famous inventor Bert Yasso.

A Yasso 800 can be used to determine your marathon time shape, so if you can get your 800’s down to 3 minutes and 15 seconds, you should be able to run a 3:15 marathon.  However not just one 800, but ten 800’s in a row.

That doesn’t sound to difficult, right?  Well think again. Furthermore the plan states to start out your workout session, by warming up.  Never forget those!!!  Then run an 800 at your target marathon finish time, follow that up with a jog for the same time limit, then another 800.  Repeat the above steps until your reach four 800’s.  Each week increase the number of Yasso 800’s you complete until you can successfully do ten.

So I headed out with my son for our first session of Yasso 800’s.  He is working on speed for track and I am the crazy distance runner of the family.  So we warmed up and I looked over and said, “Are you ready?” and off we started.

  • First 800 – That first 800 was seemingly ease and I finished faster than I would have liked at 3 minutes and 15 seconds.
  • Second 800 – Was a tad bit slower but still came in under my target time 3 minutes and 19 seconds.
  • Third 800 – Whew I was starting to feel the burn and finished up with a time of 3 minutes and 24 seconds.
  • Fourth 800 – That fourth 800 was a struggle, every part of me wanted to quit, but knowing me I pushed on and finished with a time of 3 minutes and 29 seconds.

What a workout and I walked off the track thinking to myself…”When can I schedule another day of Yasso 800’s?  As for my son, that boy can run 800’s.  Hopefully he will soon feel the urge to complete and compete in longer distances.


So to conclude, there are many workouts out there that runners use to increase speed and stamina.  What are some of those you find yourself doing?  What works for you?  Share them below in your comments and let’s all continue to get faster!!!  Feel the need for speed!!!


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