Of course, this is not a magic predictor workout and its voodoo probably only works under special circumstances. The beauty of the Yasso 800 is its simplicity. It makes you want to believe it can work. I used this workout when I first started running and would do it about 3 weeks out from my marathons as a predictor. The funny thing is that it never really worked for me back then so I abandoned it in 2006. It is a good workout if nothing else.
Nonetheless, I did this workout tonight for the first time in over 2 years and felt a little nostalgic. The last time I had done it, I was trying to break 3 hours for the marathon for the first time. So, I was trying to do these 800s in 3 minutes. I remember that being really hard, but I believe I was able to do it. The marathon I ran was Chicago and it was super cold and pretty windy that year. I ran 3:07.
My coach gave me 13 miles for today including the Yassos--10 x 800m in ~2:46 with 3 minute jog rests. I wanted to do the workout in the morning, but I got very little sleep last night being woken constantly by dogs who were suffering from GI distress and whining to go outside. This time, I had no idea what was upsetting their delicate little bowels. I did not feed them sweet potatoes or any other foreign chow.
So, my brilliantly planned workout started at about 6:30 in 95 degree heat and I felt every degree as I set out for the Sac State practice track. I was all business tonight, sporting my Lunar Racers, which I save for only the most serious of workouts and races. As I approached the practice track I noticed a very large bright orange sign that said something like Track Closed Idiot--Don't Even Think About Jumping This Fence To Get In. Normally, this wouldn't stop me, particularly if I saw someone else violating the rules. Tonight, however, I was the only one out there and I saw trucks driving around close to the track. I would sort of stick out like a sore thumb running my laps. So, I decided I would just have to do them on the bike trail. Ironically, this is exactly where I had done them before, running back and forth between the 8 and 8.5 mile markers on the trail.
This is not an ideal set up for this workout since it's much easier to run 800m on a flat track. Here I would be dealing with other trail users and topography. Plus, I would be running 1/2 miles rather than 800m though there's not a big difference (~16 feet). So what the hell did I do out there?
Here are my splits:
1 - 2:36
2 - 2:40
3 - 2:41
4 - 2:44 (felt like quitting after this one--no really)
5 - 2:43
6 - 2:46
7 - 2:42
8 - 2:46
9 - 2:42 (the penultimate rep!)
10 - 2:45
My average was 2:42.5. So, Bart would say I am in shape to run a 2:42:30 marathon. I really doubt that. I am just thrilled that I pulled this workout off in the heat and on the trail. I could have taken it much easier on myself had I run this morning and found an open track. I have to say it is a good feeling to still nail a workout despite myself.
I just finished my recovery beer and will rest up tomorrow in preparation for Sunday's marathon-length training run. Here's to Bart Yasso!