back on the track

Track workouts are necessary for anyone who wants to improve his or her time. Sure, you can easily find some open space and do timed intervals back and forth, but for me there’s something about being back on the track that keeps me disciplined. Luckily I have one a few blocks away from my apartment, and then when I’m at my parent’s house, I just go back to my high school.

On Tuesdays, my training schedule has me doing Yasso 800s one week, and hill training the next. Now if you haven’t heard of a Yasso 800 before, here is a quick summation: if you want to run a 4:00 marathon, practice a 4 minute 800m sprint. If you want to run a 3:00 marathon, practice a 3 minute 800m sprint. The buildup begins a few months before your planned marathon; your first week you do 4 x 800m sprints, adding one each week until you reach 10 x 800m sprints. In theory, this should prepare you for your desired marathon time.

Now the reality is that every runner is different. To prove that, do a google search and you’ll find a number of people swearing it worked for them, and several others saying it is a waste of time and ineffective. However, there is some logic to the number, which I am being reminded of in the running sections of some triathlete books that I’ve stumbled upon. The idea comes from your V02 max, which is essentially the max amount of oxygen you can take while exercising at your maximum level. If you want to read more about it, here’s an old Runner’s World article that is still completely relevant:

I’m no expert, but I do think Yassos are a great way to incorporate speed training into your workouts. I won’t rely on just that to get me prepared for the marathon because I do believe the best way to train for endurance is the long runs, but I do highly recommend getting some Yassos in when you can!

What are your thoughts on Yasso 800s? How do you incorporate them in your training, or do you avoid them at all costs?

[Keeping myself busy by blogging until Santa comes tonight! Happy holidays everyone!]


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