Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yasso 800

Today, Tuesday, I ran my first Yasso 800 workout of the season, in the dark at the junior high track about a mile from my house. And what a workout it was!

A month or so ago I posted on Yasso 800s and how interesting they are. Tonight proved no different. My goal was a series of 3:20 half mile repeats, ten in total, with a 3:20 lap jog in between. Here are my actual splits:

3:17
3:11
3:16
3:12
3:10
3:11
3:08
3:06
3:00
3:00

I jogged a lap in between in around 3:00, then walked the last 20 seconds or so before beginning again. It was an awesome workout.

Some details: my breathing really never got too ragged, but I did find that starting with about the sixth repeat I had to really concentrate on form and breathing. Talk about associative running! If I slipped at all in my concentration I paid almost immediately in breathing problems or uneven strides.

Why things got faster I don't know. It just felt good. An interesting part of Yasso 800s is trying to figure out what the pace will be...if you go faster than you think, theoretically you should probably cut back on the interval jog time. But how much? I got to where I would jog the amount of time it took to run the prior repeat. Is that right? Well, it makes some sense and if you don't have really consistent times it should work close enough.

And now for the real question...could I run a 3:10 or so marathon now, given my Yasso 800 workout? I don't think so. I think the Yasso 800 workout is skewed a bit toward the true distance runner, and I have a lot of middle distance in my background, if I'm willing to go all the way back to high school (which is my only running background, by the way). My thought is that if you are naturally faster than most marathons, and I think I am if you are only regarding straight 400 or 800 speed, then you should be able to run a faster Yasso 800 than your marathon time would be. But I'm only really fussing about five or ten minutes off the marathon time. For example, if the Yasso 800 times are 3:10 for me, then the marathon time would be around 3:20 maybe.

But I could be completely wrong. In any event, it was nice on the fourth running day out of five, which breaks a lot of rules for me, to have such a strong workout. The shin splints are hurting, I am tired, I'm ready for a skiing vacation next week, but I have a great workout to thing about.

It feels good, and that's a lot of what this is about.

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