How To Do Yasso 800s

How To Do The Yasso 800s Running Workout

Yasso 800s, a popular track workout, can serve as a valuable tool for estimating your marathon time. The principle behind it is quite straightforward: the pace at which you complete ten 800-meter intervals (in minutes) can be a reliable predictor of your marathon time (in hours). For instance, if you can consistently run your 800-meter repeats in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, it suggests a marathon time of 3 hours and 30 minutes.

These Yasso 800s are not exclusive to marathon runners; they offer a great speed workout for runners of various distances. Beyond their physical advantages in terms of speed and endurance, what sets Yasso 800s apart is their simplicity. Once you’ve grasped the technique, you can incorporate Yasso 800s into your training regimen at any time. This simplicity makes them a versatile tool for enhancing your running performance, regardless of your running goals.

The Origin of Yasso 800s

The Yasso 800s workout, bearing the name of its innovator Bart Yasso, a former Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a running convention!), has a fascinating history. Bart Yasso, an experienced runner, had been utilizing the Yasso 800s workout for a remarkable 15 years. During this time, it consistently proved to be an accurate predictor of his marathon performance.

As Bart Yasso aptly puts it, “I’ve been doing this particular workout for about 15 years, and it always seems to work for me. If I can complete my 800s in 2 minutes and 50 seconds, I know I’m in shape to run a marathon in 2 hours and 50 minutes. If I can bring that time down to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, I’m well-prepared for a 2 hours and 40 minutes marathon. Currently, I’m striving for a 2 hours and 37 minutes marathon, so I’ve adjusted my 800s to match that time.”


The Advantages of Yasso 800s

Engaging in Yasso 800s provides a multitude of benefits for runners. These workouts serve as a type of speed training, fostering improvements in endurance, running efficiency, speed, and race pace. Completing 10 sets of 800-meter intervals may pose a formidable challenge, but the results are worth it. Yasso 800s play a pivotal role in enhancing your marathon and race pace for various distances.

Furthermore, Yasso 800s contribute to your ability to perform at your best, even when fatigue sets in. This training method bolsters your stamina, making it invaluable for long-distance races.

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One of the standout features of Yasso 800s workouts is their simplicity. Their straightforward nature makes them an easy and memorable addition to your training regimen, simplifying your journey to improved running performance.


What Are Yasso 800s?

Yasso 800s are a specific track workout that revolves around completing multiple repetitions of 800 meters, equivalent to two laps around a standard outdoor track. The fundamental Yasso 800s workout protocol consists of a series of 10 repetitions of these 800-meter intervals. Each fast-paced interval is followed by a recovery lap where you run for an equal duration of time. If you prefer, you can also adapt the Yasso 800s workout for treadmill use or execute it outdoors on roads. In such cases, you can leverage the precision of a GPS watch or a running app to accurately measure the 800-meter intervals.


Mastering the Yasso 800s: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re eager to embrace the Yasso 800s workout and wonder about the ins and outs of executing it effectively, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a straightforward breakdown of how to conquer this track workout:

The Core Formula
The Yasso 800s workout follows a simple formula: embark on ten 800-meter intervals, with each interval completed in a time equivalent to your goal marathon pace. Between each interval, initiate a recovery jog that matches the duration of your preceding interval.

Consistency is Key
As with all interval training, your aim is consistency in your times. While the initial intervals might seem manageable, maintaining the same pace across all ten intervals can be quite demanding.

Setting the Distance
If you’re not training for a marathon or just embarking on your Yasso 800s journey, begin with four intervals. For marathon runners, progressively add an interval each week until you reach the full ten 800s. However, do not introduce an additional interval until you’ve successfully achieved your target time in a workout. For example, if your goal is a 3:30 pace, and you’re running four 800-meter intervals, refrain from adding a fifth interval until you can consistently complete all four within 3:30 or less.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down
As a critical part of your Yasso 800s routine, allocate 5 to 10 minutes each for a warm-up and cool-down run, maintaining a relaxed, easy pace. Don’t forget to incorporate dynamic stretches to prime your body for the workout and ensure proper recovery afterward.


Sample Yasso 800s Workout

Here’s a sample Yasso 800s workout to kickstart your speed training. Execute this workout once a week as part of your training regimen, adding taper time if you’re preparing for a marathon race.

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Yasso 800s Workout:

1. Warm-Up: Begin with a 10-minute run at an easy, relaxed pace. Don’t skip dynamic stretches to prepare your body.

2. Intervals: Run 800 meters, equivalent to half a mile or two laps around a standard running track, at a pace matching your goal race time in minutes. If you’re a marathon runner aiming for a 4-hour marathon, complete your 800s in 4 minutes. Aim to complete ten intervals.

3. Recovery: Between each 800-meter interval, embark on a recovery jog lasting the same duration as your preceding interval. Keep it at a relaxed, recovery pace.

4. Cool-Down: To conclude your Yasso 800s session, run for an additional 10 minutes at an easy, relaxed pace. Finish up with a thorough stretching routine.


Customizing Your Yasso 800s Workout for Race Goals

Tailoring your Yasso 800s workout to your specific race objectives is a smart strategy. Whether you’re preparing for a shorter race or aiming for a marathon, here’s how you can make the Yasso 800s work for you:

Half Marathon Training
For those gearing up for a half marathon, incorporating Yasso 800s is a great move. I recommend commencing with a minimum of five 800-meter intervals to align with your race goals effectively. This will help enhance your endurance and speed, critical for a strong half marathon performance.

5K and 10K Preparation
When focusing on shorter distances like a 5K or 10K, a modified Yasso 800s workout is equally valuable. Start with at least four 800-meter intervals to cater to your race ambitions. This will aid in improving your pacing and overall race performance.

Marathon Milestones
Marathon runners should ease into the Yasso 800s workout by initiating it with four intervals. Gradually work your way up to the full ten over time. However, it’s vital not to add more intervals until you’ve successfully met your time goals during your Yasso 800s session. For instance, if you can consistently run five 800s at your desired marathon pace, it’s a sign that you’re ready to add one more 800 the following week.

Adjusting Your Pace
The pace at which you run your Yasso 800s should align with your goal distance. When preparing for a half marathon, strive to match your 10K race pace for the 800s. Suppose you usually complete a 10K at an 8-minute mile pace, in that case, aim to maintain the same pace for your 800s, finishing each one in 4 minutes. For 5K or 10K training, your 800s should be about 30 seconds slower than your target 5K pace.

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Location Flexibility
The Yasso 800s workout is most convenient on a track, where two laps translate to 800 meters, making measurement easy. However, if you lack access to a track, don’t worry. You can perform your 800s on a treadmill or during a regular outdoor run, utilizing a running watch or a running app to measure the distance effectively. The flexibility of this workout makes it accessible to all runners, regardless of their training environment.


Final Words – How To Do Yasso 800s

The Yasso 800s, a renowned track workout, offers more than just a prediction of your marathon time; it provides a versatile tool to enhance your running performance. Bart Yasso, the brain behind this workout, has used it for over 15 years to great effect. His philosophy is simple: if you can consistently complete your 800-meter intervals in a certain time, it serves as an accurate marathon time prediction.

The beauty of Yasso 800s lies in their adaptability. These workouts aren’t limited to marathon runners; they are an excellent speed training method for runners of various distances. Their simplicity sets them apart, and once you’ve grasped the technique, you can incorporate Yasso 800s at any time to boost your speed and endurance, regardless of your running goals.

Engaging in Yasso 800s offers numerous advantages, including improvements in endurance, running efficiency, speed, and race pace. By completing 10 sets of 800-meter intervals, you can elevate your marathon and race pace for various distances. Furthermore, Yasso 800s prepare your body to perform well even under the strains of fatigue, enhancing your stamina for long-distance races.

The Yasso 800s workout itself is straightforward. It involves ten 800-meter intervals, with each interval run at a pace corresponding to your goal marathon time, followed by a recovery jog of equal duration. The critical aspect here is consistency, ensuring you maintain your desired pace throughout all ten intervals.

If you’re not training for a marathon, you can adapt the workout to your specific distance goals. Whether you’re preparing for a half marathon, a 5K, or a 10K, there’s a Yasso 800s variation that suits your needs. Adjusting your pace and considering location flexibility are crucial aspects that make Yasso 800s an accessible and effective workout for runners.

By incorporating Yasso 800s into your training regimen, you can fine-tune your running performance, and whether you’re aiming for a marathon or any other race distance, these workouts can be your key to reaching your goals.

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