May 29, 2009

Yasso 800s

I'll just throw it out there that I think the prediction theory behind the Yasso 800s is bull. Seriously, too many variables interact with long distance running for 800s to predict a marathon time. Anyhow, I did hit the track Wednesday for the first time in awhile. I warmed up w/ 800 meters, then started in on 10 X 800 w/ 400 jog between (cheated on this a little, though, by stopping after each 3 repeats to record my times). It was pretty hot (duh, I live in LA) and humid.

Let me insert a little mini-rant here. This week I didn't have summer school, so I was able to sleep in until 6:00 or later, pushing my running time WAY back into the morning, like 7 a.m. So, the track was actually being used when I arrived. Why in the heck do people think it is acceptable to walk 4 abreast in the inside 3 lanes. Worse than that, I clearly, obviously was moving at a much more rapid pace than they were, but REFUSED to move. I even know these particular men from church, and thought after the first time around they would get a clue and move to the outside lanes. Nope, they stayed right there. Each time around, I had to run from the inside lane to the 4th (!!!!) lane to get around them. In the future I might have to pull rank and lock myself inside the track. LOL. Things like that explain why I like running before dawn- ALONE.

On to the workout. I had read a thread about the Yasso 800s prediction factor recently and had it in my little head that I wanted to run 3:00-3:05 for each split. I knew this was slow, but given that I am not accustomed to repeats this short, I thought that was a modest, but appropriate goal. Here are the first 3- 3:05, 3:04, 3:05 and I stopped to record my times into my training journal. Next 3- 3:02, 3:05, 3:05 and I stopped to record those 3. I was feeling pretty gassed, but wanted to push it on the last 4- 3:01, 3:02, 3:02, 3:03.

In all, I am pleased and disappointed with this workout. I am pleased b/c boy, do I have some endurance. Those are some very consistent splits with nice improvement on the final 4. I am disappointed b/c I know that's pretty slow. Anyhow, my training has been slow, but solid lately. I'm getting in about 60 miles a week with 2 quality workouts a week.

I have been considering training w/ Daniels for my upcoming marathon, but have been informed recently that Daniels is for "fast" people (i.e. not me). So... it's looking like Pfitz again, AND I have decided on Hartford, CT for the next marathon. The bonus plan is to meet a good friend in San Antonio 5 weeks later for that marathon, but there will always be the option to bail into the half.

Run strong, friends!


  1. LA,

    Long time reader/stalker. First time poster.

    The only reason SQ said that (help me out here SQ if I misstate, not trying to put words in your mouth) is because Daniels likes to cap his LRs at 2.5 hours.

    2.5 hours is:
    20 miles at 7:30 (this is a pretty decent clip for a 3:00 marathoners LR.)
    22 miles at 6:49 (which is theoretically greater than your MP and makes no sense)

    Look, I think you should try Daniels if all the quality isn't intimidating. FWIW, I'm going to throw some Daniels into my next cycle with some modifications. I am very intimidated by some of the workouts I see in there.

    You've been pretty strictly following Pfitz for a long time now right? I think it would be great for you to mix it up.

  2. Hi, Seth! Thanks for your comment. SQ wasn't the only one that thought Daniels is for more advanced runners. The #1 genius, Jim2, was in agreement. I've done Pfitz for 2 marathons. Before that I was a Higdon's girl. Thanks again for your comment and vote of confidence! I am still going to pick up Daniels' book and make a final decision after reading it.

  3. R, use Daniels! You're fit, you're strong, you can handle Daniels! The difficult thing about the message boards is that it is too easy to believe everything people tell you, especially when they tell you that you can't do something, or shouldn't do something.

    You know what your body feels like when it starts to feel beat up. If you start to get anywhere near that feeling while using Daniels, then you know you can cease and desist and switch to something else before it's too late.

    KSRunner used Daniels to take her below 3:00. I bet you can, too! Believe in yourself. I'm serious. Those guys are smart and all, but so are you. And nobody is smarter about your own abilities than you are. Never let anyone mess with your mind.

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  5. This is absolute bull about you not being fast enough for Daniels. There's no "stroke of midnight" where your training will be for naught and the long runs wouldn't be a deciding factor at your speed. It makes me mad (at them, not you) to hear you dissuaded from a plan that works for tons of runners.

    Do Pfitz if it appeals to you, but certainly don't let those guys talk you out of doing something that could work very well for you. Did you look at the particular workouts to see if it looked interesting?

  6. I agree with everyone else, give Daniels a try, embrace a little self confidence.

    On the Yasso 800s I have never understood if they are a speedworkout or a "see if you can do hen workout." They came up in the 3:10 thread and the idea was that they were mostly a negative feedback kind of thing, might try them. I have been thinking about sending a email to Bart and hearing from him, he should know!

  7. i concur... I'm a sloth and I'm going to do Daniels!! 2.5 hours is a short time for a LR for most because it will be under 20 miles. But who's to say that you cant do the 20?? Tailor it to your liking. Now the Elite Plan is REALLY for the fast people, unless you have oodles of time on hand. Ur constantly running 18'ish miles and long tempo's. Most will do Plan A and tweak it. It gives more speedy "speedwork" than Pfitz also. Im hoping Danny-boy gets me to Boston '10!!

  8. Hi,

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your blog. I have been stuck rehabbing an injury that prevented me from going after another marathon, but this makes me feel connected (and is inspiration, since I want to be where you were a couple of years ago!). I've not done the Yasso 800s as part of a marathon buildup, but our club does a decent amount of higher volume (7-10K) track workouts at ~10K pace prior to Boston so I feel like the workout aspect is right on. As for predictive value, it might be a good benchmark for someone who hasn't run a marathon in a while, but you seem like you have done enough that you probably have a pretty good internal calibration of what shape you're in.

  9. you're getting a ton of comments on this one. i'm with some of the other posters on the daniels thing. i did daniels right out of college and saw immediate improvements in my time....of course, that could also be because i wasn't killing myself with too much mileage like we did in college. but i enjoyed daniels. at the time, i didn't even know that there were other options out there like pfitz.

    and i'm trying to remember what we did 800s in. on south lakeshore (that super flat road), i think we ran them in 2:43-2:48. we were the slow ones on those too. we did about 6 of them at that pace. i don't remember ever doing 8. we did the two mile warm up and cool down too on that work out day...and the dumb morning run.

  10. You know I'm a believer of following your heart and going what you think will work for you personally when it comes to running. If you feel that way about Daniels I think you should give it a shot!

    I never tried Yassos but I agree with you that I think they would predict nothing for me and I would probably be able to run them much faster than I could the marathon "equivalent." I've actually been wanting to try them though and see what happens so maybe I will now that I'm hitting up my shorter distance training.

    Enjoy running, sounds like you have a fun summer ahead!

  11. Hey LA,

    All good comments thus far, but listen girl, I am not an expert but do think A LOT...I have read several running books, beginners and mostly advance, you name it I have them ALL....

    Please, please don't take what others say so serious, especially from the internet. Do what feels right for YOU, who cares whether it's from an expert or not, trust in your instincts, it's not like you are getting paid for what you are doing....

    I can not STRESS enough, it's JUST running, pure hobby, believe in yourself!

    Okay, I admit I have this book and you can borrow it... :) See you next weekend!!!

  12. I agree with you that Yasso 800s are worthless for predicting a marathon time. To put my times into perspective, I can run a mid-33 8K on a flat course (average of just over 3:20 per 800) with no rest at all. There is no way that I could run a 3:20 marathon in my current condition.

  13. I've done Daniels and HADD into Pfitz. I definitely had way better results with HADD/Pfitz, but thats just me. If you do Daniels' you don't really have to limit your long runs to 2.5 hours, but note that between Houston and Boston this year when I did a mish/mash of Pfitz 12/70-85 I did only 1 run longer than 2:22 (a 22-miler in 2:50). Most of my other LRs were 17.5-19 miles.

    Also, if you are feeling like 18-weeks of full marathon training is too long. Do a 12-week plan. So you'd start up end -of-July. And just do some base building until then, with some races as some fast stuff thrown in.... You can modify Daniels A-Plan to do 12-weeks or 18-weeks with 6 weeks base.

    Good luck @ Hartford, I'm waiting to see if I got into NYC...

  14. I did my own version of Yasso 800s last night and they weren't slow but they were a shock to the system and I was amazed how all these people that I can beat or hang with in races were able to consistently run them 5-10 seconds faster. I guess it's the endurance and race time that matters in the end not the silly 800s!