Workout of the week: Yasso 800’s

Each week I share a swim, bike, run, plyometric or strength workout from my training. Give it a shot and leave your feedback in the comments.

I raced my last triathlon of the season a couple weeks ago, but I still have a couple of running events left on the calendar for this year. More than that though, the weather in MN has been much warmer than normal as of late. So I’ve been taking advantage. None of my training is too structured at the moment. Coming off a pretty solid season, I like to take some time to simply do what’s fun. If a track session sounds enticing, then I go for it. If it’s a beautiful afternoon, maybe I’ll take the bike out for a couple hours.

This session is painful, but man the benefits are great. A well-known endurance coach whose podcast I listen to a lot is a huge proponent of 1000 meter intervals on the track. I can’t agree more. I think the 800-1200m range is a fantastic sweet-spot for speed work. For pacing on 800’s I like to use Bart Yasso’s formula of taking your goal marathon pace (in hours and minutes) and converting it to minutes and seconds. For example, if my goal is a 2:50 marathon, then my 800 meter goal pace is 2 minutes and 50 seconds. Depending on your fitness level, your main set can include as few as 3-4 intervals, but you can add more as your fitness builds.

Warm up

1 mile warm up

5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching and drills

5 minutes of jogging and strides

Main Set

8x 800 meters w/ 400 meters easy jog/walk between each

Cool Down

800 meters

Dynamic stretching


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