Do You Yasso?

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Where I Run These Days
And now for our regularly scheduled program: Jill's Fitness Friday link up.

My friend Lisa joined a running club recently and although she had her doubts beforehand, she loves it now! She has talked a lot about the fact that they are running less, but longer and stronger and each run has a focus. She has told me some of the details of her training runs and I have taken some of her group's ideas and run with them (he.he.he.)

The other night she mentioned that she had just finished doing Yassos and they had really kicked her butt. I wasn't sure what language she was speaking but asked her to elaborate. She explained them as this.

Take what your goal marathon pace is. For example, mine would be 4 hours flat, since I am attempting to run the half marathon in 2 hours flat. Now, run 800s meters (half a mile) at your goal time, but in minutes. For example, my goal is 4 hours. I have to run the 800 meters in 4 minutes. In case you are having trouble with the calculations like I did at first, that is an 8 minute mile. So I asked her, "and then what?" She said then you have a 400 M (.25 mile) "shag", which is a recovery period, where you run a slow jog. She suggested a 10 minute mile. I looked online and it says to run it in the same amount of time you ran the 800 meter, which for me would have been a 16 minute pace, which is a walk.

You are supposed to start at 4 intervals and work your way up. Her group did 8!! I decided to try it, and the next day, started with 4 of them. First I did a 1.5 mile warm up. Then I did 4 repeats and a 1.5 mile cool down. I did not run at a 16 minute pace during the recovery; I just ran at what felt comfortable.

Let me tell you, these things are magic! I have been doing intervals once every two weeks and hating them, although they DO usually get me about a 9 minute mile (which is my goal pace for a 2 hour half). They are strange because even though you run fast, then walk, then run fast etc, you still end up with a good combined pace. However, the Yasso beat my puny little intervals to shreds.

Don't get me wrong. These were hard. An 8 minute pace for me...is hard! But not impossible. My normal pace is about an 8:45 or 9 (for 6 miles). So my total was 6 miles and my average pace was about 8:25, which is 20 seconds per mile faster than normal! This week I decided to make sure it was not a fluke, so I did 5 of them this time. I ended up running 6 miles at an 8:10 pace. I was tired afterwards, but not completely dead, although I did almost lose my lunch around mile 3. But I recovered.

So, my question to you is this: For my half on Sunday, should I do this, or a variation of this, the whole time? Or maybe just part of the time? Have you tried doing intervals during a long race? If so, at what point during the race -- the beginning, middle or end?

I feel like I may not be sure of what I am doing, since the farthest I have gone on a Yasso day is 6 miles. Will it last for 13 or will I hit the wall somewhere in the middle? What do you think?

Have you tried to Yasso? 

PS EEEKKK... If you've popped out of Reader, note the "1 day and some odd hours left" until the Half!

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  1. Randomly, I'm headed out the door to do just that...my first attempt at a yasso anything.

  2. I Yasso! I used to really hate them but I think I am learning to love them a little :)

  3. Funny how once we start running, it's an addiction! Love it

  4. I haven't tried this ... but I hope you have a great half this weekend!

    Coming from the Fitness Friday Blog Hop.

  5. Nice work! I did yasso's a few times while marathon training last summer and they were HARD! I think I might do some again next week :) I'm a HUGE believer in track work, doing interval workouts at the track has helped me achieve two major PR's!

  6. I've heard that people have really good results with Yasso's but have not tried them myself. I know Bart Yasso is on twitter and he seems to answer people who tweet him questions, maybe you could ask him?

  7. how exciting that your half is this weekend!! so coo! yassos are fun! i would say to just start out slow and get in a groove dont worry about anything else, you will do great!!

  8. I have never heard of that term, but want to learn more. I am runner, but not a racer. Best of luck this weekend, I know you will do great!!
    And thanks for being a part of Storytellers this weekend :)

  9. I've heard many Yasso praises but have never tried it. I think I'm going to add it to my plan this week. I know I need to add interval training to my running for better performance. Thanks for the kick in the butt to get out there and do it!

    Good luck with your half. You're going to do great!

  10. I've never heard of this but may be tempted to try them. I can't wait to see if you decided to do them during the race or not and how it went.

    april@Party of Five

  11. The night I told you about my yassos was my first time doing Them. Last week the run coaches didn't have me do yassos, instead I did 1200m but at my 10k pace instead of my 5k pace (ran the yassos around my alleged 5k pace). The interval wk outs are good but tough! But I just saw your tweet about your time so clearly they worked for you!!!!

  12. I've never heard of them, but tempted to try them. It soounds like something that I should be doing. Making a note for myself now...


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!