Lora recently made me a training plan to get ready for a half marathon + lay the groundwork for fall marathon training. And no, I did NOT get in via the NYC Marathon lottery and I’m crushed. I’m debating running for a charity again but I seriously don’t think I can handle all that right now. I’ve done that 3 times already and I think my friends and family will disown me.
Anyway, in her plan, my first speed workout was Yasso 800s; a workout some believe is predictive of your marathon shape. If you can run ten 800s at 3:55 (with recovery equal to the amount of time it took you to run the interval) you can run a 3:55 marathon. I’m pretty sure there’s little to no science behind it…it just works. For some people. (I’m doing a bad job of explaining it. Here’s the official explanation.)
When I saw 10×800 on the schedule I was scared. 800s are scary, especially when you’re doing double-digits-worth of 800s. When I set foot on the track, I was nervous. Like, stomach-turning, heart-racing, kind-of-hard-to-take-a-deep-breath anxious. Which felt silly because HELLO, it’s just running. But track workouts make me feel that way.
Let’s just jump right to the splits. If you don’t want to sort through them in the chart below, here’s a condensed list:
3:43, 3:47, 3:55, 3:57, 3:58, 4:07, 4:05, 4:12, 4:13, 4:09
If you like reading all the data, here you go:
Hellooooo, positive splits. I was wavering between anger at slowing down and reminding myself that I needed to keep my attitude in check if I wanted to finish this workout. A mental downward spiral would certainly not do me any good.
For the first few 800s, I promised myself I wouldn’t run any slower than 3:59:59. As I inched closer to 4 minutes with each repetition, I tried to imagine myself in my goal marathon, that close to the finish line, with my goal in my reach. I pretended I was 3 hours into the race instead of 3 minutes into an 800 meter run. If I felt THIS HORRIBLE at that moment, with the finish line in sight, I needed to push through it…because 4:00:00 is a world apart from 3:59:59 to me. As I started running 4:07, 4:05, I was upset I let go of the 3:XX, but content at the same time. I knew I gave it everything I had. I felt like throwing up in the last few 800s. My legs were jello. Nothing was left in me, I left it all on the track.
(Still, I just looked back on some 800s I ran when training for the Wineglass Marathon – very early on – and I was running them between 3:29 and 3:36, sooooo….that’s a little depressing.)
Anyway, I feel like I’m overdramatizing this. Like I’m writing a Disney sports movie. But as I learned from Rudy (which wasn’t even a Disney movie but whatevs), all I need is a belief in myself and the drive to work hard. So I’ll do just that.
I’m so glad Lora pushed me to do this workout – it was definitely a learning experience and I can’t wait to look back on this first workout further down the line!
P.S. Runner’s World totally gets me. They sent this quote this morning:
Annnnnnd that’s all I have to say about Yasso 800s.
Have you done them? Thoughts? Do you think they “work” in predicting marathon shape?