BLACK FRIDAY! Beat the Dec 1st price rise PLUS save $20 with unlimited training plans & coach support from $3.55 per week!
BLACK FRIDAY! Beat the Dec 1st price rise...

The Yasso 800 Marathon Workout

Runner on track

The Yasso 800 workout is a simple way to estimate how long it would take you to run a marathon. Learn how to make it part of your training here…

 

All of us have a favourite run, be it the long Sunday morning effort, the midweek tempo or Monday-night track session. Well, once you’ve read today’s blog, there’s a very good chance that you’ll have a new contender: The Yasso 800s workout

We’ll delve into the detail shortly but these 800m repetitions were created by American running legend Bart Yasso.

Yasso’s achievements stretch to completing races on all seven continents, winning the 1987 National Biathlon Long Course Championships, taming five Ironman triathlons and finishing the small matter of the Badwater Ultramarathon – aka 146 miles in the deathly heat of Death Valley, California.

Many years ago, Yasso hit upon the idea of running 800m repetitions when training for the Portland Marathon. His aim? To build up to 10 sets of 800m to match his marathon goal time. Make sense? Arguably not.

But this is what Yasso told Runner’s World magazine: “I’ve been doing this workout for years. If I can get my 800s down to 2mins 50secs, I’m in 2:50hr marathon shape. If I can get the 800s down to 2:40mins, I’m in 2:40hr marathon shape.”

It just works…

For Yasso and thousands of others, this seemingly simple principle worked every time: build up to 10 sets of 800m where your average for each set comes in at roughly the same time and your marathon time will, albeit in hours and minutes, not minutes and seconds, mimic that 800m time.

Why does it work? That’s the eternal question. While many predictive models are complicated affairs, trying to marry physiological factors, like aerobic and anaerobic capacity, with performance outcomes, the link between 10 sets of 800m and goal marathon times seems purely coincidental.

Does that matter? Arguably not, as this is a predictor workout. You’re not necessarily looking to build stamina with this workout or top-end speed – it’s all about gauging where you are at that particular moment with an eye on your goal marathon.

As for recovery time between each 800m, it couldn’t be simpler: you simply jog for the same number of minutes it took you to run the repeats. So, if you ticked off 800m in 4mins, for example, jog for 4mins. Ideally, you’ll complete 10 sets a couple of times before your marathon with the last effort around three weeks out.

-- CONTENT CONTINUES BELOW --
Big news...
We've made some of our plans 100% FREE! Choose your event below...

*Plus, you’ll also receive free regular training tips from head coach Phil Mosley! Unsubscribe at any time.

Importance of pacing

If the Yasso 800s aren’t a regular in your training plan, you might ask why you need them at all? Simply put, it’s down to pacing. Optimum pacing is the Holy Grail of endurance events, especially races as long as a marathon. It’s where you manage a host of bodily feelings in order to maintain a sustainable pace.

In other words, you don’t get over-excited at the start, use up your energy and hit the wall around mile 21-22 (a common one!), and you don’t start so slowly that despite hitting the finish line in fresh(-ish) shape, your way behind your goal time.

Key to run pacing is experience. Whether it’s conscious or sub-conscious – theories abound around the brain’s role in fatigue and pacing – the more you’ve run, the more competitions you’ve completed, the better you become at managing speed, distance and energy levels. This often manifests itself as even pacing where, to near metronomic levels, you reel off mile after mile at roughly the same time before unleashing that final kick within sight of the finish line.

Negative pacing’s another proven method to reach your targets. As the name implies, it’s where you run the second half of your marathon quicker than the first. This delivers the added ego boost of passing many of the runners who overtook you at the start!

Ultimately, the Yasso 800 workout is just one method to predict your marathon time. There are others – including some excellent ideas in our previous blog “How to Pace a Marathon“. And like all predictive models, the Yasso 800 isn’t foolproof for all with some saying it predicts a marathon time that’s up to 5mins too fast.

Still, history suggests it’s reliable enough for most and is a great way to not only gauge your marathon time but also provide a boost of motivation when your race is still way off on the horizon.

Share on facebook
Share
Share on linkedin
Share
Share on twitter
Share
Share on whatsapp
Share
Share on print
Print
Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)
Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)

Phil is a recognised endurance expert who founded MyProCoach in 2010 to offer smart training plans that still leave quality time for your family, friends & career - complete with highly-rated coach support (he has sold over 40,000 so far). Learn more here!

Popular Articles from the Training Tips Blog

ONGOING FREE ADVICE FROM RECOGNISED EXPERT PHIL MOSLEY

Get Phil's best training tips via email!

I promise to never sell your information or send you spam. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Big news...

We've made some of our plans 100% FREE!

Choose your event:
5.0/5 from 320+ reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Plus, you’ll also receive free training advice via email from head coach Phil Mosley! Unsubscribe at any time.

Unlimited Athlete Price Rise - Dec 1st 2021

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, after 2 hugely successful years of our Unlimited Athlete subscription with over 1300 active members, we’ve decided to increase our prices for the first time on December 1st.

The feedback has been outstanding (rated 5.0 from 100’s of testimonials), and recently we’ve also added further personal coach time… For example, our coaches now check your personalised training zones are set up correctly, and also keep you accountable by getting in touch if you haven’t logged any training for 2 weeks.

So, to maintain this great customer service and to support our coaches, on Dec 1st we’re increasing both price options by $5 per month, or by $4 per month if you pay annually (but for all existing Unlimited Athletes, to give a fair warning, renewals will not increase in price until Feb 1st, 2022).

Lock-In Prices, Plus an Extra $20-Off!

For Black Friday, we are also giving a bonus $20 off any new annual subscription! Our annual prices are going up by $4 per month, or $48 per year. This means if you sign up this week with our bonus $20 off, you’ll be saving $68 compared to our future annual pricing.

Which comes down to as little as $3.55 per week for unlimited training plans and ongoing certified coach support. We can’t thank everyone enough for all your support!

The longer plans start easier and progress more gradually. This has a bearing on the difficulty level you choose. For example, a 12-week plan starts off at a higher level than a 36-week plan because with 12 weeks left there’s not as much opportunity to build up slowly.
Short Medium Long
Duration
4-12 weeks
14-24 weeks
27+ weeks
Required fitness level
Higher
Moderate
Lower
Training phases
2~4
5~7
8+
Fitness tests
1~2
3~4
5+
Our Standard and Masters plans are designed to get you ready for your target event, while our Off-Season plans allow you to recover from a tough season but still maintain your well-earned fitness.
STANDARD MASTERS OFF-SEASON
Approx. age
Under 40
Over 40
Any
Recovery weeks
Every 4 weeks
Every 3 weeks
N/A
Strength sessions
1-2 per week
2 per week
1-2 per week
Likely goal
Train for event
Train for event
Maintain fitness
This table provides a brief overview of which level might be right for you, to help you get the most out of your plan. You should also note your current fitness levels and how many times you have done this event before.
BEGINNER INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED
Experience
Little to none
1-3 years
3+ years
Time to train
Limited
Moderate
Ample
Likely goal
To finish
At least top half
Competitive
All our plans are available for sale directly on the TrainingPeaks Store, or you can subscribe as a MyProCoach Unlimited Athlete to be able to swap freely between all of them, among other benefits.
BUY SUBSCRIBE
Price
$29 - $159 each
From $17/month
Flexible, structured training
TrainingPeaks training app
Coaching videos, articles & FAQs
Email coach support

During plan only

Anytime
Swap freely between all 900+ plans
Help setting up your training zones
Coach monthly engagement check
Discounted TrainingPeaks Premium
30-day moneyback guarantee
We're Sorry To See You Go!

Please confirm your cancellation below and one of our team will process it as soon as possible (stopping all future payments). Your subscription will still continue until the end of your current billing cycle (your “next payment date”) and there is nothing else you need to do.

Don’t worry, you will always be able to access your completed workouts and your TrainingPeaks login credentials will stay the same. Also, if any payments happen to come out before we cancel your subscription, we’ll simply refund them.