Bart Yasso Blog Shrine
Happy Running Hump Day Y’all! It’s pretty typical for runners to start sitting down and taking time to plan out their race calendar for the year right about now. It’s the perfect motivator and way to hold yourself accountable. There is probably a plethora of methodologies and ways of thinking that runners take on this. Today, I will talk to you about Bart Yasso and his fabulous Yasso 800’s.
Will you pre-register in order to take the next step and level of commitment? Or do you just kinda wing it and see how you feel when the time comes? Once you decide on the race, do you plan out and follow a specific training plan? Or do you just take one step, one day, one week, one month at a time and hope that your fitness will set you up to be able to run the race of your choice? Well, for myself being a Type-A runner I like to calculate everything out. By everything, I mean the race, the date, the training and how many weeks building into it, the mileage peak, the taper, etc. This tactic helps me feel a sense of control and empowerment. On race day, it also gives me a sense of confidence in knowing that I did all that I could and then hopefully all the stars will align and my goals for the race will come together. Sometimes, those goals simply mean just to enjoy the race and finish with the least amount of pain. Or,…sometimes if it’s a realistic goal for the time of year of course, I’ll set to go after a new PR (personal record).
Thus far, the biggest goal I had set for my running self-was to qualify and run at Boston (which I’ve mentioned in previous blogs). I’ll repeat myself in saying that I knew it was a bold goal and I had absolutely NO experience running that kind of mileage, let alone how realistic it actually was to try gunning for a B.Q. time (Boston Qualifying). But, one of the things I discovered and had read about prior to setting up my training was, the Yasso 800’s. So today’s post will be dedicated to Bart Yasso and his famous Yasso 800’s.
According to The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training, written by Jennifer Van Allen, Amby Burfoot and Bart Yasso himself, “Yasso 800’s are renowned for helping gauge fitness and predicting race performance. After a warmup, do 10 x 800 meters with a 400-meter recovery jog in between. You should be spent after the last repeat. The average of your 800 times is a good barometer of how fast you can run in a marathon – but in hours and minutes instead of minutes and seconds.”
Bart was a speedy devil in his prime and has had his fair share of hardware accumulation thru-out his life with running. He’s written books like ‘My Life on the Run‘ (a link to purchase is in my Library page) and been a part of the ‘Runner’s World‘ team as the Chief Running Officer and helped them develop the Race Sponsorship Program. Bart made a realization thru his own training. Once a week, he would hit the track and do the Yasso 800 workout and log his times. He discovered the connection between his average times and the finishing time for whatever marathon he was currently training for. Brilliant!
This system became real for me after running Bart’s infamously simple “meat and potatoes” workout and implementing the weekly 800’s into my own marathon training. I followed the training plan at the back of the above-listed book to a ‘T’ and indeed ran the times I averaged on the track. Unbelievable!!
I now try and share this with as many people that I know aiming to run a specific marathon time. Whether they’re chasing after qualifying for Boston, a new PR, or trying to break the 4-hour mark, I tell everyone about Yasso 800’s. And I’ve been so grateful for his discovery and willingness to share it!
“The Mayor of Running”
I had the opportunity to thank Bart, otherwise known as “The Mayor of Running”(Runner’s World article linked) in person in fact. In October of 2016, I ran the Chicago Marathon (the same year the Cubs won the World Series) and on the eve of the race my husband and I went to Giordano’s to carb load. Low and behold I look up and see a familiar face. “Hey, I think that’s Bart Yasso over there!” I say while hyperventilating, as I”m elbowing my husband. “Bart, who?”…my husband is not a huge runner by the way. You’ve heard of the term liquid courage, well,…I must’ve had carbohydrate courage because I walked right over and introduced myself. I’d hate myself for walking away and not taking the chance to thank him or shake his hand. He’s like a God within the running community.
I look back on my Chicago Marathon experience to this day with lots of unforgettable memories. The worst including forgetting my cell phone and running shoes (yep, that’s right folks…Ms. Type A forgot her running shoes), and the best memories including getting to meet Bart. Stories for another day, perhaps on a blog titled “The Fabulous Debacle of Ms. Type A”.
Happy Running Hump Day and power to ‘The Mayor of Running’ and his fabulous Yasso 800’s!!