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Extra Credit Yassos

Posted Oct 27 2009 4:57pm

For those of you not familiar with a little running gem called Yassos, let me explain. Yassos are a speed workout. But as my three year old would say, "they're not just ANY speedworkout, they're..." the mack daddy of speed workouts for marathon training because they're a fairly accurate predictor of what your finishing time will be.

The founding forefather of Yassos, a Mr. Bart Yasso who happens to be not only runner extraodinare having run nearly every marathon on the planet and run each one faster than the average bear ("Hey Boo boo" use your Yogi voice please when reading) but also Runner's World Chief Running Officer (how's that for a job eh?) has no exact mathematical formula as to why this works. Only years of researching runners and their workouts and found that it proves correct nearly every time.

It's not a complicated workout. Just run 1/2 miles, 8-10 of them, according to his book My Life on The Run (one of my favorites by the way, it's got it all even naked running and being chased by wild animals of the scary sort). In between each one of them, jog a recovery for about as long as it took you to run the half. Then take an average of what your 1/2mile time would be and VOILA! You have your marathon finish time.

So taking Bart at his word, (I feel I can call him Bart. We are friends on Facebook and all. I think I wrote on his wall once, and him on mine...well...never. But still he accepted the friend request, so that makes us friends right?) I've been running Yassos. I think I started with 2, way back when. Tonight, however, it was 10. And my average time...drum roll please...4:00 minutes. Actually, it was slightly faster because the last one I ran was 3:45 and all the rest were 4:00. And it's quite possible that I could have run them faster had I been on a track rather than the treadmill, but I have this fear of running all out on the treadmill. On a track if you can no longer hang, you slow down. Whereas on a treadmill, if you can no longer hang, you fall off.

I even did the extra credit ones. You know, #9 and #10. Because everyone knows that when given the option of 8-10 on a running workout you choose 8. It's kind of like a test. You take a test in school and if you get all 8 questions right you get an A because you know your stuff. But if you get the two extra credit questions right, you get an A++ because you REALLY know your stuff. See if I would have stopped at 8, I would have stopped with a predicted finishing time of 4:00. But I went ahead and took on the extra credit, Yassos to see if I would REALLY run a 4:00 marathon. And wouldn't you know it, I nailed those too!

So, technically, I should be able to run a 4 hour marathon. My goal, however, is 4:30 which hopefully means I have now built myself a sufficient cushion, time for 19 potty breaks, a calf cramp, and tackling that one monster hill (or so I hear) at the end. So unless Bart himself wanders over here from Facebook and tells me otherwise, I'm saying goal is well within reach (although I'd really be flying high about it if he'd give me a little "Yes, Grasshoper you are ready." )

And now we're starting to taper...geesh it's getting close!

'Til next time.

P.S. Sorry to have virtually vanished for awhile. Flower girl in a wedding. First day of pre-school. First day of gymnastics. First birthday to plan (although none of these were actually me, just alot of me running around to make these things happen. But I did have an article due, money to raise for make a wish, a non-profit event to help organize, and what was that other thing? Oh yes, a marathon to train for.) So anyway something had to give and you know it wasn't gonna be the running! Things should be a touch slower though now, so I'll be able to share all my tapering woes with you before the big day!

P.P.S. Still time to donate to Make-A-Wish for our marathon relay in Detroit. Click here

P.P.P.S. Here's a link to an article about Yassos on Runner's World for more info.

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