Last Updated on September 26, 2019 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
Rich and I bought our first house in the spring of 2006. We looked at many houses, but decided on this one that we are living in for a few reasons. One of the big reasons being that the back yard was backed right up to a big forest. We were told this forest was some sort of “nature preserve” and wouldn’t be touched. Besides, much of it was swamp-ish and no one would want to build on it anyway.
Imagine our surprise, when 11 months later, the forest was bought and clear cut for a new housing community. Fantastic. ugh.
I’ve been slowly easing my way into speed work, and decided while my speed work partner has been out of town, this would be a perfect time to give Yasso 800’s a try. For those of you who haven’t heard of them (I hadn’t until recently) the theory behind Yasso 800’s is this: You run an 800 at the minute equivalent of your desired marathon time. For example, if you want to run a 3 hour 40 minute marathon, you should run your 800 m in 3 minutes 40 seconds. You then recover (jog or walk, whatever) in the same time (in this example 3 minutes 40 seconds) . Bart Yasso claims that if you can do 10 of these maintaining your desired pace, you can accomplish a marathon in that desired time. I’m still skeptical, but it seems like one hell of a workout, so I am up for the challenge.
Oh, and did I mention I’d be running WITH the jog stroller? Yes, 24 lbs of 9 month old + 28 lbs of 2 year old (yeah we are aware of the imbalance, they share clothes already!) + the beast of a stroller = RESISTANCE TRAINING!!
I set Coach Garmin to an interval workout of 800 m run/4:00 rest. I deemed a 4:00 800 (8:00/mile pace) a good starting point for my 800’s with the stroller. The workout went like this:
warm up: 400 m run
800#1: 3:49 . Felt fast. Looked down at Garmin a little too late, oops.
rest (in my case, walk) 4 minutes
800#2: 3:41. Ok I knew I was going faster (7:40/mile pace) than the planned 4:00’s, but when I tried to slow down, it just felt awkward. So I just ran. This one kicked my butt.
rest (walk) 4 minutes.
800 #3: 3:40 I STRUGGLED on this last one. I was huffing and puffing like I’ve never run a day in my life. I know, I know, 7:40/mile isn’t that fast, but it is when you are working on getting back in shape and pushing 52 lbs of kid + stroller! The last 2/10 of a mile were killer. I kept looking at Garmin hoping it would say I was almost done (mistake! messed with my mind). I wanted to quit so many times but I kept telling myself “YOU ARE DONE AFTER THIS, DON’T STOP!!” So I didn’t stop, until Coach Garmin gave me permission to stop with that obnoxious shrill of a beep. I gave out a primal yell out of exhaustion that even surprised me. The funny part being, the end of the 800 was right in front of the ONLY house in that back part of the development. Their little yappy dog started barking at me and I’m certain someone was peeking out of the blinds thinking “what is that crazy woman DOING out there?”
rest (walk) 4 minutes.
800 m (half mile) cool down run home. I was DRIPPING in sweat (only 88% humidity and 80 degrees today, and as you can see in the picture, overcast. It was actually somewhat of a relief!) but felt fantastic.
Workout: DONE! It felt great. The boys seemed to love it. Neither one of them fell asleep! I’m hoping to build up to all 10…with jogging inbetween sets instead of walking, and WITH the jog stroller. It seems to make the whole Yasso thing just a little more kick ass that way 🙂
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.