Welcome to the first of my Workout Wednesday blogs.
They intend to be about anything used to develop fitness, health and endurance performance that I use in my training coaching, my own training, or that I came across used by other trainers and coaches that I feel is worthwhile writing about.
Every Wednesday I'll write about a particular workout, program, training protocol or a session that I use or prescribe. It will include some basic science behind it, and what the session protocol or details are. So stayed tuned for these weekly workouts that you can include in your own training.
Workout Wednesday - Week 1
To kick it off I'm going to explain a running based workout protocol called YASSO 800's. These are named after an American running coach, Bart Yasso who found a relationship between the pace run during a marathon and the pace that the same person should be running an interval session of 10X 800m intervals at.
The marathon numbers are hours:minutes, whilst the 800m numbers are minutes:seconds.
Some question weather it is actually a connection or just a coincidence. Nonetheless it seems to stack up across the board from sub 3hr competitive runners to 4-5hr marathon finishers and although not a set scientific marathon training session, it's still a good one to include in a program, and gets the body and mind conditioned to running at a faster pace.
The session can be used as a regular weekly fast paced interval session starting approximately 8weeks out from your goal marathon, or as a fitness test once a month to measure that your improving and assist in predicting a marathon finishing time. For less experienced and aerobiallly conditioned people it does tend to estimate a father than realistic time, by about 5-15mins, so race cautiously.
If planning on doing the session weekly, start with 5 intervals at goal pace and add an interval each wee until you reach 10. The recovery period between each interval should be of equal time to the interval but at your easy jog pace, and you should always warm up and down appropriately as a part of this session. The last time you do this session as a marathon build up, is approximately 2weeks out from your goal event.
The pace of the 800's should be midway between anaerobic threshold and top end VO2max, so will be slightly faster than 10km race pace for most (5-10secs/km) and slightly slower than 5km race pace (5-10secs/km).
For triathletes the pace would probably sit very near half marathon pace during a half ironman or could be used for an Olympic distance triathlete during late base or early race season as a session to start preparing the body for faster more specific sessions later on in the season. Of course it can be used by any runners as a mid-long distance faster session to spice things up so you don't get to bored and stuck in the rut of long easy mileage.
A session might look like this for a 3hr 30min Marathon Runner or 1hr 45min Half Ironman Triathlete;
Warm up run 5-15mins easy building pace to steady
Drills and dynamic stretches (5mins)
3-5 x 50m accelerating strideouts up to a fast pace.
5-10 x 800m in 3mins 30secs, followed by 3mins 30secs very easy jogging.
Warm down run 5-10mins easy.
The run could be completed in less than 1hr so is also suitable for those of moderate fitness wanting to add some spark to their running.
Dare you to try it. Feel free to comment here when you've done it and you might just earn yourself a complimentary 30min running session with me.