Yasso’s Yes? or No? and Ratatouille Pasta

by Joanne on July 24, 2012

This week’s speed work was 800 repeats or some would call them Yasso 800’s. 


The Yasso 800’s are for marathoners looking for a very specific time goal.  A lot of folk do the Yasso repeats then a lot of folk say they don’t work.  I incorporate them into my workout simply for variety.

How to do the 800’s:

First of all, the name "Yasso" is from Bart Yasso, a well known distance runner  who popularized the workout.


This is how to do a Yasso 800 workout:

  • Convert your marathon goal time in hours and minutes to minutes/seconds. Example: If your goal is 3 hours 30 minutes, it converts to 3 minutes 30 seconds.
  • Try to run 800 meters in your converted time, or in this case, 3:30.
  • Recover after each 800 by jogging or walking for the same amount of time, 3:30
  • Start with about 4 repetitions then do the Yasso 800’s once a week, trying to add one more repetition each week until you reach ten repetitions. The first few should feel pretty easy, but get more difficult as you continue.

Because there are a lot of runners who say their 800 meter time is never a match for their marathon time, either the 800’s are too easy and they run a faster marathon or, most of the time, the 800’s are off by about 5 to 10 minutes faster than the person can run 26.2 miles, I don’t do the speed workout week after week. I alternate between different speed workouts. 

One last point about the Yasso’s.  When running a marathon, you need aerobic endurance. The Yasso’s build a VO2 Max workout and not the aerobic endurance needed for running a marathon.  There are also additional factors pointed out in some articles I read (one source HERE and another source HERE), such as nutrition and mental training.  However, they do add variety to speed work and after so many weeks of training, variety is a must.

My Tuesday Yasso’s didn’t go very well.  I woke up not wanting to do anything but as usual, put on my shorts, top, socks and took Zoey for her short walk.  When I got home, Shane went for a 1 1/2 mile run with me. Still not in the mood for any hard work, I talked myself into jogging over to the track and “testing the water” so to speak.


Instead of doing 7 to  8  x 800 repeats, I allowed myself a cut to 6 x 800’s with 400 rest (maybe I didn’t allow myself enough recovery time?!)  Even that shorter workout was tough to get through.  I’m glad I made myself do it but ended up with very poor results on the “Yasso” front:  3:58, 3:55, 3:57, 3:56, 3:53, and 3:47. Never hit my pace of 3:35 – 3:40.  My head and body just weren’t into it today.  I had no push and no desire to try.

Pasta helps ease the painRatatouille Pasta

Fresh eggplant, ripe zucchini, plump cherry tomatoes, fresh basil right from the garden, nutritionally filled aduki beans, and whole wheat spiral pasta makes this dish a healthy bloggers dream.  To make this a more summery, colorful dish, add some red, green, yellow, and orange bell peppers or more of your personal favorite veggies.

Ratatouille Pasta5

Serves 4 – 6 – about a 2 cup serving per person (based on a recipe from CookingClub.com)

Ratatouille Pasta1

  • 1 medium sized eggplant, rinse then cube into 1” pieces with skin on.
  • 2 medium sized zucchini (you could also use yellow squash)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 15 oz can aduki beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz whole wheat spiral pasta
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded basil

Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large foil lined pan, add the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and toss.  Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until desired tenderness.

Ratatouille Pasta3

Cook the pasta according to package directions but add the aduki beans to the pasta so they heat up along with it.  Drain.

Ratatouille Pasta2

Toss the Parmesan cheese, pasta vegetables and juices.  Sprinkle the top with Asiago and basil.  Enjoy!

Ratatouille Pasta4

If you’re a runner: What’s your favorite speed workout?

If you’re more into food than running, what’s your favorite brand of pasta or do you make your own from scratch?

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  • At 2012.07.25 12:22, Heather said:

    Not sure I have a “favorite” speed workout – but I do love the way I feel when they’re over! 🙂
    Sometimes our bodies just need a rest. I’m sure you’ll get it next time!

    • At 2012.07.25 14:21, Cucina49 said:

      Interesting about Yassos–I wonder if the same technique works for racewalking, which is what I do. That pasta looks terrific.

      • At 2012.07.25 17:36, Choc Chip Uru said:

        That is pretty interesting my friend, I did not know about the the Yassos 😀
        Your pasta looks fabulous 🙂

        Choc Chip Uru

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