Yasso 800s tonight, my favorite speed workout. Bart Yasso, one of the editors of Runner's World invented this marathon predictor. Basically the premise is, ideally two weeks before the marathon, if you can run 10 x 800s (2 laps around the track or 1/2 mile)with each repeat in minutes to seconds, then you can run your marathon in the same number but converted to hours and minutes. Clear as mud? For example, say you can run 4 minutes and 15 seconds for each of the 800 Yasso repeats then it can be predicted that your marathon finish will be 4:15 (that's 4 hours and 15 minutes). Another example, if you want to run a marathon in 5:00 hours, then try to run two laps around the track in 5:00 minutes. The recovery is the same length of time that you ran the repeats in. So in the example above, recovery should be five minutes. In my experience I've come close, and I consider 10-12 minutes, fairly close.
I was supposed to run 4 repeats tonight, 3:58 with 3:58 of full recovery. As the program progresses, the number of Yasso repeats increases until I can do 8-10 repeats 2 weeks before the marathon. I chose to make it a little more challenging by shorting the recovery time by 25 seconds or 3:30. That gives me less time to recover. Here are my splits:
1 3:40 (7:20 pace)
2 3:56 (7:52 pace)
3 4:00 (8:00 pace)
4 3:50 (7:40 pace)
I'm noticing lately that the second to the last repeat, whatever kind of workout it may be, seems to be my slowest one. Mentally, I'm tiring out. It's the third lap, the third mile, or the third quarter of a marathon when I lose focus. But after that slump, knowing that the last one is coming up, I can pour it on. I get some kind of second wind back. Hence I can pick it up a bit faster, knowing that the reward is that I am close to finishing. The problem with the first repeat is not holding back enough. I have to work on being consistent and not be all over the map like this. The next Yasso is in three weeks. I'll know what to focus on.