Regular readers of this blog (yes there are a few even among GVH’s ranks) will know that I frequently post on the Runner’s World message boards. Unlike Let’s Run the RW message board actually has some sharing of information about running, and I try to help out some of the newer runners when I can. Today while taking a little break at work I responded to a new runners post about Yasso’s 800’s. For those of you unfamiliar with Bart Yasso and or his 800’s I will direct you here or you can just Google them yourself, there is no shortage of information online about them. The very quick summary of them is if you can build up to 10×800 whatever time you can run all 10 800’s in while doing equal rest is the time you can probably run a marathon in. So if you can do 10×800 in 3:30 with 3:30 rest you should be able to run a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Sounds simple and makes for interesting discussions, but I don’t put much stock in them and told the OP so. It seems that very few people understand the difference between causation and correlation, and the problem is even worse among journalist. This is where the “trouble” began. It seems Mark Remy Editor at Large of Runner’s World took issue with my slight of Bart’s seminal workout. You can see how the whole nasty affair went down here. Again for those not interested in clicking links I’ll give you the short version.
Josh- Yasso’s 800’s are dumb and not a good predictor of marathon performance because I could go out tomorrow and do 10×800 in 2:35 each with 2:35 rest tomorrow but I couldn’t run a 2:35 marathon tomorrow.
Mark- Bull shit you can’t do that and I’d like to see you try.
It is probably worth noting at this point that this is not the first time Mark has had an issue with something I’ve posted. When he first started his blog on the RW I made a comment he didn’t like and he emailed me to tell me so. So I think he is a bit thin-skinned, especially when it comes to people saying anything bad about Runner’s World or Runner’s World employees. Kind of strange for a guy who’s daily blog is pretty much nothing but snark and sarcasm (not that I think that is a bad thing, I’m certainly not above a bit of snark and sarcasm myself.)
So anyway, Mark doesn’t think I can run 10×800 in 2:35 with 2:35 or better and I know that I can. I guess it is also important to point out that I really have no shot at running 2:35 for a marathon anytime soon. My two best half marathon performances were 1:15:53 and 1:16:24 and I’m in about the same shape now as I was when I ran those although I am obviously also a bit older (38 years old to be exact). Since I’m about to start doing some shorter faster intervals for my xc training anyway I’m going to take him up on his calling me on what he this was a bluff. I had planned to do 7×1000 in 5:10-5:15 pace with 400 meters rest on Thursday so I’m just going to change that to 10×800 in 2:35 or better with 400 meters jogging rest. Just to make it all official I’ll be setup the video camera, and if anyone is really really bored on Friday they can come back here and watch me run around in circles for an hour. Or if you are even more bored you can come out to Nazareth College at 3 pm on Thursday and watch me do it live.