Prepping for My First Yasso 800’s Workout

Since I’m using the Galloway Training Program for a half marathon time improvement as I get ready for the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon, I have a new kind of running workout to add to the mix from my previous training cycles. That new workout is known as the Yasso 800’s. What are the Yasso 800’s? Let’s see what Bart Yasso has to say about this workout that is named after him.

This workout is one that many folks use in training for full marathons as a way of predicting their finish time. The concept is rather simple. You take your expected (or goal) marathon finish time and convert the hours and minutes into minutes and seconds. For example…

4 Hour Goal Marathon Time becomes a 4 minute 800 meter time in the Yasso 800’s

4 Hour 30 Minute Goal Marathon Time becomes a 4 minute, 30 second 800 meter time in the Yasso 800’s

Get it? You can also use your times in the Yasso 800’s to predict your time. If your average Yasso 800 time is 4 minutes, 30 seconds and you can hold that time over 10 repeats, you can expect to finish the marathon on 4 hours, 30 minutes. You start off by running 3-5 Yasso 800’s and build up to 10 of them.

As the video explains above, the way you do this workout is also simple.

  • Start off with a warm up lap
  • Run for 2 laps around the track
  • Jog or Fast Walk one lap.
  • Repeat for as many of the 800’s as are on your schedule


Now, you may be wondering…this is great for marathon training. How does it work for half marathon training? I looked into this and found that the way I want to structure my goal 800 time is a little different. What I will be looking to do is double my half marathon goal time and add 8-10 minutes to figure out my time. For me, this looks like this…

  • 2:30:00 half marathon goal time
  • 5:00:00 marathon time
  • 5:10:00 marathon time plus 10 minutes
  • 5 minutes, 10 seconds 800 time (which would work out to a 10 minute, 20 second mile)


Theoretically, this is what I’ll be shooting for. I don’t expect to hit that goal in my first Yasso 800’s workout. This Saturday, I’ll head out to a track and see how it goes. I’m viewing this as a test run to see what the Yasso 800’s are like. I’m also going to experiment with pacing during each of the repeats. This weekend’s workout will show me how far my training needs to take me if I’m to hit this goal. While I’d love to finish the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon in 2 hours, 30 minutes, these Yasso 800’s will tell me if that’s a realistic goal. I’ve got 7 Yasso 800 workouts on the calendar that Jeff Galloway came up with. So, these first few will tell me a lot. However, they are not anything for me to be overly concerned about. April 10th and April 22nd’s workouts will be the ones that tell me if a 2 hour, 30 minute half marathon is a realistic goal or if I need to adjust that goal.

2 thoughts on “Prepping for My First Yasso 800’s Workout

  1. best of luck! I have done repeats but often dont do them at a track because there arent many open tracks by us. I am going to try and do repeats (I only have 4x400s) so I am going to try out the Cal Tech track-it is closed so often!

    1. Thanks! I’ll be at the Arcadia High School track. It’s free and open to the public. The track isn’t too far from us. It’s close to the Santa Anita Racetrack. When I ran there before, the track was pretty empty too!

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