If Meghan Trainor taught us one thing, it’s that it’s “all about that pace.” Wait, that’s not what she says? Then why the heck am I listening to this song? She says what? Bass?!? Damnit, that explains why I have been getting all those funny looks as I walk through grocery store singing it to myself — because we know they aren’t questioning my singing talents, that’s on point.

Lame jokes aside, last week was all about me working on my marathon pace: 8 min miles. In theory, perfecting that pace for 26.2 miles would put me right on target for a sub 3:30 marathon. This week included a 15 mile run (with the last 5 at pace), and two track workouts (including Yasso 800s).

Let’s break it down:


Sunday: rest
Monday: 5 miles on the treadmill

Tuesday: 15 miles (with the last 5 at pace)

I took the first 10 miles comfortable, at a 9 minute pace. For the last 5 miles I jumped over to the track to avoid traffic lights and all the other distractions. I needed to focus on hitting that pace, and yes, 20 laps on a track with no music is HARD.

Last 5 miles: 8:24, 8:14, 8:14, 8:01, 8:02

I ended up taking about .5-1 minute rest between the last 3 miles. I just needed a mental break and wanted to nail that pace. I didn’t have music, that could be part of it. But I was determined to hit those splits and a rest is what it would take. I’ll do this workout again this week, without the breaks.



Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 13 miles (tempo)
1.5 mi. warm up, 2 x 5 mi. at pace, 1.5 mi. cool down.

This one went pretty much like clock work. I would have loved to have seen these reversed for a negative split, but I’ll take sub-pace miles all day.

5 miles at 7:47 avg (7:48, 7:53, 7:48, 7:42, 7:42)
5 miles at 7:52 avg (7:55, 7:51, 7:55, 7:55, 7:44)

Friday: 2.5 mile recovery

Anyone remember Excite Bike on Nintendo — like, the FIRST Nintendo where you had to blow on the disk to make it work, that one. Remember there were arrows on the track where they would make you go faster... these remind me of that.

Anyone remember Excite Bike on Nintendo — like, the FIRST Nintendo where you had to blow on the disk to make it work, that one. Remember there were arrows on the track where they would make you go faster… these remind me of that.


Saturday: 9 miles (Yasso 800s)
2 mi. warm up, 800 x 10, 2 mi. cool down

This was my FIRST TIME ever doing the Yasso 800s. In theory, Yasso 800s is what your time in minutes and seconds will look like in hours and minutes of your marathon time. I ran two laps around the track (800m, or half mile) x 10 and came up with the times below. In between each rep, I kept moving and jogged the same amount of time before starting the next rep. So I ran two laps in 3 mins. and 30 seconds, then jogged for 3 mins. and 30 seconds, then ran two laps in 3 mins. and 19 seconds, jogged for 3 mins. and 19 seconds, then did two laps in 3:25, and so on. The key to this workout is doing it 10 times (or building up to it) so that you are putting in a concerted effort.

3:30, 3:19, 3:25, 3:27, 3:23, 3:21, 3:25, 3:25, 3:19, 3:19

This was a hard workout. I’m pleased with the results, almost amazed, but the last 3-4 reps were difficult. I started to get a side stitch, was breathing hard, and giving it everything I had (knowing that I still had more to do, so close to max effort). With an avg. of 3:21 and my fastest splits coming at the end, I’d take a 3:21 marathon any day of the week. I’m excited to see how well this translates, especially since I have a substantial buffer to my race goal (or current PR of 3:37).


Looking back

Solid week. Very solid week. All of my workouts went exactly as planned, even with the 1 minute breaks towards the end of my 15 miler. I needed to hit those splits as a confidence builder, to just know that I could run that 8 minute pace with 15 miles on the legs.

The 2 x 5mi and the Yasso 800s were extremely solid, even if the splits were jumbled around. We can’t always hit negative splits, but with all splits under marathon pace, I’ll take that as a win.

It’s a constant challenge to keep moving forward towards my goal. With solid weeks like this one, I’m feeling good about how it’s going.

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Have you ever run Yasso 800s?