Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Yah, so 800s are aretty good training

Part 1: Continents Don't Move

Debbie, in her early school years, observed that Africa and South America appeared to fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When she remarked to her teacher that perhaps they were once attached, the teacher ridiculed her, famously saying something to the effect of, "Don't be silly; continents don't move!" She never forgot about this, and when continental drift theories came about - by this time Debbie was an adult - she wanted to go back to that teacher and say, "See, I was right, and you shouldn't have ridiculed me!"

Of course the teacher probably would have responded, "huh?" And of course Danny Boy now (very mildly) makes fun of Debbie, saying that she was probably the first person on Planet Earth to notice such a thing.

Danny Boy himself made a Great Discovery once. He noticed that running 800 meter repeats with times in minutes and seconds amounts to good, challenging training for a goal marathon time in corresponding hours and minutes. So, for example, if one wanted to train for - let's just take some wild goal here - say, a four-hour marathon, one would run one's 800 meter repeats in about four minutes.

Except that at the time Danny Boy made this observation, Danny Boy was running marathons in around three hours, give or take. He was therefore running his 800s in the 2:50s. But that was then.

Along came a guy named Bart Yasso. In an article in Runners World, he made this same observation, suggesting that one should do ten of those 800s with times in minutes and seconds corresponding to the hours and minutes of the goal marathon, He called these, "Yasso 800s".

Too bad Danny Boy was probably the first person on Planet Earth to notice such a thing.

Part 2: Today's Yassos

Danny Boy has been hitting the track about once a week. As noted in an earlier post, he's lost a minute a mile, and he still doesn't know where to find it. But he keeps trying nevertheless.

He arrives at the Mayfield track at 5:10 AM, and finds the lights on. This is unusual, but in a nice sort of way, since Danny Boy can see what the heck he's doing as he embarks on his Yasso Journey today.

Danny Boy actually manages to do his first few 800s under four minutes each. That's when the kids arrive. A couple dozen strapping young men run onto the football field, and begin doing all sorts of exercise drills. Danny Boy had been afraid that they'd be moving onto the track itself at some point. If that happened, Danny Boy wouldn't be able to complete his workout, and wouldn't that be a tragedy?

But it doesn't happen. Danny Boy is not able to claim any excuses, and therefore has to complete his workout. He does get all his Yassos in as planned.

What with this workout, and last Saturday's 23-miler, Danny Boy is now almost done training for this Sunday's Cleveland Marathon. Only five or six more workouts, and he will be trained. He'd better get moving.

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