Since I have been running I have never bothered about "speedwork". The only types of run I do is typical tempo runs (8-10m @ 6:10-6:40) at marathon pace and then I do slow recovery runs (1 min. slower). My main goal is sub 3hrs marathon.

My training is very simple. I don't do and don't like hill work. The risk of injury appears to me too high (different type of running). However, I run in a hilly terrain (slowly).

Haven't explored running on the track yet or doing intervall sessions.

Over shorter distances, I can do a 5k in 17:xx. However, I am not particular interested in everything below 10k. My PB's 35:46 (10k), 1:22hr (1/2m), 2hrs(30km), 3:08hrs (Marathon).

The question is should I bother about speedwork? If so what kind of intervall should I be running? Would that be benefical for the marathon? Should I rather stretch the tempo runs a bit further?

Any opinions?


  • Hi URR, I am far too inexperienced to advise on speedwork, but if you go to the training section and then to the best of training forums you will find a very good discussion on Yasso 800s. May be of help to you as very experienced marathon runners have made comments. Hope this helps.
  • In my opinion, Speedwork is essential - when I used to run fast, and even now as a slower runner, I still do two speedwork sessions a week. I reckon you could take your i/2 marathon pb down towards 1:18 if you did some quality sessions like 6 x 1200m or 48 x 100m etc. One long session and one short session is ideal per week. Hope you have fun discovering the joy of speedwork!
  • I did once 3 x 5km (18/17:45/17:30), but those intervalls are possibly a bit too long. Not sure about 48x100m, I am really not a sprinter and I don't have fast twitch muscles, but those 6 x 1200m sounds interesting. What kind of time should I be running those?

    Just read on Khannouchi's web page, should start with 7x1000 @ 3.35m and try to improve by 2 seconds per session.
  • URR - we do use Yasso 8s, repeat 800m intervals. Our club has also had success using 1000m repeats, start with 4 and work up to 8 or 10 repeats, jogging back to the start point each time. Hard workout but it brings results. The thing about using the 800m is that it has a direct correlation on your marathon time for most people - for instance, if you train to run your 800s in 3mins 30 you should be able to finish your marathon in about 3hrs 30mins (if of course you have done the rest of the training).
  • In your case - train your 800s around 2mins 50secs to reach your target marathon time.
  • As far as I understand the Yasso technique, you run 800m @ target and then you do 400m recovery jog and then you do it all over again. 800m seems very short, but I guess after the x repitition it feels quite hard.

    Should you do such a workout after a slow day or can you do it anytime, possibly replacement for the temp run?

    I often do a tempo run and a slow recovery run, I can do the recovery run even if I am bit tired (but not fatigued). Should you do Yasso when you feel tired or fresh? Risk for injury?
  • For a marathon I feel that longer reps are best 5x1 mile reps at 5k-10k pace with 90 sec recovery or 2x2miles at 10k pace 3 min recoveries.
  • I did a Yasso today.

    10 x 800m with a 400m jog in between. 2min50secs is a bit slow and I did most repeats between 2mins38secs and 2min46secs.

    I am more exhausted after a tempo run. After the 10th repeat I almost got used to it and could even do 10 more!

    Either I have to go faster, or do those 800m on a hill, do 1km intervalls or increase the number of repetions.

    http://www.mcmillanrunning.com recommends 2mins38 - 2mins45

    Do you have to run those intervalls pretty close to your anaerobic threshold?

    I read good old Zatopek did awesome intervall sessions. Running 400m fast, jog 200m, overall 50 laps in the morning. He did the same workout in the evening too! However, I don't know how fast those 400m have been.
  • URR You are justlike me. You hate hill work and by the sounds of it.
    I went through a phase of doing track speed stuff and hills and saw my 10k time fall from regularly in the low 33mins to regularly 31 to 32mins and even a 30min time. That was some time ago but I'm sure it was doing the stuff I hate, especially speed. What I would say is that the more you do of both the less painfull and more satisfying it gets.
    Give it a decent trial; with the times you're clocking now you could be a half decent runner!!!!!!!!1
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