Bart Yasso: 5 Things I’ve Learned from Being a Runner

Bart Yasso

Published author of “My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon,” creator of the famous Yasso 800s marathon training program, and Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World magazine – Bart Yasso has gone the distance when it comes to knowing a thing or two about traveling the world, quickly, by foot.

Bart’s running career is impressive to say the least, and many of us strive to get close to having the running capability Bart has cultivated over the years. Fortunately, the Top5 team was able to catch up with Bart to find out what running wisdom he can pass on to those of us who are just getting started.

5 I Think of Running as a Lifestyle and a Sport

Bart Yasso

“Running is so exciting these days with the amount of races and the sheer number of runners. The biggest change in recent years is the percentage of women in races, mostly the half marathon distance. Some half marathons are 65% women. I’ve been so lucky to have run races all over the world. Personally, because of the effects of Lyme disease on my body, mostly my joints, I can’t run as far or nearly as fast but I never lost the passion. The few miles I run I cherish every step. I hope to be a runner for life. My quote and mantra: ‘Running may be the connective tissue, but the true essence of the sport is a passage to a bigger world. So open the door and run through.’”

4 Try New Ways to Workout and Stay Fit

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“I always include cross-training in my programs. I find yoga, swimming, cycling and other low- to no-impact activities are a great way to help your muscles recover from all the pounding you put them through. Spend a rest day or an easy day trying non-running exercise class such as Pilates or a spinning class. My quote and mantra: ‘This may sound cliché, but the reward is living the lifestyle and embracing the journey. It’s not only about finishing, it’s about moving forward.’”

3 Speed Work is a Workout Not a Race

Image Credit Sean MacEntee

“Pretty simple formula: to run fast you need to hit the track and run at a faster pace. Speed work will help you develop, leg speed and the cardiovascular and muscular fitness you need to get faster. Speed work is challenging but has huge dividends. My quote and mantra: ‘As a breed, runners are a pretty gutsy bunch. We constantly push ourselves to discover limitations, then push past them.’”

2 The Long Run is All About Endurance Not Speed

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“Run longer, think about slowing down your pace and covering more distance. The long run will help you develop the endurance needed to run 13.1 or 26.2. I solve world problems on my long runs, lots of time to think. My quote and mantra: ‘We run to dream, with our subconscious thoughts shaping the path of our lives.’”

1 Start Out Slowly

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“Literally walk before you run. For those who are not working out on a regular basis, start off walking to develop the fitness. Start walking 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week. Start adding a few short bouts of running to your regular walks. My quote and mantra to new runners: ‘Running isn’t about how far you go but how far you’ve come.’”

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