158: Bart Yasso - Stories from a Lifetime of Running the World Over

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By Andy Petranek and Whole Life Challenge. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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Bart Yasso, known as the “Mayor of Running,” is the now-retired Runner's World Chief Running Officer, and author of My Life on the Run and Race Everything. In addition to his induction into the Running USA Hall of Champions, Yasso was recently inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Yasso started running in the late '70s on a whim. Finding it both easy and natural, he fell in love with the sport for its measurability and simplicity. A decade and thousands of miles later, in 1987, he joined the staff of Runner's World.

He was also the creator of a marathon training workout called Yasso 800s that has become known around the world as a legit track training workout for marathons. Here's how it works: Take your marathon time, but instead of looking at it as hh:mm, look at it as mm:ss, then do 10 x 800m intervals with a 400m rest interval. (Example: A marathon time of 3 hrs and 30 min becomes 3 min and 30 seconds. So you'd do your 800's at that 3:30 pace).

He is one of the few people to have completed races on all seven continents from the Antarctica marathon to the Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon. In 1987, Yasso won the U.S. National Biathlon Long Course Championship and won the Smoky Mountain Marathon in 1998. He has also completed the Ironman five times and the Badwater 146 through Death Valley. He has also cycled, unsupported and by himself, across the country twice.

From Andy: This conversation really surprised me. Not that I didn't think it would be good, but that I had no idea what to expect as I didn't know the extent of Bart's experience and reach in the world of running. There isn't much he hasn't done, and his love for the sport really comes out. He's also quick to point out that by far the most meaningful experiences he's had over his varied career have had everything to do with the people and the difference he's made for them, runners or not.

His stories about the Badwater 146 and cycling cross-country are unforgettable, as are the things he shares about the people whose lives he's touched and who have touched his.

Enjoy this one. I sure did!

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