YASSO 800 Emile Capouya Read the Russians

Just dropped a YASSO 800.

3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 5:56 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 5:52 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 5:27 min mile pace

Good flow, decent pacing. I think the Yassos are legit (many do not; they just can’t comprehend how a session 1/52nd length of a marathon can have a relation to the actual event) and key to a solid race. If you are going to run this workout, I suggest you DO believe in its results. What I mean is psychology. When you are out there mile 20+, in the mental and physical Sally, the tunnel, the off-world of blurry white rabbits, this workout is something you can recall as a positive experience, as fuel for the finish.

(One time running the Memphis Marathon [2:53, 27th overall, thank you very little] I ran with this older gentleman early miles and then I surged off ahead and he yelled out, “Mile 7 is not mile 17, my friend!!”




I have been reading Emile Capouya. This guy is amazing, as an editor who fought for serious books during the culture change and conglomerate takeover of publishing houses; and then later as a writer.

It’s been since the Russians that I have read work like this, flowing, lyrical sentences, but always philosophical, wandering into reflection and close examination. The structure is almost Sebald, the way its reflections weave through imagery and place, story suddenly appearing, going under in reverie, then reappearing elsewhere. I almost felt like I was reading Turgenev.

Fascinating work.


A Hunter’ Sketches is online. Wow. You should read this, no doubt.


Speaking of has anyone been reading Ian Frazier’ two-part “Travels in Siberia” in the NYorker? Wow. The Nyorker is so odd. It will drop four damp issues then send out a sizzler. I am beginning to think the magazine is like a boat or a swimming pool–better to have a friend with one, than to actually buy the whole thing yourself. Get a friend with a subscription and then borrow the best issue every few months.

This Siberia essay is Great Railway Bazaar feel, with a touch of Amis. Very funny writing, and the sentences astound. I am going to have my students read it during my sentence variety lecture.



2 responses to “YASSO 800 Emile Capouya Read the Russians

  1. Intervals is where it’s at.

  2. Hi Sean: Yes on your New Yorker observations. I was eating 12-dollar nachos at JFK and waiting for a flight to Pittsburgh while reading part 1 of the Ian Frazier, but I had to stop when I got to the paragraph about playing Risk, because by then I was reading with both hands.

    “In the cold war Siberia provided the ‘cold’; Siberia was the blankness in between, the space through which apocalypse flew.” *

    Which is when I said damn to no one.

    (* lovingly transcribed here, because I don’t understand the Digital Reader, or the magazine’s insistence on it.)

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