Running Wisdom From Bart Yasso

never limit where running can take you

Last night, I joined in on the #AskGreatist Twitter Chat with Bart Yasso. If you are not familiar with Bart Yasso, he is the Chief Running Officer (possibly coolest professional title ever!) at Runner’s World and author of the running book, My Life on the Run.

A legendary figure in the running community, Bart is sort of like the Obi Wan Kenobi of running. Every question he answered in the twitter chat was direct, useful information for runners of any level. I enjoyed listening in to the chat, I learned a lot, and I left feeling motivated and excited.

As part of my effort to review and capture the good information in the chat, I created a chat transcript. This is helpful especially for those who are not active on Twitter, or don’t have the time to devote to sitting in on a Twitter chat. The questions/answers are not exactly in order, and I’ve modified the Twitter-based abbreviations to have content that is more readable in standard English format (and not limited to 140 characters).

#AskGreatist Twitter Chat with Bart Yasso

Q: How do you warm up for a cold-weather run?
BY: In cold weather, I always start my run at very slow pace. The first 10 minutes should be a very easy pace.

What do you think about transitioning to minimalist shoes?
BY: The transition has to be made very slowly. 1st week – 1 day; 2nd week – 2 days per week, etc

Q: Hey Bart! What’s the craziest/weirdest thing in your office at RW HQ?
BY: My bib number from the Bare Buns Fun Run. They gave me bib #1.

Q: I’m just starting to do some speed work. How long until I should expect to see some results?
BY: You will see results very quickly. Speed work has to be done at the proper pace, about 90 to 95% effort.

Q: I am 33 and a year into running, can you have success starting later in life?
BY: Yes, you have 7-8 years where you can continue to improve times and distance.

Q: What do you think is the best recovery meal/food after a 5-7mile run?
BY: I’ve been a vegetarian for many years-I would say your favorite carb the first 20 min after your workout & rehydrate.

I struggle with the 1st 3-4kms no matter what the distance, when it comes to Half & marathon pre race warm up. Any advice?
BY: I would wake up 3 hours before race time & do a very easy 10 minute jog. This will get the blood flowing.

Q: How can I prevent a side stitch?
BY: strenghten your core. Caused by weak muscles

Q: I bruise my toes, even bleeding at times. Changed shoes, went up 0.5 size, but still issues. Suggestion?
BY: Your shoes are to small if your losing toenails, add 1/2 a shoe size

Q: What’s your favorite distance?
BY: I love the half marathon, half the distance, twice the fun, and 58% women. How can you go wrong?

Q: I don’t enjoy speed work or hills. I run same pace (9:30) & route (5-7miles) almost every day. Is that OK?
BY: it is imperative to vary the distance and the pace. Find a way to make it fun. It always helps to run with a group.

Q: What is/was your favorite race?
BY: Easiest question ever! @ComradesRace is the greatest foot race ever.

Q: After a marathon, what’s the recommended recovery time? And what does recovery really entail?
BY: 2 to 3 weeks of down time. Ice baths and easy recovery runs. Listen to your body.

Q: What are some of your favorite recovery tips?
BY: Ice baths, pool running are my favs

Q: I’m always interested to hear people’s take on stretching & running – before? after? not at all?
BY: I only stretch after I run – because the muscles are warm and I’m more flexible after I run.

Q: Any disadvantages to splitting a long run up to reduce stress and tear?
BY: The long run has to be done as a long run. Slow down the pace. Midweek runs can be split up

Q: Any bucket list race suggestion? I’m partial to the @runDisney events, but looking to try some new ones!
BY: Big Sur, Pikes Peak, NYC half, Mount Washington, Wine Country half marathon series I love the Chicago marathon, so convenient to run with start and finish so close together.

Q: If I have shin splints, can I still exercise?
BY: Check with the dr and make sure it’s not something more than shin splints. Running should never be painful.

Q: What is your preferred fuel during a run?
BY: I’m a big fan of the blocks & beans. Test it in training & find out what works best for you.

Doing Yasso 800’s, can the recovery be a brisk walk or is the jog important? I’m doing 7:30 Yassos now.
BY: The jog is important. 400 meter jog

Q: Any tips for running in the summer? I hydrate and slow down but still don’t do very well.
BY: Summer time running, run early in the morning or near sunset, avoid the high sun

Q: I’m 5 weeks from running marathon and just got over the flu. I’ve been down for 2 weeks. Do I jump right back into my plan?
BY: Don’t try to make up for lost miles. Just get back on track.

Q: What’s the best way to get that 5K time down? Intervals or distance? Or a mix?
BY: Intervals 400 meter repeats; 200 meter recovery jog.

Q: Should one train differently when training for trail races vs road?
BY: The only difference is training for trail races I would do half of your training runs on trails.

Special thanks to @Greatist for hosting the chat with Bart Yasso. For more information on Greatist, visit their site at

Bart Yasso real runner quote

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  1. I am an older runner. Have been running
    for 4 years. I run roads. I ran, walked
    and jogged a week ago. Had not run for a while. The day was rainy w/ headwinds. I
    had a hard run. When I finished,though,
    I had a sense of achievement. I ran about
    4 or so miles. My favorite run was at the
    beach about a year ago. Elaine

    • admin says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Elaine! Many of the things you’ve described are the things I love most about running!

  2. abbi says:

    I missed most of the twitter chat so I enjoyed this! I met Bart this past weekend and he’s great!

    • admin says:

      So glad this was helpful to you, Abbi! Feel free to share it forward with others who would also find it helpful! I look forward to meeting Bart someday soon. :)

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks for sharing! It was fun reading through the Q&A.