HADD training plan



  • Tricialitt... Is is a snippet from one of john HADD's athlete's, hope this make's sense.... 

    During base training, you concentrate on aerobic work sessions, and the idea is to "lock in" each HR range until you could run at that HR all day (well, 60 to 75 min) without slowing down. You do this progressively, starting with lower HRs and shorter "intervals," and over the weeks ratchet up the duration of intervals, total duration of work, and working HR levels, or maybe shorten the rest between intervals.

    But don't move up until you've mastered the level you're already working at, which means being able to run more than 60 minutes at that HR without slowing down to keep HR below the target.

    So you might begin the program (after getting to 50 mpw of easy running comfortably) working at 80-83% of HRmax on Tuesday and Friday, and stay with that level until you can comfortably complete an hour of work without slowing down, and knowing you could keep on going at that effort and pace. As the pace-HR relationship gets locked in, you can up the second work session to 82-85% of HRmax.

    So week 1, maybe you do 2 x 20 min @ 80-83% Tuesday and then 30 or 40 min @ 80-83% Friday. Next two or three weeks, maybe stay at that HRs, but get the sessions up to 2 x 30 then 60 min continuous for 80-83% work, and then maybe start to ease in something like 2 x 12 min, 2 x 15, 3 x 15, 3 x 20, 2 x 30, 60 continuous for 82-85%.

    Over the following weeks, work up into higher HR ranges, with similar interval progression (85-88%, and 87-90%).

  • I had a good run this morning despite the fact that a branch jumped out of a tree and landed 3foot in front of me. Freaked the life out of me and didn't do the heart rate much good. My quads ached quite a bit for some reason.

    BN that makes sense. Think I'll aim for that in a few weeks time. I did wonder if you just jumped in and tried to do the whole session at the next level. Obviously not.

    I'm beginning to wish I'd done my first mini test 2 or 3 weeks ago as it would have showed a greater improvement but I haven't run that far since April so here's hoping they will still show improvements.

    Have a good week all and a happy new year.
  • Thanks BN74- I thought it seemed silly to have to be able to go for such incredibly long periods without drift, just 'cos I'm so slow.

    I will be a relief to be "allowed" into the dizzy heights of 80-83% ( 145-150 HR for me) Quite excited, actually! - so this is my plan for a run tomorrow- 2x20 mins @ 145-150.-come hell or high water- (actually, looking at the weather outside, they have both come, here in Glasgow-) high chance that this will be done on tready.

    Also, I'm up to 85 mins for my LSR, at < 135 , so will continue to slowly build the length of that up to the usual 3 hrs for pre-marathon long runs ( I never make it to 20 miles without going WAAY beyond 3hrs, but hopefully I can at least manage these without the horrible drift that usually afflicts me- I've been up into the high 160's HR wise on LSR's often in the past!, despite plodding along at a very slow pace). I've decided tot switch into the P7D marathon plan about 12 weeks before the race, but that leaves me short on LSR's, so will start building that from now.- should give me 5 x 3 hour runs before taper, I think.

  • Hi Sneglen, glad to be of help...

  • Hi Sneglen/Tricialitt, All i would add to BN's excellent advice is to add in the 2hr long run. This moves me up a gear/ or makes everything easier, and significantly lowers the HR for other runs. I am guessing the length of the run causes the adaptations to occur more quickly.

    Good luck with the training!

  • Thanks. So does that mean that the long run (working up to 2 hours) should be at 70 - 75% HR with 2 of the other runs incorporating the faster runs and then for me (5runs a week) 2 more runs at 75% or should the long run incorporate faster work.
  • Just like to echo what Brian put earlier.... I consider the LSR as the corner stone of the HADD training, and doesn't need to be messed around with.... The remaining run's can be played with, and adapted to suit your own needs, as I tried to explain on the 27/12....

     I also consider the LSR as a better gauge to how my training is going, instead of the 5 x 2400mtrs session.... Reason for this is, I consider myself as a FT (fast twicth fibre's) runner, and efforts of 2.4K are very comfortable, so all the improvement I have made recently is in the stamia department, and the best gauge for this is the LSR......

    Off to battle the wind.....Happy Running!!!!!!!

  • Sneglen, The LSR should be 70%. I tackle PF in 3 ways:

    1. Keep the calves loose by regular sports massage, and my own on the foam foller.

    2. Flexibility in my ankles was non-exitsant, so I started kneeling, sitting back on the feet toes outstretched. This was painful at first but can now hold the position for a few minutes.

    3. Roll the golf ball, applying as much weight/pressure as I can bear.

  • Thanks both. Got it sussed I hope. Have worked out what I'm going to do and when, but for now, still base running for another 4 weeks image
  • OK, I managed to do some 80-83% runnning this morning, but getting a bit of drift after just 11 of the planned 20 minutes, so had to slow pace to compensate- I do find that HR drift is probably more of an issue on the tready in a stuffy gym, than outside in the fresh air.

    So back to the slow relaxed stuff til  next week ( next YEAR image), when I'll allow myself another brief flurry of slightly faster running.

    Thanks again for the advice.

  • Happy New Year to all!

    Hope 2012 brings everything you deserve, and more....

  • Thanks for starting this thread, I found out about Hadd from posts on the RW Heart Rate 101 article and have found it very interesting. I've read the document and have read 90% of this thread. I consider myself a beginner runner having only really run on and off for a few years and never keeping up consistent training.At the moment I have a 10K PB of 47mins and am planning on running a marathon at some point this year (aiming for sub 3:40) I love the idea of HADD but am a little confused by a few points for building up the first milage. 

    I'd like to start from scratch and build up to the 50mpw. Should I do the HRMAX test before starting?

    What times /  HR distance should I run to build up to 50mpw?

    Once I am at 50mpw should I then run my first bench test and start offically from Week 1?

     Thanks for all your advice and Happy New Year!


  • Hi Robert. You definitely need to know your maximum heart rate as the runs are all based around this and guess work like 220 - age etc are wildly inaccurate. You'll be starting at 70 - 75% of max and it really depends on what you're doing now as to where you start. Somebody WAAAY more knowledgeable will be along soon I'm sure.

    I started 4 weeks ago and tho not doing much, hadn't even run at all for 3 months before that, I am already doing weekly mileage that I haven't done since before Paris marathon. All I will say is that patience is needed. Feels like a step back, but I guess that unless we see it through properly, we won't know if it works. image Good luck
  • Hi Robert and Welcome!

    It's not imperative you do the test if you have HR data from your races? If you have for instance got HR average / Max from your 10k, your HRmax could be derived for now.


    Happy New Year fellow Hadd runners.   Back to work today after the Xmas hols, but have managed to get some good training in while I've been off work.

    Welcome Robert

  • Thanks for the replies - from looking through my last year's log my max seems to be around 185bpm. I'll go out and run the HRMax over the next few days to see what numbers it gives me and report back. 

    As for running times building up to 50mpw, should I just run what I am capable of at around 70%? Or should I vary the times each day? At present I could comfortably run 4-5 miles at a steady pace but probably more at 70%.

     Also, just out of interest how does HADD training reflect on your resting heart rate? I've only really trained fast before, aiming to beat my times, and have seen my RHR drop over the months, just wondered which method of training would show better improvements if any. 


  • RH, Heres my opinion -

    Gradually shift your individual run times up by 5 or 10mins at a time until you get to 90+ on your long run, with a couple of 70+ runs thru the week. Pad out with shorter runs. Don't think about pace or distance, concentrate on time and HR. Keep your runs at a max of 70% till you get up to about 6-7 hours per week. Seems a lot but if you keep to 70% max you should cope fairly easily. Don't rush this early phase, take your time and build gradually. You should be able to make the transition to 6-7 hours per week in 6 weeks max.

  • Oh and the RHR will come down, not too quickly at first though.
  • Thanks, I'm in no rush - planning on entering a Marathon when I feel I've trained sufficiently for it, Hadd will be ideal for this so I'll keep on ticking away the miles and build from the bottom up.

  • Training is going well at the moment, can comfortably hold a sub 9min pace with a average HR in the low 130's, high 120's, which is a big improvment from the 9.15 to 9.30min/mile pace I was setting when I started 6 weeks out. So far, so good.
  • SRM, Good progess then, stick at it and reap the rewards. Great to hear some positive feedback.
  • Happy New Year Hadd threaders

    I've had a frustrating month or so with a relapse of my November cold and a dodgy ankle.

    I've done some gentle runs last week and this week is feeling pretty good.  Onwards and upwards.


  • Oh yes, the old December "cold" strikes againimage
  • Well i completed my first mini test the other day. The results were surprising. My first mile and a half had me wondering how I was ever going to complete them all. This also turned out about a minute slower than all the runs I'm doing. On my 95% run I thought I would die!! It was quite windy so all in all I can only hope for improvement.

    The good news is that my foot and ankle are still no worse image Onwards and upwards
  • Very interesting reading this... Just wondering would other aerobic exercise count as long as you maintain same rules re heart rate ie cross training? Not for every session but for some.
  • Hi Dprovan, welcome.

    Yes, for aerobic development. But to improve at running you need to run. If there is a specific reason why you're unable to run the sessions, I would say cross-trainer, bike or rower will give the same slow-twitch adaptations.

    Sorry about the abbreviated answer, but I'm meeting people for a run this morning and have only just logged on. I think others will give their opinion too.

  • I have noticed my times getting slower this weekimage and in my log all week I seem to have commented on being a bit tired. I have gone from no running for 3 months to 5 times a week for the last 5 weeks and am now running for about 5 hours a week. I think a cut back week is needed and just wondered how much less in time that I should do and if I replaced it with some gentle biking if that would be counter productive re tiredness and running pace.

  • Brian,

     thank you for the reply it is very helpful. I was asking out of interest, sometimes when I am forced to go to the gym I find it very difficuly to do the long runs on the dreadmill so perhaps do 60 minutes on the tradmill before moving to the cross trainer for another 30 or so... But my preference is always to get out on the road.

     I find this training plan fascinating and am very interested in giving it a go. I am training for a marathon (7th May) and plan on using this. I have been running 20-25 miles per week since july so need to up that mileage.

     Went out today and tried to adopt the advice. Unfortunately I still have a very heavy cold and have been unable to run proerly the past 7 days. Therefore the result was that I just could not keep my heart rate in the desired category. My max heart rate is 198 so I was aiming for 150 my average heart rate was 170 for a 10 mile run at a slow 9.50 min mile pace. My average pace for distance would have been a min/mile faster. I am hoping that the heavy cold explains the difficulty in me getting the heart rate down. Has anyone else any experience of cold/illness and this training?

  • Sneglen, To go from no running to 5 times a week is a big ask, and it may've been better to start with 3 and gradually increase the time on your feet. That said you have coped, and the fact that you are tired might be down to you running too fast. Certainly have an easy week, with maybe some light gym work, swimming etc. I seem to remember you saying that it was hard for you to stick at 70%? Maybe try and be a bit more focussed when you get back into training, and stick to 70% max. Just limit your running to 2 or 3 times this week, and make it as easy as you can.

    Dprovan, A cold will elevate the HR as it is working a little harder anyway trying to fight of the virus and keep the temp down. A rule of thumb is if the cold is above the neck then it is ok to run easy, but if it is below then don't run. If your HRmax is 198, and you are wanting to build time on your feet, then I would aim to stick to 70% max which is ~140. Don't worry about the pace or miles whilst in this building phase, work on time and HR (70%) till you get up to 6-7 hours on your feet per week.

  • dprovan- did you notice whether your resting HR was high before you set out too?- if so it's almost certainly due to the cold- I've just gone out for first time after a cold, abut unfortunatley my HRM battery has died, so can't confirm whether I had the same problem..............I have a sneaky feeling I do, though.

    Sneglen-are you ill?- or may be just overdoing it?- again checking resting HR might give you a clue. That's a big increase in running, I suspect a rest will help!

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