HADD training plan



  • thanks Brian and triialitt,

    yes tricialitt my normal resting heart rate is 55 and it was early 70s this morning.

     I am going to aim to build the slow miles and will really try to stick to the 140 heart rate. Looking at my previous runs I fear it will be a real challenge though to keep the heart rate down at this level.

    Look forward to sharing experiences.

  • Thanks all will have a quieter week. I know it sounds like I've upped my mileage a lot but don't forget I'm very slow and it's not massively different from a walk!! image I absolutely wouldn't be able to do as much as I have without doing it at such a slow heart rate and other than feeling a bit tired this week I never at any point during the day even feel like I've run at all. I am coming back from a persistent injury and this hasn't been affected by my running so I do actually keep a very close eye on overdoing it.

    Also want to lose a few pounds so I wonder if I'm eating enough.

    Also had my first min test so that's the first time I've run at more than 75% max HR since September!
  • Hi All,

    My first post of 2012, so let me wish all you fellow HADDers a happy and productive New Year! Welcome, also, to the latest thread members who have joined since my last post – as a complete novice endurance runner my experience is that you are about to tap into a wealth of useful advice in terms of getting some rigour into your training.  By way of example, I thought that at the end of my 6-week point (yesterday), both old and new HADD acolytes might be interested in an update on my progress to date... so here goes.

    First, some stats:

    • Week 1 HADD pace – 11:40 min/mile, Week 6 HADD pace – 10:30 min/mile
    • Week 1 mileage (on the back of ~18 mile/week steady state) – 28, Week 6 mileage – 44.5
    • Week 1 long slow run – 90 mins, Week 6 long slow run – 120 mins (no cardiac drift image)
    • Week 1 hours on the road – 5:30, Week 6 hours on the road – 7:45

    As you can see from above, thanks to some sage advice from Brian, Shades and a couple of others I have just reached the magic milestone of 40-50mpw and an LSR of 2 hours: and all without any stress whatsoever.  OK, so I’ve had my fair share of sore knees and aching quads, along with the odd twinge in the odd ligament – but at nearly 48, one expects the old body to voice an opinion every so often!  However, the bottom line is that after 6 weeks I know start and finish my runs in pretty much the same state – I certainly don’t feel as if I am running some of the mileages I am.  Take my first 2 hour LSR yesterday, for instance, when I felt fresh enough at the end to have gone on for another half an hour.  At this point, though, I would sympathise with Sneglen, my pace/distances covered vary noticeably with how tired I am.  I reckon this week’s figures have been so steady because the week before I took a day off to go skiing and after a 1:45 LSR on the 30th, I did diddly squat on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – only 28.5 miles for the week...  So, to turn an old saying on its head, ‘a rest is as good as a change’!

    And now for a slight admission... I have found that my average heart rate over the last couple of weeks has edged up to the 73/74% mark – probably because I am running in company more and more and can’t quite keep it down to a rigid 70%.  That said, I take comfort from the fact that on BlueNose’s excellent link at http://can.milesplit.com/discussion/topics/90162/1#post-641879 the author points out that HADD wasn’t necessarily hard and fast and that the base training should be conducetd at 70-75%, or less.  I am content with the slight compromise driven by a need to crack both HADD and preparation for a marathon in less than 16 weeks.

  • ... and now for Part 2 (I was told my original was too long for one post image

    So, what next?  Well, let me start by saying that I am more than happy with where I am now.  Yesterday’s run at not far off HM distance in 2 hours represents a major achievement for me.  As such, it would have been just the right place to begin my ‘mini-taper’ week, prior to upping the ante in terms of aerobic effort on Brian’s suggested programme which sees me going into 5 weeks of ‘threshold work’. However, I have just been invited back onto the ‘Hill Team’ running the Army Alpine Championships in France, starting a week today, and am now destined to spend 10 days on the slopes as opposed to pounding the pavements (a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it image).  The problem is that despite taking my running kit, I’d be surprised if I find the time or incentive to put it on and am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I may have to accept it as an enforced rest and stop agonising over it.  The good news is that I still have 7 weeks before the Rome Marathon on our return so, unless someone tells me different, I reckon I can afford the break.  Thereafter, I aim to crack 4 weeks of threshold training – same mid-week regime, but with the two 90min midweek runs featuring 70min at 80% and occasionally 83% – whilst building the LSR distance to 20 miles. 

    At this point, I’d be grateful for some advice... I am slightly at odds with how to structure my last eight LSRs.  Given that I have the Rome Ostia HM three weeks before the Marathon, I plan on doing 12 and 8 miles respectively (as per the Higdon Intermediate Plan) for the final two LSRs in between.  That leaves my Sunday LSR programme looking like this (starting the day after I get back from skiing): 14 / 20 / 12 / 20 / HM / 12 / 8 / Marathon.  My questions are as follows:

    • Are two 20 milers sufficient to prepare me both physically and mentally for a marathon?
    • Have I got them in the right place?
    • Should I try and squeeze in a longer run at the -5 week point (say 17 as opposed to 12)?

    Enough for now – I hope I haven’t banged on too long and that some of you find my ramblings of interest....

  • Hi Laureate33, Great news on the >1min improvement on pace, well deserved for your commitment to the cause. The fact that you are at this point, fit and uninjured is testament to your HR intensity. The reason I recommend 70% when building time-on-yer-feet is that there is less likelihood of overtraining injuries. And as I said you have obviously slightly risked it but thankfully got away with it. Onward and upward. The ski break is perfect in my opinion. Whilst getting in some "cross-training", you are allowing yourself a well-deserved break from running. Following this you will be suitably refreshed physically (AND mentally), for your all important, marathon engine-room training.  

    As far as your LSR plan is concerned, I think 2x20s in the time available is just about right, but I think you would be ok with one if it turned out that way. The only alternative to the schedule the way I see it would be to do 14/16/18/20 or 14/17/20/20, thus making the 2 weeks prior to taper, your biggest weeks (which is the norm generally). But it boils down to whether you feel you can do your longest runs back-to-back as it were? Only you can judge this......  It may be a case of assessing how you feel on each LSR day, and deciding off-the-cuff.

    PhilP/Shades/others may have a take on this, so don't worry if you favour another plan. As I have said before, it's not an exact science, and advice will come based on other runners experiences. At the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone, and only you can make the decisions. You are going to be appropriately prepared to get round, what you do in the 4 weeks prior to taper will make the last 10k a little more bearable, and the whole day a little more enjoyable.

  • Laureate33 congratulations on the improvement and the increase in mileage.

     Well I could not wait to get out this morning and try to keep that hear rate down and build the mileage. I awoke and took my resting heart rate which averaged around 55. However just walking around the house having my breakfast  saw my heart rate increase to early-mid 70s. I set out on my run at a slow 10 min mile pace (my normal comfortable pace is closer to 9 min mile). The first 4 mins of running saw my hear rate shoot to 165 (82% my maximum heart rate). I managed to get the heart under some control after 4 mins running and got my heart rate down to 145 (72%) and maintained that but only for another 5min, before my heart rate settled between 150-160 (75-80%) for the next 50 mins running. My heart rate sat at 164 ( 82%) for the final 10 minute.

    All in I ran 6.81 miles in 1 hr 8 mins with an average heart rate of 158 (which is nearer to 79%). I really could not get the heart rate anyu lower, it felt like I was nearly walking and I hope my lingering cold goes some way to explain my struggle in getting it down. My legs feel great from yeasterday and today, and I wasnt out of breath when I finished which I think is a good sign.

    But a few questions as I try to understand my heart rate better:

    1. Is it normal to have such an increase in resting heart rate 55 to 75 from doing mundane tasks ie walking around the house?

    2. My heart rate going from 70 to 160 on starting running instantly! at a 9.40 min mile pace when I can run a 5k at7.40 min mile pace. This seems strange to me. Any thought?

    I suspect this cold of mine has something to do with all this, but as I look back over mny runs on the garmin database I can see that the vast majority of my running (slow rund 7-12 miles and fast runs 3-5k are done in a similar heart rate fast runs: 180-195 and slow runs 165-180, I have no real evidence of ever being able to run in a lower heart rate than this.

    I just looked at my first 10k in November which i completed in a time of 48:20. My heart rate reached 180 after 5 mins and i reached 197 at the end but spend 43mins in the 90-98% zone. Again this seems to suggest to me that I run in a really high zone or that my garmin 610 is not working properly. Does it suggest anything different to you?

    Again I would welcome any views and will continue to build these slow miles and try to get the heart rate down. I have even started wearing the heart ratge monitor more trying to understand my heart rate and what affects it more.


  • Dprovan, Regarding your HR questions:

    1. Is it normal to have such an increase in resting heart rate 55 to 75 from doing mundane tasks ie walking around the house?

    Thats normal, infact 20 beat increase for walking about is quite low. My RHR is low 40s, and I've noticed that mine increases to 70+ walking.

    2. My heart rate going from 70 to 160 on starting running instantly! at a 9.40 min mile pace when I can run a 5k at7.40 min mile pace. This seems strange to me. Any thought?

    The instant increase is normal to some extent. If you set out on a run with no proper warm-up, their is a likelihood that the HR will show a higher reading whilst the muscles/breathing become accustomed to the extra effort. This will settle down normally after ~10mins.

    There are a few possible reasons for the elevated HR. I have listed them below in order of most likely first:

    1. Your HRmax is higher than you think. If you've recorded 197 in a 10k, it is more likely that your HRmax will be higher than this figure.

    2. The cold virus will raise your HR as stated before.

    3. You were keyed up which may explain a small increase.

    4. Your HR monitor may not be accurate.

    Obviously could be a combination of the above too, but the bottom line is run easily and build the time on your feet.   

  • Brian,

     thank you for taking the time to offer such a detailed and helpful response.

    I look forward to following the plan and picking up further tips from this thread. thanksimage

  • Oh, and I forgot one! One that causes mine to elevate!!!!


    Stimulants will raise the HR, caffeine and alcohol to mention a couple. I've noticed, paricularly on morning runs, when I've been out the night before, it can be +10 beats!! 

    There will be other reasons I'm sure, I think dehydration is another cause.

    In conclusion, try and do some sort of dynamic warm-up (I do leg swings) before you run, and set off extra-easy. Slowly get into your stride for 5-10mins then if you have opportunity, stop and do some more stretching. Don't look at the monitor (I KNOW this is difficult) till you've been running 10mins or so.

  • I have been off the booze since new year so in this instance not that, very strong coffee could have been a factor though... I must confess that i did not stretch well which I know is very bad so what you say makes perfect sense.

    What you say re my maximum heart rate may be higher than 198 also makes sense, particularly given that my heart rate was in the mid 190s for so long during that 10k and although it was hard work I never felt like I was going to pass out or anything. My rationale for the maximum heart rate being 198 is based on a stress test run 10 mins run as fast as i could for 2 jog 5 and repeat and a 5k race. I run with a club and the coach wants me to do a particular hill run which he swears by for testing MHR so I will try to get this done soon.


  • Dp, Good luck with the max test!!
  • Dprovan, Another thought (I must get on with my work), if you have the HRav from your 10k, another way of estimating your max would be to add ~20 beats to this. The thinking behind this is that you should be able to average 90% for a 10k. 
  • Dprovan, I'd certainly go along with Brian on the caffeine/alcohol bit!  Living in italy, strong coffee is unavoidable; indeed, it's a way of life image,  but I do find that if I drink it within a couple of hours of running, my rate is a good 5+bpm higher than I would want it to be for a given pace.

    Good luck with slow running - it is actually quite difficult at first, but as all those muscles you haven't used for ages (... or even 'ever') start to gain strength, you will find that your relative pace picks up and it all becomes hugely pleasurable!  It'll take 4-6 weeks mind, you just need to be disciplined.

  • ... I too must get back to work image
  • Brian,

    my HRav for the 10k was 183 so that would take my max heart rate to 203. This is increasingly feeling about correct.

  • Hi Guy's a belated Happy New Year, and all that.... And welcome to the new HADD'ers....

    Been away in Liverpool for ten days, doing the visiting/partying thing... Plus pulled back on trainning and had a easy week, which consisted of three days running instead of five or six.... And to be truthful, all those niggles that was starting to concern me have disappeared and I do feel a lot more refreshed...

    Going to stay on the base plan for another couple of weeks, then start incorpreating HADD's 11 training into my plan's..... Reason being, I'm not planning a marathon, and need to start improving my speed, to go with my already improved stamia.....

    Brain... Put your theory to the test last week regarding alcohol, but in my case the rise was about 15/20 beats per min..... Roll on next year.....

  • +1 on the initially very high HR on first starting a run- I think  it's the sudden change which causes an overshoot of HR, like other posters, it seems to settle after a few minutes of nice steady running.
  • Very interesting reading about differences in HR Rates and well done Laureate33, extra motivation for the rest of us about to start. 

    Well my Garmin finally arrived today, so after having a fiddle I went out for my first HADD style run. I estimated my Max HR from previous excersise, to be 185bpm. So my 70% would be 130bpm. I foolishly set my watch to alarm at a max of 130bpm and had to give up after 8 minutes as the damn thing wouldn't stop beeping at me! Instead of standing in the freezing cold at 10:00pm and tinkering with my watch I decided to run a Max HR, like Jo’s, to see what it really was.

    “Then (wearing his HRM) he was to run an all-out 800m and note the highest HR recorded

    on his monitor. He was to rest 2 mins and run an all-out 400m. The highest number he would see

    as he crossed the finish-line, we would take as his HRmax. “

     I ran flat out for 600-700m until I couldn't drag my feet anymore and walked for a minute before setting off again for around 400-500m. My heart rate didn't reach my estimated 185bpm so I walked for another minute and repeated 500m one last time. Looking at my results afterwards my MAX HR was 178bpm. Slightly lower than I thought.

    The problem I have is at 130bpm, I was 'jogging' marginally faster than I would walk. Now with my new Max HR 70% will be even slower (125bpm).

    I guess my real question is, should I try and get my Max HR higher in another test to ensure I'm training at the correct pace – or should I just leave it at the original 185bpm and get used to running at the 130bpm pace?

     Also, Does resting heart rate affect MAX HR? My waking heart rate is around 38pm, whilst my daily (sitting typing!) is around 45bpm. I just noticed the calculations change on the garmin website when I entered my details. 

     Off to bed for a nice long run in the morning !

  • Hi RH.... When I first attempted my first HADD test at the beginning of Nov 11, I couldn't get my HR over 150, even thou it had past 170 in races..... There's a few reason's for this ie Was your body stocked up with the correct fuel... Dehydration is another important one, along with sleep.....

    There;s a word used alot on here "Patience"... Enjoy your run...

  • Thanks Bluenose, I could probably answer 'no' to all your questions! 

    I had weetabix for Dinner at 5:00pm (rush to get to college), sat at college until 9:00pm, hadn't drank much water all day and ran at 9:45pm.

     On reflection, it was probably the worst time ever to do a Max Test !

     I did run this morning though, with an average pace of 133bpm and pace of 11:20m/m for 50mins. It felt weird at the start, but after I got into it my heart rate levelled off and it felt more natural.


  • Hi RH, Don't think theres a link between RHR and HRmax, but I could be wrong!

    Thats a very low RHR btw. As Bluenose says, patience is the key. It may feel very slow at first but as soon as you start to build the time on your feet, the pace will improve.

    Good luck!

  • Hi guys,

     another question: Just wondering how the HADD plan can sit alongside/or be used for the training for a marathon.

    I am training to run the Belfast Marathon on 7th May. So 17 weeks to go. I would be redy to commence one of the 16 weeks programme. However any that I have looked at have a mixture of long runs, slow runs, intervals, hills etc. From what I have gathered thus far the HADD works on lots of miles at the heart rate. So can it be used as it is to train for the marathon or should i use the principals of HADD for my long runs, and recovery runs and do speed work etc seperately. Any views?

  • Dprovan, Depends on how experienced a marathoner you are. Just remind me of your background please?
  • Brian I am definately at one end of the spectrum...... I have never run a marathon before.

     I am 39. When I was a young nipper snapper I was pretty fit and ran a few half marathons without any training, just drawing on general fitness, and then entered a fairly sedate period of life for 10-15years (odd spells of 5 aside, gym etc) before taking up the running in July 2011. From July - Dec I have been running between 20-25 miles per week. Ran two 10k races and a 5k race. My 10k time is 48:20.

    I am now 17 weeks out from the marathon on 7th May and have been thinking I should be focussed on increasing my weekly mileage from 25 to 35-40 and build the time on my feet.

    I have been doing long runs of 12 miles on a sunday so have a few months of this in the tank.

  • Dp, I would definitely just use the Hadd stuff then, certainly a safer idea for your debut. Have you read the Hadd articles? If not the links are published earlier on in this thread.


    I've just read Bluenote's link Forum - HADD Prinicples - which explains the basics of HADD in a format much easier to read (IMO) than the original PD. Thanks for posting that. 

  • Dp,

    Spookily enough, you are asking pretty much exactly the same questions that I did when I first joined at the beginning of December!  Even more spookily, your fitness levels and current workrate are also remarkably similar (I settled on 188bpm as my MaxHR, from previous knowledge and it has served me well). 

    The good news is that if you haven't read this thread through completely, then it is chocka with answers to all your questions.  For instance, if you can't bring yourself to trawl through it all (but I would really recomend that you do) you should read the repsonses to my query from http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/forummessages.asp?UTN=181933&dt=4&URN=3&srchdte=0&cp=15&v=1&sp= onwards.  You will see that Brian suggested a tailored programme which slightly adapted the HADD regime to fit the 16 weeks that I had in which to prepare for my first marathon.  Actually, thereafter, I took advice from a number of other fellow HADDers and eventually settled on a HADD/Higdon Intermediate mix which I put together myself and which is working extremely well.  For instance, I did a glorious 8.5 mile / 90min run at lunchtime today, with no stress, at about 4.5 hour marathon pace; on the back  of 2 x 45 min runs so far this week.  Moreover, I am actually looking forward to my second 2 hour run on Sunday, on the back of 60min tomorrow, 75min on Friday and a rest on Saturday.  So, bottom line, six weeks into my HADD plan, my aerobic capacity is such that I am now starting to pile on almost effortless miles in preparation for my marathon.  When I return from skiing in two weeks time, is when I deviate from 'trad HADD' and up the ante (twice a week) to 80 or 83%, which should give me an indication of what I can safely aim for in the Marathon at a sustained 85%.  If you are interested, I can send you a copy of my draft programme (though the great thing about HADD is that I have played about with it as commitments have come and gone...).

    My advice?  Take the advice... stick with it.  It is painfully slow at first but the good news is that before long it starts to deliver painless miles.  I am now at the stage where I am consciously having to hold back from breaking out of what has become a steady jog at 70-75% into where my legs (and lungs) want to be at a more liberating 80+%.  I am really looking forward to seeing how my stamina has improved over the same distances in a couple opf weeks time when I concentrate less on building mitochondria and more on using them to cover distance at relative pace.

    ... I'll let you know how I get on! 

  • Laureate,

    if you are happy to share i would love to have a look. I can adapt to where I am at etc.

    I will read back on the thread this evening.

    thank you

  • Pb,   Mmmmm, next question is 'how?'... I don't seem to be able to PM you so not sure how to get you an attachment.  If you are content to let me have your email address. I'll bang you off a copy. 
  • * Dp - sorry...
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