HADD training plan



  • The two 65% runs I have put in are recover from the main sessions.  Ie the back to back runs and the 80%

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    trials of miles....

    Great post VT. Could you add the time frames (number of weeks) at the 70 - 75% / 1x 80% run and 2 80% run stages?

    I understand why you have put the 65% runs after the 80% runs S71 - for recovery. I suppose you could argue that all miles help neuro-muscular development. (thanks again to Minni for the link). But wouldn't this time be better spent on core / stretching / cycling? 

    I just wonder - having squeezed all the tube out of the bottom of the tube with the 70 - 75% base and have now moved up the tube with 80% runs, why then try to go even further down the tube to 65% to see if their is any paste that you missed from earlier on?

    (BTW not trying to be critical - I am just trying to learn) image

  • Keir, that question question entered my head this morning while I was walking the dog. If you are "done" with 70 and 75% from a cardio (not recovery) point of view and trying to improve at 80% why go back to 65% instead of just starting there at the start of the program.

    I tried a few miles at 65% yesterday afternoon, I found it quite tricky from a technique point of view. It didn't feel any easier than 70% but I had to make an effort to stop myself moving forward which put a strain on my hamstrings.

  • Keir and GazOC, interesting question. Once your 70 to 75% runs are steady, do you really need go to 65% at all? Not sure about you guys, but in my case it took about 6 months of solid hadding to reach the point where I could actually get down to 65% for a LSR. Not sure if this is because I am an FT or what. Haven't read the HADD bible for a while now, but I think he advocated always keeping the low HR runs to put in around speed/tempo work. So if that's true, I think I would say yes, adding 65% as you become more fit and progress in the program would be valuable. What does everyone else think?

    Also, Keir, will post some chronology regarding my build up to the 80% runs (may have something from earlier I can dig up; if not I've got the records and it would do me good to go over that again).

    Day off for me (well, no running anyway; weights, core).

  • Cheers VT. I'm really unsure as to where I am in the program cardio wise as, totally unintentionally, I've probably been (sort of!) Hadding for knocking on a year now. I love getting the miles in and taking my time on long runs. Its the speed side of things I have to force myself to do.

    I got down to 65% for a couple of miles yesterday OK but it was a mental effort to stay at that pace. 70% still feels a little on the slow side but its still a natural pace that I can switch off and run to with only the occasional look at my heart rate.

  • I think what we need to do is get the pace we feel "natural"  stick to it as the HR drops for the given pace.  Well thats what im doing

  • Yep spen, thats what I'm hoping for. I've had a HRM for a year or so but only used to now and again up until the last few weeks but it shows although my 160 efforts are a similar pace my 140-145 runs have come down from 8:45 ish to just over 8 mins/ mile over the last 9 months or so.

  • I dont use it all of the time.   I dont like looking at the HR for some reason.

  • i find it quite reassurring, don't know why!! Its been really handy on those 80% runs as my pace works out at around 7:10 so in the past I've been stupidly rounding that figure down to under 7 minutes and not completing the runs because I was going too fast. Now I just keep the HRM between 155-160 and don't worry about the pace at all.

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭
    GazOC wrote (see)

    although my 160 efforts are a similar pace my 140-145 runs have come down from 8:45 ish to just over 8 mins/ mile over the last 9 months or so.

    Gaz - I don't mean this to come out the wrong way, but that is exactly what I am worried about with HADD and what I DON'T want to happen. I don't really care how efficiently I can run at lower HRs, but I understand that by becoming more efficient and faster at slower HRs, I should automatically become faster at higher HRs. If this hasn't happened for you, I wonder what the point of HADDing is for you? 

    That said, HADD does seem a great way of rapidly increasing weekly mileage, breaking the 10% increase per week rule, as slower running greatly reduces injury.


    The attraction for me is that I want to get my LT up while maintaining high mileage and without having to to do LT runs. I know my cardio at 140-145 is good because those are the type of runs I prefer and concentrate on, I don't like LT runs and either tended to skip them or have to cut them short due bad pacing or CBA moments.

    The last lot of HRM readings I have are from early last year when I was in pretty good shape (I PB'd my marathon). This was due to 60-70 miles a week consistently for 5 months and virtually no speed work. I've only been doing the Hadd 80% runs for the last 2 weeks, before that pretty much all my improvement in speed (from a 1:50 HM to a 1:36 HM in 4 months) was down to long slow running so I think its the way to go, just that I think I've got to the point where I need to be putting in some faster miles to get much quicker. Hence the 80% runs.

    Although my long run speed had got faster, I've stagnated a bit at very "top end" speed because I think of the lack of speed work. Hadd seemed to be a great way of staying at 70 miles a week and at the same time incorporating speedwork. The other thing I considered was dropping to say 50 miles a week and pushing more on the speed work with fresher legs but seeing it was high mileage that got me my improvements early last year I didn't want to give that up.

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    ok. Perhaps I misunderstood. Sounds like you have made dramatic improvements in HM and M times from HADD. What is 160bpm for you in %of max terms?

    I also don't like speed work. I forced myself to do a load of faster sessions over summer after an injury in th espring. I got back to 10k pb time within 2 months plus 15sec improvement on 5k pb, then just had enough, hated running and stagnated mentally. What's the point if it is not enjoyable?


  • 160 is just over 80% for me. Before that I was doing LT runs around 85%, failing and trashing my legs in process so I just ended up doing a lot of slow miles which worked out well for me. Now I'm trying to keep the mileage and incorporate some faster stuff to hopefully improve my times a bit.

  • Hi Kier

    Thanks for your thoughts on my plan. Having given it some thoughts I think you are right regarding the 80% runs. I think that I am going to try and get my HR/Pace steady at 70% and then 75% before incorporating 80% runs. Think I will just do a 75/90 minute 70-75% run in place of the 80% run for now.

    Have found when I have done out and back runs pace vs hr remains steady, but when I have done an slightly undulating route pace has been ok for first 4 miles, but then HR has drifted and pace has slowed.


  • Hi guys,

    Long run today, 8 miles in a group and 5 on my own, my HR was high today, strange image I could talk without any effort, breathing was light yet the average rate in the first 7 miles was over 150.

    2:30:00 13.14 miles @11:11mm 149avgBMP 168maxBMP

  • Well I have had to bite the bullet and take at least a week off running if not longer.   Need to get this calf problem sorted.

  • Hi  Stewart,

    16 miles this morn at 111 bpm ave,  in 2.42 mins last 2 miles I was almost walking to keep HR down below 70%.

    Did have a few drinks last night, must have influenced HR 

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    Good luck Spen. Better now than later. 

  • spen71 wrote (see)

    I think what we need to do is get the pace we feel "natural"  stick to it as the HR drops for the given pace.  Well thats what im doing

    I think this is a great statement. That is kind of what happens to me as well. I have a pace that just feels right on runs. At the beginning of HADD training, my HR may end up in the mid150s to maintiain this (I'm at 160 HR for 80%). However, when the HADD miles accumulate, I will have a week where all of a sudden I'm running at this pace and my HR drops into the mid140s. At this point, I'm on my way as I can now train in the low 140s (140 is 70%) at my "natural" pace and pressure is off (and I feel great about myself because all these high mileage weeks are done at a pretty good clip). Then what invariably happens is my pace keeps dropping at the low 140s range. This is what keeps you going. At the same time, your legs take on that steel characteristic (you can do 60-70 mile weeks and feel awesome on every run...no running down, just good running day in/day out. At least that's how it has worked for me.

    Then you sprinkle in the 80% runs and on it goes...

    Also, for what it's worth. Two years ago I did Hal Higdon's Marathan plan (the Advanced I). It featured speed work every week. I ran a 5K 2 wks before the maarathon and had a nice time. This past spring, after just doing HADD for 4 months (no 80% stuff though) I matched that previous 5K time. During the race I didn't get tired, but kept thinking I can't go any faster!. So for 5K races, you'll never be hitting it out of the park, but for half to marathon, I think you can keep fairly competitive on just the 70 to 75% alone.

    Spen. Good luck with the recovery. It will probably do you good to just take the week to absorb all the training anyway.

  • Very true VT. Over the last couple of weeks I've found that when I'm running and have "swtiched off" for a few minutes that my heart rate will be around 145 and my pace around 8:00. Its a nice way to run.


    I got to 70 miles this week. 10 miles at 80% and the rest at 70-75%. 

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    52.9M last week and i've had a "WOW" moment, LSR yesterday was 15.8M @ 9:07 @ 70% and HR only edging towards 75% last couple of ( uphill ) miles. It was only about 8 weeks ago i was knocking around 10m/m for the same run.

    2 mid week 10 milers ( Tues/Fri ) and stepping up from 40M to 50M a week seems to be doing the trick.

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭


    Great run mace! I love it when you hit one of those "sea-change" moments!!

    (pops back to Fetch Hadd thread...)

  • Excellent stuff, mace! I love those "holy shit" moments in running. Very excited for you. Great mileage too. image

    Tek: why not stick with us? We are an ok bunch, honest image

    I enjoyed reading back over the past few pages . Another one here that hates speedwork. Very surprised to read that a mega-fast runner like Keir hates speedwork too! That made me feel very much at home image

    I love my running but whenever I have a sesh with speedwork in it I dread it and I don't want to do it. I think deep down I'm scared of getting injured. Lots of people told me before that I'd need to do reps every week in my marathon buildup to go sub 3:30. Well, I didn't. I did the very few sessions that are part of the P&D plan and they are pretty low key (I think its 5x600 (that features twice), 5x1200 and 3x1600. That was enough for me, thank you very much image.

    Spen: hope you can sort that calf issue out. Agree with others. Rest is key. That comment about "natural" pace rings very true. It made me realise that I should leave the 80% runs for the time being until 50-60 mile weeks at 70-75% feel completely natural again and only then add the first 80% run and so forth.

    Gaz: impressive mileage.

    VT Runner: that's a nice way of running 5ks. I had the same happen to me in March after 3 months of HADD and basically a complete comeback to running (illness & injury meant I was out for 6 weeks). I thought I was going to be in 22min shape on a good day but surprised myself with 21:18 which felt easy and controlled.

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Tek - come on out  image

    Chick' - great moments aren't they, i always think something's wrong with the garmin / HR monitor image Re speedwork, i dread it a bit too and for the same reason, worried about injury !!  I'll avoid for as long as i can ..... i keep thinking back to a few months ago when i was wondering how on earth i would be able to keep up 9min miling , just couldn't imagine it. So i've progressed this far with very little work outside of 70% and don't see the need to push it too much at the moment.

  • Good running everyone.


    I worry about taking any time off.   Think Im going to lose all my fitness.    I dont think im any quicker now than I was 6 months ago image.


    I think everytime ive tried to introduce some speedwork I have got these niggles so time to leave them again image  Dont like them.   Much prefer the long tempo runs at like 85% and hopefully beyond with HADD!

  • Roy, well done mate impressive distance and keeping your HR at 70% kudos!

    Spen, hope you get over your niggles quickly

    Mace, congrats on breaking the 50 mile barrier

    Gaz, 70 miles I'm in awe, it would take me 12 hours a week at my current slow run pace to get than many miles in image

    tonights run was a 60mins @70% run, so my plan was to try and keep it as close as I could without slowing to a walk. average % for the run was 74%, this is my first run with any average below 75%, I've got to be happy with that, but boy it felt extremely slow.

    1:00:10 5.12 miles @11:45mm 137avgBMP 154maxBMP

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    roy silver - very disciplined HADDING, excellent stuff. I can stick to 70% on the long runs but once HR starts to drift my stubborn streak kicks in a bit and i can't bring myself to slow to get back to 70%. I think i might make that my challenge for next weekend but it will be a battle, particularly the last upward sloping mile.

    Stewart - nice work and i hope you can stick with it. You won't see improvement overnight so you have to be patient and try not to cheat. I've found that when the improvement does come it's noticeable and seems to have happened every 6-8 weeks or so for me so far.

    The most obvious benefit of running this way is that you are able to run within yourself comfortably and can build miles without knackering yourself out and then getting injured. I'm 46 yrs old, have been doing this for 6 months and apart from the odd niggle i've built to a weekly mileage i could only dream of before. And to think that 6 years ago i thought my body was about to fall apart image You won't be impressing anybody by tearing up the pavements on the way but it WILL get you there. Be patient and good luck.

  • Agree with mace - Hadd enables us to run miles and miles without wearing ourselves out - and that's not only physically but also mentally.

    I did the "run within yourself" thing this morning and put my Garmin to show time only, no HR. Very surprised to see a completely steady run at exactly 70% (127 bpm). The mile splits would differ by 2-3 secs. max. Guess I should do this more. My inner Garmin obviously works quite well image

    The only fly in the ointment: today's run was 8 miles at 9:13 pace. A few weeks ago I did a 22 miler at an even lower HR (125) but got 8:45 pace image! Whatever happened to my pre-marathon fitness? Does one marathon really sap you of the stamina you had pre-race?

  • God i hate being injured!

  • Back after a weeks man flu!!

    Managed one run whilst ill - 6 miles @74% steady.

    Back to it tonightimage - can't wait


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