HADD training plan



  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    Well done on the longest for 27 years Lee. That's good for motivation.

    Not fully recovered Brian. I couldn't run a flat out 5k if you paid me! But certainly will be well enough to run a 20m race on Sunday with 10m @ PMP. 

  • Thanks Lee - I'll post report on Monday.

  • Keir wrote (see)

    Well done on the longest for 27 years Lee. That's good for motivation.

    Not fully recovered Brian. I couldn't run a flat out 5k if you paid me! But certainly will be well enough to run a 20m race on Sunday with 10m @ PMP. 

    20 miles by Sunday!!! Id still be in intensive care!

  • Good luck to anybody racing in the morning.

    Did a hilly 22 miles this morning in 3.06 incl parkrun. Helping a couple of mates do a VLM training run.

    Xc 5miler in the morning, last one of the season.
  • Well how did everyone get on yesterday?

    Yesterday I did a 7m training run at less than 70% WHR.  Did out and back along the Grand Union canal near Leighton Buzzard/Milton Keynes.  Did it in 10m42s per mile, though first out section [it is flat] was much quicker with a HR around 138bpm [my HRM is not sophisticated to do break down so I'm estimating] and back I was some 30s / mile slower with a avg HR of 143.  So Im still getting a lot of drift and I am now seeing a plato'ing of improvement image.

  • Keep on goign Lee.   It works,   Cannot remember if you said what your background was,

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Did the Thanet 20 yesterday which was basically a loop starting in Ramsgate ( my hometown) and running along the seafront to Broadstairs, back to Ramsgate, out to Pegwell nature reserve and back to the finish in Ramsgate.

    My target was to :

    1)Treat is as a training run

    2) Finish in around 2:45

    3) Run progressively

    4) Ignore HR and hopefully not see it spike at the start ( as has been the case in previous races )

    So, i reset my garmin screens and just had pace data. Started out at around 8:45 then gradually gathered pace, building to about 8:00 by around 12M. From this point it was basically a fight to keep a lid on things and i finished strongly with the last couple of miles, which were mostly uphill, sticking to 8 m/m and a final mile of around 7:20.

    Finished in 2:44 @ 80% HRav

    I was surprised that despite feeling very relaxed at the start, my HR when i reviewed afterwards was still up at around 80% for the first mile !!! But overall it seems that my final stats were around what i'd expect for that run.

    Also had a brief chat with Keir at the start after noticing his name in the entry list and then spotting his race number on the start line. I notice from your thread Keir that you didn't come out of the race too great - hope things improve soon.




  • Mace - sounds like it went well.

    Spen - Im back running after a very very long break [at aged 17 I was regularly running 10ks and doing sub 35 on very hilly courses]  I was xc fanataic as a kid and ran in manchester boys and northern xc representing my home town of Oldham.

    So at the tender age of 44 having given up heavy smoking Im back out on the road and on the trails.  I started HR training [not Hadd but parker] as it seemed to be the one that would get me fitter without being too risky on injury, so on Jan 29 I did my first 2 miler trying to keep my HR below 70% 145bpm - I pratically walked it all the way and did it in over 13m mile - BIG SHOCK to my system!

    So Im now actually running and keeping my HR below 145 and avg 10.5min miles or so - so Im making progress, but the big leaps of progress have passed - I was taking 1min/mile off in some runs.

    Some of the old me is coming back as i have broke 24mins for 5k and intend to get below 20 before Im 45 in July.  I have 3 10ks coming up - the trail blazers - and Im looking at doing the Oxford HM in October.  Im not sure full marathon is me but I might do one one day, just to say Ive done it.

  • Silverstone - exactly 1 year later than my first HM in more years than I care to remember!! Actually we are talking 30 years since I last did any running prior to 2012. So what happened?

    Started off nice and slow but the HR seemed high (mace - I notice you said yours spikes at the start) - anyway decided to ignore and stick to my pace notes. Was 50 secs ahead after 2miles and decided to throttle back a little as I didn't want to overcook it too early. Plan was then to do the next 3 miles at 80% which worked out fine and I was then 1m 8s ahead of schedule - by this time I was feeling really good and nothing was going to stop me getting under 2 hrs. Sometime after 5 miles the HR monitor started going wild, I mean crazy - I was getting readings of 230 and I knew although I had moved up to 85% for the next 5 miles (5-10) the readings were wrong (otherwise I'd be dead I'm sure). Decided again to ignore the HR readings and go off pace and again was making up ground - the next weird thing was my watch was giving me mile marker notifications before the official markers on the course. It was round the 8 mile mark that I really started passing loads of people (6,000+ runners entered) and this gave me such a confidence boost.

    At mile 10 the next stage was to up the HR to 90% for 2 miles and then for the final 2.1 miles just give it what I could. Sprint finish to the line and I felt good - not knackered, tired yes, but the legs felt OK - could have done more. So the outcome for me was a PB beating my previous best by 7m 40s and a full 13m 25s on last years race.

    There is however a discrepency between my garmin time and the official time - I guess I have to take there time as the valid one. My stats were;

    Dist    Split    Avg. HR       Time
    1.00    9:39    157 (85%)    0:09:39
    2.00    9:56    143 (78%)    0:19:35
    3.00    9:33    142 (77%)    0:29:08
    4.00    9:21    149 (81%)    0:38:30
    5.00    9:13    191 (104%)    0:47:43
    6.00    9:00    196 (107%)    0:56:43
    7.00    9:11    185 (100%)    1:05:54
    8.00    8:46    158 (86%)    1:14:41
    9.00    8:57    145 (79%)    1:23:39
    10.00    8:40    158 (86%)    1:32:19
    11.00    8:29    169 (92%)    1:40:48
    12.00    8:16    147 (80%)    1:49:05
    13.00    8:12    175 (95%)    1:57:17
    13.12    0:57    155 (84%)    1:58:15

    As you can see there are some HR figures between miles 5 and 7 that were just silly.

    Official time taken from the website was 2:00:03 - 3 seconds over!!! Still I'm happy with how it went and 3 secs could have been lost just by getting stuck behind slower runners on the narrow parts just when I was upping the pace (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it image). Finished 113rd out of 223 in my age category (50-54).
    Thanks all for the support over the last 6 months - HADD rules OK

  • mace - nice work on the Thanet. 80% for a race shows great discipline!

    I also found sticking to my pace notes helped more than the HR - only because I wasn't sure I could trust it with all those spikes. Final average stats for me in the race were 9:01 @ 88%

  • BeDe - Brill, really pleased for you  .... shame the official time was a miserly 3 seconds out but your a 2hr HM'er.  Massive improvement on last year and your pb.  Well done image

    There must have been some back ground electrical interferance  ..Ive notice it with low/local power lines, from nowhere my monitor is saying my HR is over 170 when it was just at 130 or something similar.  Maybe there is a bit of adrenaline in your system also, so probably makes sense to stick to pace rtaher than HR.

  • BeDe, Huge congrats on a job well done. Recover well.....

    Mace, 80% average for a race does indeed show great discipline. But the positive is that you will be able to continue your training after a couple of days.

    Lee, how often are you running, how far and what intensities?


  • Hi Brian I did 4 runs last week totally 22 miles;

    Tue 4 miles 3 miles at less than 145bpm and approx 1 miles of 4*20sec strides at 95% with 2min jog inbetween.

    Thursday 7 miles which comprised of warm and warm down and 8 * 2mins at 8.45/min and 2 min jog inbetween

    Saturday same as Tuesday above.

    Sunday 7 miles at 145bpm

    Im 20 sessions into a 60 session training plan to get me through the trailblazer 10k.  The training plan is one devised by Guidette and is on runkeeper - so im doing all the mileage that is steady/slow at my 70% whr.

    The Sunday long run peaks at 10miles and I do up to 2 speed sessions a week by April. There are 4 week periodisation slots where mileage and speed work drops sigificantly and it tapers from 2 weeks from the first of the trailblazers.  I also do 2 lots of yoga a week [I'll drop one of these in April] and one short swim session and I spend about an hour every Sunday reff'ing kids rugby [Fartlek!!].

    I have a 3 week gap after the 10ks and then I have selected a hm training plan by the same guy to tie in with the Oxford HM in mid October.  Like BeDe I'll probably aim for a 2hr time or there abouts.

    Any thoughts gratefully rec'd!.

  • Lee, Didn't realise you were 10k training. Hadd stuff (or similar) is not ideal for the shorter distances. I won't confuse you with my ideas if someone is already helping you, and you are doing speed sessions to boot.



  • Im using the parker method which is similar but there are differences to Hadd and the 10k's are the first of many different race styles I will attempt in the future.  Im still trying to increase my aerobic base as this helps nearly all distances in my view.

  • Lee - from my perspective I was in the same boat as you trying to increase my aerobic base. I plodded through HADD (plodded being the operative term) for 16 weeks and did NO speedwork or anything above 75% MaxHr - this is the 'base building' phase of HADD and takes patience. From what I have read if not doing this you may be leaving something off the table so to speak - in other words not getting everything from the bottom of the toothpaste tube as HADD likes to put it.

    Now I realise that this isn't everyones cup of tea as it offers little in the way of variety to start with - but I haven't seen any other programme that makes as much sense - (personal viewpoint only). The 16 weeks I took does not mean everyone will take as long, that really is an arbitary figure and only relates to my fitness at the time. It could take 8 weeks depending on current level of fitness and how many miles you are prepared to put (without overtraining) in per week during this phase.

    I know you are on a different programme but it really is worth going back to and re-reading HADD if you have an interest in building a base. I still read it now and then to make sure I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing - easy to get carried away otherwise - which reminds me I haven't read it for at least a month!!

  • Hi BeDe - so how did you decide what you would run from one week and day to the next?  Ive read the HADD stuff and not seen a 'training plan' as such [might have missed this!].  What was your 16 weeks like, how many miles and how many runs etc etc?

  • Hi Lee - I started with what mileage I knew I could manage at that time which for me was about 15 - 18 miles a week, 3 times a week. The key thing is less than 75% MaxHr for every run - I then slowly move up to 20+ miles per week 4 times a week at the same effort level (less than 75% MaxHR). Having discussed options with people on this board it was suggested I run 5 times a week - couldn't manage that so wanted to make sure each run was more than an hour long (70 mins) so ended up doing around 25 - 28 miles a week over 4 runs.

    The HADD document is also a training plan for a marathon runner whom John Walsh was training - quote "A little over 5 years ago I coached Joe to two 2:27 marathons". The document is full of well documented evidence of this training. In short - I'll try not to waffleimage there are plans out there that can 'add' to this (like P&D schedules in a run up to a race) but for basic aerobic conditioning I would always go the HADD route.

    Taken in isolation the following IS a training plan (taken from the HADD document) - it just won't suit everybody and depends what you want to achieve and as I said this portion of text is in isolation but needs to be taken in context with the whole document - hope this helps;

    If your HRmax is 193 OR HIGHER, then the following applies:

    HRmax: 193+ (even if over 200)

    Best possible HRmarathon: 175-177 HRav (note, this is the average taken from mile 5 to mile 25, not the peak. Your HR might peak to 181 in the final miles as you throw everything onto the fire).

    Suggested training HR's: Easy every day running: 145 HR or lower (If you begin really unused to this form of training, initially you might start at 150, but as soon as the pace at this HR improves, it is recommended that you reduce your easy running HR to 145 or lower). This can often feel very slow to begin with, but should improve within 3-6 weeks and continue to improve for months. You may do as much running as you wish at this HR/intensity (always being careful to avoid overuse injury).

    Initial LTHR (initial lactate threshold heart rate): As with Joe in the example, begin at 155-160 and do not let the HR rise on the run. Build up the distance you can run for, over time, to 10 miles. At first, you may have to slow down within the run to maintain HR, but over the weeks and months, you should note that the running speed begins to remain more stable and you do not have to slow down (so much) to stop your HR rising. In time, the running pace at this HR (and all other HR’s above it) will also improve. Only move this HR up when your running pace vs HR is rock steady and you (easily) are able to run 10 miles at this HR without loss of pace or rise in HR. At that point, only move the HR up by 5bpm and begin again. The slower you build up the first time, the better your pace at HRmarathon will be. Remain at each HR as long as you are seeing improvement on the 2400m test and definitely until your pace vs HR is stable. You are trying to reach a state where your predicted/expected marathon pace and your 170 HR pretty much coincide in the 2400m test. And that this pace per mile can be maintained in training for 10-15 miles at 170-175 HR without rising effort or rising HR.


  • Brian - please feel free to correct me or add anything in case I missed something

  • Hola Amigos (and lone Amiga),

    Just back from an 8 day trip to Cabo San Lucas. Was able to sleep 8-9 hrs per night and get up and run however far I wanted each day. I logged 7 straight days and 65 miles. It was 80 and sunny every day (actually hot on the runs). Bliss.

    Got back to the states and it's snowing and cold and not sunny. But after running in the heat, my first run back home was an 80% at 7:15 m/m. Felt awesome.

    Nice work Mace on the 20 miler; also to Keir for the ultra + 20!

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    Here's a potentially interesting question for you Hadd experts.

    On another thread, there's a guy who was struggling to improve his half marathon time. He trained quite hard, but had plateaued on pace. He seemed to have been running too fast... most miles at his race pace.  I (and others) advised him to slow his LSR pace down, which he did, and he has reported back that he physically struggled to complete his run at this slower pace, even though he didn't previously struggle at a faster pace. This is, of course, counterintuitive to most people.

    Now I'm sure I read, in the hadd literature, a prediction that that would happen... and a physiological reason.  Can anyone tell me if I'm right, and point me to it please?  It's really annoying me!

    The thread is here, if you want to see it.  It's only a short thread.  http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/training/half-marathon-pacing-/242655.html


  • Sorry BeDe...missed your race. Nice work to you as well!

  • Its in the HADD document and it is fundamental to building a aerobic base Walsh actually states an experience just like this in the document.  Go back to page 133 there is a post from Keir with the document linked.

    He has basically not 'trained' his aerobic system so when he runs slower he will find it very hard and there is a section in the document thus

    Now, as all runners do, I had already figured out that my 3-milers were by now at 5.30-5.40 pace, the 45 min run was 6.00m/m± and the 90 min run was somewhere around 6.40m/m or so. Even the easy runs were rarely slower than 7.00m/m. You would have thought 8.00m/m would be a breeze...

    It was one of the worst runs of my entire life. I can still recall it. All the way I wanted to either stop and walk, or speed up to normal 90-min pace and get my ass out of there. The rest of the group were laughing and joking and I was gritting my teeth because it felt like my legs were made of wood and someone had tied a piano to my back. Luckily, I was not too suprised and I knew why I felt so bad...

    Way back in the late 1960s a professor called John Holloszy got some rats to run on a treadmill for various lengths of time up to 2hrs per day at around 50-75% of the rats' VO2max (easy running, therefore). After 12 weeks, he found that the rats had increased the mitochondria (vital for aerobic energy production) in their running muscles (compared to control rats that did no training). This was a seminal piece of work, because it explained why runners get better with training;


  • 3 miler at recovery rate or less avg 10.30/mile HRavg 137.  Pretty flat so felt very easy.  Didnt bother with strides at the end this time.  This run is a regular in my training plan so plan to use this to measure progress.

  • Nose NowtNose Nowt ✭✭✭

    Thanks Lee - you saved me a lot of time!...  I'll have a read through that section later.

  • Cheers VT - sounds like a very pleasant 65 miles - can only dream of such glorious weather. Off to the Alpujjaras mountains, Spain, in May so might get some nice warm runs in then image.

    Lee - did any of that I posted help regarding HADD being a training plan?

  • Lee, Bede knows his stuff. He's hit the nail on the head.
  • Well how did everyone get on yesterday?

    Yesterday I did a 7m training run at less than 70% WHR.  Did out and back along the Grand Union canal near Leighton Buzzard/Milton Keynes.  Did it in 10m42s per mile, though first out section [it is flat] was much quicker with a HR around 138bpm [my HRM is not sophisticated to do break down so I'm estimating] and back I was some 30s / mile slower with a avg HR of 143.  So Im still getting a lot of drift and I am now seeing a plato'ing of improvement image.

  • Hi Bede  Im 1/3 through my plan for 3 10ks with the parker system/approach.  I'll see how this goes - I def plan to do a long aerobic session of 16 - 26 weeks i just might do a little bit of race stuff beforehand   ...Instead of doing a plan for the oxford HM I might ditch it and just start HADD or maybe train specifically using a HM plan then go onto HADD for autumn and winter.  But yes I think I get what he is saying in the doc and what Id need to do.

  • Lee - I did something similar - did a HM last year based on some or other plan - kept getting niggling injuries as I was pushing too hard too quick. Then tried a 10K training plan - kept getting niggling injuries - dropped that and did another HM - less niggling injuries - then turned to HADD in September - only injury since then was when I changed my trainers!!

    Keep at it and you will benefit image - I also plateaued fairly early on - in fact looking back over my stats it was actually weeks 7-8 before I started getting some consistency in HR versus pace/time and then some gradual improvement in pace after then.

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