HADD training plan



  • VT your weekly training looks more or less the same as mine.

    Hi Lisa, started in 1/1/12 all runs  73% running 6 days a week, noticed that as I got fitter my 73% runs became 70% and under, introduced one run of 4 miles at  81% end of Jan, built that up to 8 miles by the end of March.

    Added a parkrun then of 81%. and more or less stayed like that till mid May when I started to do some long fell/trail races, came back into HADD mid July.

    Hope this helps in some small way.


  • Hi Lisa,

    I got into running for real in the summer of 2011 when I trained for my 1st marathon. I followed the Hal Higdon Advanced I plan. It worked well as I had a strong race and finished with some gas left in the tank. But my marathon time (3:31) didn't mesh with my 5K time (20 min). I started reading about the physiology of running adaptation and realized I was running too fast nearly all the time. So in Jan of '12 I began hadding. Did all 70% stuff until May (when my mileage was up to about 50-60 mpw), then added the 80% run. I tore an abdominal muscle in July (I ended up doing 2 80% runs per week and adding 80% portions to my long run too). My fitness gains before the injury were incredible. I was doing my slow runs at really low HR and was flying at 80% effort and they were really comfy (could have gone around again type of comfort). I lost all of July, August and september to doing no exercise. Slowly ramped back up in October with all 70-75% effort through about a month ago. Was really gettign there again in December but lost about 6 wks to work/no sleep/no time to run. Anyway, after about another 5 wks of being back at it, I've added a few 80% runs. I'm a fast twitch guy and for me this training really works. I don't think I've truly cashed in on its potential yet though. I have to find a better balance so I can train year round (I seem to have a major injury each year; sometimes multiple). I think HADDing (the 70-75% stuff) allows you to get your mileage up without getting hurt. But be careful with the 80% stuff. Speed does kill sometimes.

    I have gotten a really nice level of fitness (I've never been this fit in my life). With this base, if I can keep going, I think I can find out just how good my engine can be. But I don't think I can answer that in 4 months. I think I need 5 years to figure it out. My goal this year is to run a sub 3:15 marathon to qualify for Boston. But my 5 year plan would be to break 3 hrs. In the end though I just love running.

    BTW, it's warming up out here. The snow just finally melted away. Been running in shorts again. Goodbye winterimage

  • Roy/VT, thanks for your 'stories' gives me a target to aim for. Not sure I'll be doing 50+ miles/week anytime soon so (apparently) it's not worth attempting the 2400 tests?

  • Roy and VT really interesting reading through your experiences.

    VT Good luck with your goal to qualify for Boston.

    Finges crossed that we have now seen the last of the snow and cold weather, really want the Spring to arrive.

    8 miles for me today with 6 miles at race pace with a HR of about 80%. Easy miles for me tomorrow, and LSR planned for Sunday both. Mileage for the week will be about 38-40 dependent on the next 2 days. 

  • Hope you hit the 40 miles for the week Lisa, that's a goal for me in the future.

    Well, March is almost over and I'll probably not go out today so will miss my Monthly target of 75 miles by almost 10. I did have almost 2 weeks off with the flu so happy I'll do at least 80 miles in April. Target would have been 100+ but have a week in France and not sure I'll be running.

    My other March targets were to keep my average HR below 75% and run at 12 min miles. I averaged 69% at exactly 12 min miles so pleased with that and just need to bump my miles up in April with a target of sub 70% (ish).

    Have set an alarm on my Garmin if I go over 75% which will probably mean I run more slowly (if that's possible) so have turned off the pace display on my Garmin and just run to my HR as I usually adjust my pace to hit 12 min/miles.

    My original plan was to start a Hal Higdon 18 week Marathon Plan in early May but also hear many people just HADD for all their training? Thoughts/suggestions for a newbie Marathoner as my goal is really just to complete the 26.2 miles.

  • Andi - I've had to switch my HR off on my Garmin at the moment - doesn't seem to work in cold conditions so I'm going off pace - with 12 mths worth of data and taking HR manually I know what pace I should be running at to stay within the 75%.

    I think VTrunner sums it up perfectly. Modern lifestyle can often get in the way with lots of different things / people wanting our time and attention. Reading through VT's account I think it shows that we can't always get the consistency in mileage that we would like. I think that is where HADD really comes in to it's own - the general approach to less than 75% MaxHR should give us less injuries and keep us on our feet longer thus giving us 'compounded' mileage. If we have to take a small break (from my experience) we do not lose a heap of fitness. Sometimes Higdon or P&D schedules make us feel obligated to put the mileage in to achieve what they say is achievable. HADD can be much more flexible - the simple test of 10miles at 75% with no significant increase in HR is the conduit for the next step which is to introduce 80% runs and so on and so on. Now if your lifestyle (like mine) means that your time is constrained then we have to accept that everything will take longer - that initial 10 miles test may take 4 months to achieve succesfully or it may take 2 months or even 6 months depending on current fitness and time on feet.

    I am slowly building my mileage back up again (by my standards that is) after my March race and I am actually enjoying not having to 'think' too hard about my running. When I'm back to a decent mileage (25-30 miles pw for me) then I'll do a 10 mile test to make sure all is in order then introduce some 80% work (partial to start with) - my plan is to get to 10 miles at 80% with no significant drop in pace by the end of the year. An achievable target and not one that is 'set' by anyone else that I feel I have to do.

    I support VTrunners view - be careful of doing the 80% stuff too early - I tried it last year and I wasn't ready - I did get injured with a pulled calf - fortunately a decent therapist and slow running got me back on track.

    Andi - my thoughts on what you say - IF you can be patient enough stick with HADD and put in the miles needed to get round the 26.2. If you at some point you feel you are able to introduce 80% runs then introduce them once a week as part of a run (eg do 3 miles at 80% as part of a 6/7mile run and increase slowly). However if you are targeting a specific time then I can't really offer you any advice.


  • Txs BeDe, makes a lot of sense image However with the hills here I'll never be able to run 10 miles at the same pace with a constant HR. I think all runs of 10+ miles here would have an incline/decline in excess of 1250 feet (on the flat runs). I've still got a month to decide if I stick with HADD or do my Marathon Training with a Hal Higdon Program.

    That said, today I went out for a slow 6.2 miles and kept my WHR average to 68% and got a 10k PB! Ok, so 67:57 isn't exactly fast but it's my PB so am drinking to it tonightimage

  • Andi - congrats on PB - especially with those inclines!!

    Where are you Scotland? Those may be inciines to you but they're big hills to me image

  • Thanks BeDe image I live on the Isle of Mull in Tobermory and if your young enough or have kids you may know it as Balamory? I live opposite Josie Jumps house and a 100 yards from Archie the Inventors Castle image

    Am on a role this week and got another PB today, this time for the mile. Last time I timed a single mile it was 2 minutes after a 4:52 kilometre so ran it in 9:42, today I did it in 7:46 so it sits nicer with my other times though my 5 & 10k times still don't look correct using Macmillan - will get there soon enough. Oh, still restricting my WHR average to

  • Andi sounds bloody lovely, ran the isle of Jura fell race last year and did not want to leave the island it was soo nice.

    Well done on your PB .

  • Andi - spent a cracking two weeks on the Glengorm Estate there about 4 years ago. Sunshine for 10 days solid - great walking, fantastic wildlife - soooooo jealous!!

  • I thought tobermory was a womble!  Only kidding!  Very jealous  ..living in the built up south east of England [Im originally from the east of manchester ie on the edge of the pennines and a short hop to the peak district] is a bit of a pain if you need to get out on some scenic runs.  I tend to try and drive to parks and countryside and do fab runs when on hols in cornwall as part of my holiday treat.

    1 week from restarting my running  ..cant wait and it will be HADD all the way!image

    I have to start as though its from scratch so Ill be building mileage very slowly at 70% of maxHR with lots of walking   ...to be safe I might lower the HR zone alarm to say 120 [normally 138] as I will need to walk alot or the physio will go mad with me!

  • Roy, it is lovely though never bean to Jura so can't really compare (though would like to visit the Jura distillery one day image

    BeDe, my long runs usually take me toward Glengorm and get there via the Ardmore forest trail - tis lovely all year round.

    Lol Lee and yes, tobermory was (also) a womble - giving away your age there lol. Hope you get back to full fitness quickly but slowly if you get my drift image

  • Apologies guys, not posted for a while. But im still alive and kicking!

    Dont know Scotland well at all but weve been up to fort william for the lochaber marathon in 2010. Absolutely idyllic backdrop for running. Remember driving up thru glen coe and thinking wow! Bit better than the lake district.
  • lol Brian and yes, Glen Coe and around Lochaber is great countryside image Am toying with the idea of running Lochaber next year image

    Finally recovered from my mile dash earlier in the week (painful inner thighs) and managed what felt like a hard 10.43 miles today bang on my 12 min mile target but the 1/2 miles splits were all over the place so guess I need to work on getting up those hills as I did plenty of walking when my HR went over 75% the had to run faster on the declines to 'catch up' which meant I hit 75% earlier on the hilly sections then had to run faster..... etc etc.

    Ended up with a 67% average so probably could have pushed up the hills a bit more?

  • Lee - good luck with the re-start

    Brian - good to see you back online

  • Did Compton 40 in 6:59:45 on Saturday in perfect 20 mile splits.   Just to show this does work.

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Great run spen

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Andi - 67% is fantastic HADDing .... squeezing the bottom of the toothpaste tube.

  • Top stuff spen - recover well
  • Spen - brill, makes me tired just looking at those numbersimage

    Well HR is still playing up so for the past 3 weeks I've been taking manual measurements - pausing the watch - and then re-starting. Whilst this gives me 15secs recovery time every so often I'm not too bothered because I'm just building up my second HADD phase (base phase was Sept to March with a few 80% pre-race runs). Interesting how stable it is which really makes me question the validity of the monitor. Might try a different model that works with the Forerunner 310XT - anyone have any thoughts on a decent HM?

    So just HADDing at 70% - 75% no specific schedule as no races planned - happy to be running relaxed. Still 1m 10s mile better than last Sept for same HR effort.

  • Thanks mace image

    Spen, a result you should be really proud of and as Brian says I hope you recover well.

    Bede, that must be a pain and hope you get it sorted soon (sorry, can't help with a different model). Good luck with your continued relaxed running.

    No running for me for a few days, have been helping to babysit a 3 year boy - enough excercise for anybody I think. Off to France for 10 days now and hope to do some HADDing along the Rhone.

  • Andi - just a tadd flatter than Mull image image

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    After a sensible and sucessful March, I'm afraid April has gone completely pear-shaped. A run on 1st April left me with some heel pain ... thought I'd bruised it or something. The following Saturday I did a 5K ... some initial heel pain but then my foot went into spasm. Plantar fasciitus - struggling with walking, so expect that running will be some way off. Bradford 10K in 2 weeks and Leeds HM in May have both been ditched .... think I will have to concentrate of swimming and running and then do some triathlons in the summer when the foot starts to allow.image

  • Dr Dan - had you increased your weekly mileage? Changed shoes? Anything that may have sparked it off?

    I only ask because in December last year I changed shoes and had heel pain (still have remnants of it if I do a long(ish) run. Ditched the shoes, went back to same original style and it improved. Brian posted some exercises for stretching the foot around about then - might be worth trawling through.

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    Mileage has been sensible ... I did change my shoes, but nothing drastic.

  • Well done Spen good pacing.

    Worcester half this Sunday and to be honest feel apprehensive, three and half months of only HADDing.  Few days rest then parkrun at 75% .


  • Roy you'll be fine. Once the legs get going....
  • Spen, well done!

    Dr. Dan, that is terrible news. Sorry to hear it. I can totally feel your disappointment. Nothing worse than the major injury. Damn. Very best of luck on the recovery.


  • Just an update that I'm still plugging along. My HR has fully downshifted. All my easy runs for the past few weeks have been at about an 8:30 pace with HR in the upper 130s (which is about 67% max for me). Normally my easy efforts are in the mid/upper 140s. A good test was an 18 miler monday...Ave HR was 139...pace and HR steady the whole way. The other telling data is that I'm getting these low HR averages in the afternoons (normally I'm about 5 bpm higher in the afternoon vs early morning). Now that my base is finally here I keep telling myself not to burn the cake.

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