HADD training plan



  • My Garmin has decided to really play up when using the HR monitor.   Reads either high or low!

  • Spen - welcome to the club! I tried wearing mine on the back the other night - slightly better but reading was too low. Shifted it a little to one side and almost got normal readings. A lot of messing around. Just out of interest how long have you had it? I've had mine around 18 mths and it started playing up after 14 mths. Perhaps they just don't last long. Here is a link to the Ant+ directory which shows compatible monitors for Garmin products.


    I managed to find a couple of UK sites that have products - here is one I might try but at £30 I don't expect much;


    VTrunner - how long you been HADDing? I'm not planning on any more races this year just want to continue building. Another question - has your MaxHR changed over time - I haven't tested mine for a while as my HR monitor is playing up.


  • Well done to all my fellow Hadders and sorry for the injury strcken peeps image

    Very little running this week asit took 2 full days to get over to France. BeDe, I'm staying halway up a valley and the hills actually put my Mull hills to shame! Found a couple of nice spots to run along the banks of the Rhone (Mont blanc is about 10 miles away). Jeez, flat is boring and was just about pulling my hair out on today's 11 mile jog. I did suffer in the last 4 miles as I'd eaten/drunk too much the night before and didn't get to bed until 04:30am and was severly dehydrated so took several walk breaks. AHR was just 64% but did 12:10 min miles rather than the 12 I was after (first 5.5 miles averaged 11:42 min miles btw).

  • Hi BeDe,

    That's a great question. I just looked it up. I started Hadding in January 2012. Lost July, August, September that year to injury and restarted in October. So minus 3 months lost to injury in the middle, I've been hadding about 13 months. For some reason in my mind I thought it was much longer.

    Last time I checked my max was in Dec of 2011. Not sure if it's fallen or not, but I hit 199 at the end of a 7 or 8 mile run (on a hill going full out). So it was probably higher than that considering the distance I had already put in. I think the week before that I hit 196 on an elliptical machine at a hotel (the lady next to me thought I was on speed or somethingimage).

    If I can just stay healthy it will be interestign to see where things go from here.

    BTW, my run yesterday was interesting. When I started out it was 30 F and misting a bit. during the 3rd mile a huge wind hit and the sky opened up. I had pants/longsleeves on and they, plus my shoes, were completely soaked in about 10 seconds. Then it hailed/rained for about 2 more of my miles (wind/hail/rain directly into my face). I was lucky I had my sunglasses or else I couldn't have kept going without getting my eyes pelted.

  • VTrunner, I love the runs with multiple weather conditions as it makes thing more interesting - not least the choice of running attireimage

    Am sure I read that whilst your resting HR will usually come down as you get fitter that your MAX will rarely change more than a beat or two?

    Just a mile run in the Bikila FF's after wearing them all day for a trip to the Jura mountains and a nice lunch overlooking Lake Vouglans. Garmin went a bit weird and gave 20,264.6MPH as my fastet speed!

  • Had a very nice 80% run today. Stats below. I felt very comfortable; got into a really relaxed rhythm by the 4th mile and just settled in. Breathing and body movements felt under control and natural. In short, this didn't hurt. It felt great.




  • My goal is to run a 3:15 marathon this fall to qualify for Boston. I would have to average ~7:25 to do it. Not sure if that's possible, but runs like today give me hope. By October, perhaps my 83 to 85% runs will be comfy and under 7 m/m. If so, I could race the marathon conservatively by running near 7:25 for the first half without emptying the tank and then go for it in the second half. Good to have goals though...this one keeps me motivated. If not this year, hopefully I can nab it within 2 years.

  • VT - great stats. I think Brian will agree that you are well on your way to getting the qualifying time. I guess your av HR for a marathon will be about 83% - 85%?

    If you are putting in 7:06 (average pace) now for an average of 80% over 10 miles then it certainly looks possible. We always seem to push that little extra in races.

    This just shows what can be done in 13mths - I know that sounds a long time but the leaps you made I bet were tremendous. Without trawling through the whole thread what were your 75% stats when you first started and what are they now?

  • VT, has bede rightly points out, the 80% stats are very positive, and do indicate that you are in very good shape for a 3.15 mara. Stick with the 80% for now, build the long run and the 3.15 will be there for the taking.

    I wouldn't increase to 83% till you feel that the 80% pace has plateaud.
  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    Very nice VTimage. Out of interest, I was once managing 7:15/m at 81% but was never in shape for 3:15 as the rest to the training never really came together (long runs and long runs with MP race pace, etc). I'd stick with 80% and see where that pace goes to, and then build to 82-83%.

    Foot is feeling better - walking without a pronounced limp now but soem way off running again ... I did cycle to work today without any pedal pain, so at least I can start to get some bike mileage in.

  • Hi all ,

    Well yesterday I think I found a limiting factor to just training HADD prior to a race.

    Unable to change pace when you are at or near your training max, ie never went over 85% in training struggled to go over 88% in the race, it just would not go over 140 even at  the final 200m sprint.

    Within the first mile got HR upto 136/7/8 and it stayed like that right throughout the run till mile 11 when it went to 140, I am sure thats a good sign, even though it was a bit weird.


  • Hi Gents,

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I do plan to stick at the 80% level for a while. I have only done a few of these now so I think I have a lot more to get out of them.Even if the pace doesn't drop much more, I do want to get more comfortable at that effort/pace. I don't think I'd entertain upping effort until late summer. As for the long run, that is indeed what I have been starting to work on. Most of the past few months my long run was in the 12-13 mile range. But I have recently been going 15-18. My feet/legs are slowly adjusting to the longer period on my feet. So moving forward my staples will be an ~2 to 2.5 hr long run and the 80% run (all the other runs will be sub70% efforts). I may try to get some striders in on the easy runs. Last year, Brian helped me come up with a HADD marathon training plan (long run + 2 80% runs). I bought the P&D book and read through. Perhaps I should tackle one of those plans come summer? The 55 mile plan might not quite be enough while the 70 may be too much. Perhaps something in the middle. Thoughts?

    BeDe, it's hard to say what my 75% pace was at the start of HADDING as I didn't have a garmin watch until a few months in. However, I can say that at the peak of my training for my fist marathon (following a Higdon plan) I ran a 10 mile course nearly all out and averaged 7:13 m/m...I was literally gassed after it vs the really comfortable effort recently. The other big difference is that most all of my running is comfortable...I'm not tired or hurting. Kind of like going for long walks.

    Dr. Dan, I hear what you are saying about doing the 80% run at a certain pace but not having the chops to come close to that over 26.2. I certainly would struggle to try and run a 7:30 pace that far now. I think I could do 7:50 or 8:00 (the latter is what I did manage pre-hadd). Hopefuly the next 6 months are enough to change that reality. Also, glad to hear your foot is better. I'll keep sending good Karma your way.

  • VT - for P&D schedule look at adding 15% on to the 55 mile schedule. To me it looks like the schedules are roughly 'pro-rata' anyway. So for a scheduled 7m run make it 8m instead.

    I was thinking along similar lines but going the other way - doing 75% of the 55m schedule (cause I'm an old git) but as I have no races planned now I'm just sticking with HADD at 75%

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Well VT, my target at Brighton on Sunday was 3:15. I knew it was gonna be close and here's the story ....


    Pretty much a year after entering the 2013 Brighton Marathon on opening day last April, the time had finally arrived for my first Marathon.

    The build up, apart from about 30 missed miles due to a chest infection end of Jan, was trouble free and it was time to put 34 weeks of HADD base building then 18 weeks of P&D 70 mile plan to the test.

    My target time had gradually been shrinking along the way from an initial tentative  estimate of 4:30 last April to a feeling sometime around end of Feb that I could be looking at the previously un-imaginable heights of 3:15. This would play over and over in my mind for the next 4 weeks. It was a tight one to call and several times I thought of being sensible but finally decided very recently that I had to see what I was capable of and test myself to what I perceived my limit.  

    So I arrived with my wife and 3 kids at the Preston Park start right opposite the hotel we were staying in at about 8.30 and after a nose around made my way to the Red start pen. Quick chat with a more senior lady ( who I gave my gloves to as her hands were cold ) and we were off.

    Before the starting gun had gone off I’d made 3 mistakes …. the first was that although I could have got close to the 3:15 pacers right at the front of the pen I chose to stay about 50 yards back. Why do that when you want to be paced ? The second was that I’d set my Garmin to show “current lap pace” and “Time-average lap” the latter of which would give me my average cumulative pace throughout the run ….. provided I turned of my normal autolap setting !! And the third mistake was I refused the 3:15 pacing band at the Expo the day before, thinking I didn’t need one as I had my Garmin. Why not take such an unobtrusive item  and carry it just in case ?

    Miles 1 – 5

    The pacer had told me the day before that he wouldn’t be altering pace on uphills and downhills but would stick to 3:15 pace. With the first half mile uphill I took it easy which although sensible, by the end of it I was now probably 45 seconds off the pacers. Just as I was about to hit LAP at the end of mile 1 on the garmin the autolap kicked in and I realised I’d forgotten to switch it off !!  So, not only am I off the pace but I’ve now got to use my brain more than I’d planned. Shame I didn’t have a nice simple pacing band on my wrist !!!  After another 4  miles of varying undulations we’re through the city and heading east along the seafront into a noticeable wind.

    7:49 7:23 7:31 7:16 7:32     149 152 151 153 152

    Miles 6-10

    Tuck in where I can and try to stabilise effort/pace on the undulations. Fairly uneventful apart from one lad who’s sat on a wall around the u-turn in Ovingdean tying his laces. Up to now I’ve been taking water at each station, sipping some and pouring what I didn’t drink on myself to keep cool. The water was provided in Iconiq water pouches – I like them a lot and had tested them at the Expo. Comfortable to carry and drink from. Saw the Elites “flying” back towards Brighton. WOW !!   

    7:28 7:25 7:23 7:27 7:24     151 152 150 152 151

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Miles 11 – 15

    It was around mile 11 we headed back to Brighton. Up to now I hadn’t seen the 3:15 pacer at all. Thinking back I don’t know how this was possible considering the u turn road in Ovingdean was easily long enough to see them coming back. I must have been concentrating too hard at the water station and didn’t see them ? One chap had taken a pit stop at the edge of the cliff in full view of runners and spectators which was amusing some of the kids.

    Just after, a 38 year old called Matt pulled up alongside me and after a few moments I struck up a conversation. He was targeting 3:30 and we chatted away for a couple of miles until he dropped back around 14. I calculated as we got to half way we were around 40 seconds off 3:15 pace and told him this which was why he dropped off. No sign at all of the pacers ahead though !? Interestingly my HR stats show that for the time I was chatting to Matt my HR dropped 3-4 beats !! No significant elevation change so interesting that talking to him seems to have relaxed me and then when he dropped off it goes up again.

    7:24 7:28 7:22 7:21 7:20    151 147 148 152 156   

    Miles 16 – 20

    Up to this point I felt totally in control but realised I’d missed a water station somehow around 15 when we turned off the Kingsway into the Grand Avenue/Church Rd loop and spent the next few miles cursing myself. By 18 as we go I started to feel it a tad in the tops of my quads and I’m convinced missing the water was partly the cause. Pace maintained up to 20 going to the power station and I’ve passed loads of runners who are walking/stretching at the roadside. But now I think I’ve edged over my Lactate Threshold and the quads are starting to complain.

    7:21 7:20 7:20 7:19 :7:18   157 157 159 158 160

    Miles 21 – FINISH

    The last of my 5 gels was downed at 20 as we head to the power station and by the time we get to 22 I’m wishing I’d carried one more. We reach a Cliff shot/gel station and despite saying before I wasn’t taking anything new I’m grabbing anything on offer !!  Literally stuffing chews and gels in my pockets and gel belt. WTF !!??? Cliff gel down the hatch and I thank the Lord I’m hanging onto a water pouch … without it I’m certain it would have set in my throat and finished me off, them things are DENSE L.  I give it my last shot at working out in my head where I am in relation to the pacer but I can’t work out 22 x 7 with any degree of confidence ….. AND I’M A FRIKIN CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT  !!!!!  Why oh why did I refuse the pace band ?

    Into mile 23 and it’s hurting. I turn onto the promenade and into the wind and see nobody in front for what seems like 10 miles but is probably 100 yards. Thoughts of walking are now nagging me but the spectators remain superb and a string of about 6 or 7  kids hold their hands out for high 5’s … the cheers from them as I went along the line high fiving was unforgettable.

    What I didn’t know was at this point I was probably no more than 20 seconds off pace but the pacers were out of sight and by mile 24 I’d given up on 3:15. If I’d had something to tag onto into the wind I think I’d have had a chance to throw the kitchen sink at it for the last two but all I could hang on to ....

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    was walkers and runners who were slowing more than me. This made the last 2 very very tough and beyond what I’d imagined and the target now was to finish for my family and friends who were waiting.

     As I approached the pier the noise from the masses at the finish was overwhelming  and something that will stay with me for a long time.

    Quads on fire for the last 400 it was head down and the end of an incredible experience in 3:16:52

    On reflection I’m absolutely delighted with this run and I think I’ve learned a huge amount over the last year. I thought 3:15 was my limit and that was about right because I couldn’t have given much more if anything.


    7:21 7:27 7:34 7:49 8:18 +bits   162 164 165 165 167 164 165

    Ave 7:31 @ 156 (85.2%)

  • Mace, well done!!!!

    What a riveting account. I just realized I was holding my breath as I finished readingimage.

    Interesting how after all the preparation the little things can loom large. My hat off to you though...way to go for it. It's scary to delve into that unknown zone. But you stared it all down and ran right through it. Congrats again.

    Rest up well. You've earned a nice break.

    BTW, how nuked are your quads today??

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    VT, thanks, i actually walked normally downstairs this morning rather than backwards and they're feeling ok now image I wasn't going to go for it until about a month out when Brian suggested it could be on - that man knows his onions image Although i fell just short i'm so gad i went for it because i now know how my recent training/times/HR converts to a close to my limit Mara effort.

    Your 10M run above compares to my 10M pb ( from December '12 ) of 1:11:13 but i ran that at 88%. So you have 6% in hand and so long as you have the endurance you're nailed on for 3:15 i'd have thought. I did P&D 70M 18wk plan after HADD and although some of it looked quite intimidating early on, by the end it was like shelling peas and i was sad it was over in a way ... loved it !!!

    Back to HADD for me now for a while and working on them sub LT runs image


  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Dan - take care, hope you're back in the game soon

  • mace, top banana! A well executed marathon indeed and first one too! Many many congratulations.

    Onward and upward for you now.

    Recover well.
  • Mace - big, big congrats and hats off to you for such an amazing time. This account will show all what can be achieved. Brillimage - take it easy for a week or two image

  • Hi!  Congratulations Mace on the speedy marathon - I could run forever and never get close to a time like that so that's an incredible effort!

    Sorry to drag everyone down to the lowly level of the plodder again but I'm trying to start this Hadd training and I'm struggling.  I did a marathon in March (Rome) then had about 10days off.  I then had to go away - managed approximately an 8-10mile walk for 5 days while I was away but couldn't fit in the running.  Had intended to start again as soon as I got back but got loaded with a  bad chest cold so that scuppered me for a few days again.

    So, excuses all done, I finally started back on Saturday but, bloody hell, I'm slow!!  My MHR is about 200 so running 70-75% should be 140-150bpm.  However, I'm reaching this in about 30s of starting running!! Slowly.  I did a run 10, walk 2 pattern at the weekend which helped to keep the average down but it means my average pace is a 12min mile and I have comfortably run 10m/m before.

    My cough is all gone, I don't need my inhaler any more.  I have a sniffle still but otherwise I feel well.  My RHR is a bit higher than usual (62 v 55). I've had my iron checked post marathon and it's fine.  Could it be that I just need to build up fitness again after my few weeks off or could my HR still be a bit high following infection?  Should I still try and stick to the low HR?

    Feeling very slow and frustrated at the moment.  Sorry!!

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    Mace .... fantastic race and fantastic report! Well done!!!!!!!!!!!!image

  • Rubbish - I think all people that turn to HADD (from whatever fitness plan they are working to) that have run in the past are frustrated at the start. Another person on the thread also had 12m miles when they first started. When I first started mine were 11:30m miles (75% maxHR). I don't even put in half the miles that a lot of people are doing here - averaging 24-30 miles a week and I knocked 1m per mile off my average mile with 16weeks of base building - and if I could put more miles in per week I know there is plenty more to come.

    It does take patience and I'm pretty sure somewhere in the HADD doc it says to try running at your 5K pace +3mins (for me when I started that was 11:40m). The key to the whole thing is time on feet - the more time you can put in (without over training) the benefits will arrive quicker. If like me you can't find or make that time then I'm afraid it will take longer BUT it will happen at some point. If you want to follow HADD then be prepared for some initial slow progress BUT when it happens WOW be prepared to be amazed!!image

    Extracts from the HADD doc:Rid yourself of any sign of impatience and just knuckle down to the work. Remember, a constantly dripping source of water will eventually erode solid rock. For this to work, you need your muscles to change, and change takes time (for this bit read the section on Mitochondria)

    Farmers don’t pull up their potatoes every five minutes to see if they are growing…

    "Be patient. Do good work. And improvements will come" - quote from author

  • chickstachicksta ✭✭✭

    Hi guys - thought I pop in briefly as I'm going taper mad image

    Mace, what an amazingly inspiring race report. You did well! Very jealous of your pace image.

    The final stages are reminiscent of my sub 3:30 last October... I had lost count of the laps and the wind had blown over the final 5 markers so I had no idea what I was doing. I just hoped I kind of held on to my pace. Got in with 45 secs to spare image

    Hoping to break 3:25 on Sunday. Wish me luck, guys. I ran a very comfortable and not all out HM in 1:34 (5 min. PB) so that marathon goal seems about right. Although the more MP I do the harder it feels and I'm all confused image.

  • Hi Bede, thanks for the quick reply!  I was thinking about the potatoes thing this morning as I ran - it's a great analogy!  I'm used to being a bit speedier at low HRs but I'm going to try and not focus on the past and look forward to improving again instead.

    Patience is a virtue that I am most certainly not blessed with image

  • macemace ✭✭✭

    Rubbish - stick with it, you'll be amazed. I'm with BeDe, when i started HADD about a year ago i was in the mid 11's for 70% and within 3 months that was down to low 10's. Now it's probably around mid 8's for up to 15M.

    Chick - you'll murder 3:25 surely based on your training !! I remember thinking a couple of weeks back how similar to mine ( better if anything) your stats were for the long runs. And you've done shed loads of 20+ ? Just don't be shit on the day image GOOD LUCK !!!! image

  • chickstachicksta ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. If a miracle happens and everything goes brilliantly on the day I could probably get in around 3:22 but no way I can do 7:30s (yet). It's the long time goal for 2014. I have been shit so many times and learned the hard way to respect how bliddy long 26.2 miles really is image.

    Anyway, the plan is 7:50s and if things feel too easy gradually pick it up from 18 miles onwards.

  • Dr.DanDr.Dan ✭✭✭

    Go Chick!!!image

  • Chick - you CAN do it!!! GO for it image

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