There has been a great deal of discussion on the forum regarding “base training”. In general, the training method is centred around the ideas that Hadd puts forward in a series of postings which are termed Hadd’s Approach to Distance Training
. The approach is broken down into 6 sections.
The 6 sections that Hadd has posted can be broadly divided into two areas; the theory behind his training approach (sections 1-3) and putting that theory into practice (sections 4-6). Let’s deal with the theory first and run through some of the key points that Hadd makes in sections 1-3.
Section 1. Hadd opens by stating that in an optimally trained athlete there should be a fixed relationship between race distance and pace e.g. 5K @ 5:30 min/mile, 10k @ 5:45 min/mile, 1/2M @ 6:00 min/mile, marathon @ 6:15 min/mile. Hadd stresses that the pace per mile should decrease by a fixed amount as the distance doubles (15 sec/mile in the example above), but that the exact amount that pace slows (e.g. 15 sec, 12 sec or 17 sec / mile) doesn’t especially matter. If the pace-distance relationship isn’t fixed, then Hadd concludes that the individual is poorly trained from an aerobic standpoint and suggests that this is likely to be because of “low mileage background” and running “too fast”.
Section 2. Hadd states that the lack of a fixed relationship between race distance and pace is because “LT (lactate threshold) is not good enough (not a high enough percentage of your personal VO2max)”. Essentially, this means that you hit your lactate threshold at too low an intensity i.e. at a relatively low percentage of your maximal heart rate. Hadd further states that “Your LT is dependent on adaptations in your leg muscles caused by training” and that “these adaptations are intensity dependent (train too fast, they won’t happen)”.
Section 3. Hadd then relates a personal experience in which, following an injury, he begins training again, doing a lot of high intensity workouts. Following 3 months of this type of training Hadd describes having a very tough time trying to complete a 2 hour+ run at 8 min/mile pace and cites publications by Holloszy and specifically Dudley, to explain why, stating “all my training in the 3 months leading up to it had been relatively hard. I had not trained slow enough for my slow twitch fibres to become stimulated to build huge amounts of mitochondria.”