HADD training plan

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19/09/2012 at 16:42

Yep, letsrun was where Hadd hung out and where the "document" was pieced together from.

Other Hadd threads over there...




19/09/2012 at 20:27

Well after nearly 9 months ( 2 months out of HADD training In June and July ) I finally achieved negative splits with my 1 hour treadmill run , PHEW.

Do I consolidate or move my HR up 5bpm?


20/09/2012 at 10:00

For any newbie HADDers like me (although I knew about this a while ago I didn't have the discipline to follow it) - minor niggling injuries eventually made me look a lot harder at this. The link that Dr.Dan posted above makes for some interesting reading. I have copied a small section here as it is relevent to newbies who may have looked at the HADD document and are trying to follow it like me. The 'pasted' bit (below in bold) is to encourage all those people that running at 70% of maxHR feels way too slow at first. It is based on someone fitting into one of 5 criteria for which mine (and many others I'm sure) is "Lack of previous training experience". It actually offers a way forward to 'start' the HADD training if you really struggle to keep the heart rate low at the reccomended %MaxHR.

My best 5K pace so far was 8:42m/m (that was not during 'all out' race but part of previous training - so maybe I could have improved on this in a race - abysmally slow - but then I am an 'oldie' ). So adding 3 mins gives me 11:42 training pace. As it happens during my first 2.5 weeks on HADD my average pace is 11:36 at an average of 70.5% of MaxHR - so it seems that the 3 mins on top of the 5K fits me like a glove. Based on what John says below, I will now be looking over the next few weeks for the HR to stabilise on my runs and when I see my pace improve by 20 secs or better I will know this is working (however long that takes).

What HADD says:

"So, do this if the pace is down in the 9-11 min mile zone and you fit one of the descriptions I numbered above. Calculate your 5k PR pace per mile and add 3 mins. Go for a run at this pace and check your HR. If it is higher than I have advised for someone with your HRmax, then use this pace as your easy run pace.
When you find that the pace at this low easy HR improves by 20secs/mile, drop down your easy HR by 5bpm and continue. Over time you are trying to run at a reasonable pace at the HR I advised initially for you.
Like this: I told you to run at 145-150 because your max is 195+. This pace is 10-mins mile. You have a 17.00 PR for 5km. Since this is ~5.30m/m, add on 3 mins/mile and do your easy runs at 8.30m/m and watch the HR at this pace. It might be 155-160. If it climbs, you want to know it, because you need to get to a stage where it doesn't climb at this pace. So, take notes."

20/09/2012 at 10:08

Another good thread (which I found via this thread) ...


20/09/2012 at 11:44

yeh - thats a good one - I copied loads of that and put it into a doc which I refer to now and then.

21/09/2012 at 15:44

All interesting stuff.

mace, yep intervals and recoveries in brackets. The longer ones (10 and 8mins) were done at about 6m/m, and then the shorter ones were faster, down to about 5:20-5:30m/m. Twas a tough session!

Did 10x60s (30s) yesterday. First 2 were at 5:50-5:40, then the rest were all 5:30-5:15 pace.

Benchmark 10k for me on Sunday, Spen Greenway. Happy weekend everybody!


24/09/2012 at 09:17

 Week 3 completed - long way to go (especially when I see some of the numbers you guys are posting). The numbers in the blue blocks are the average pace for each week. Pace vs % MaxHR - no changes at present though I'm not expecting much to change until about week 6. Worried that the pace is actually TOO slow after reading something that John Walsh wrote in one of the links posted earlier, "No more 11- or 10-min miles. I wouldn't inflict those on my worst enemy. Not even 9-min miles".

Iapplied the+3min rule to my best 5K time and as mentioned earlier it fits in with my HR training just perfectly - but the comment is as little unsettling. Given I am 53 and did not start training until last October (2011) then perhaps this is as good as it gets for someone of my age. Perhaps JW was talking about 'professional' runners (and younger). I'm not going to stop - but just questioning if what I am doing is correct.

Brian: I dream of those paces

Dr dan - fantastic - 23 mile training run - must give  you confidence for the Chester Marathon (is it Chester you are doing?)


Edited: 24/09/2012 at 09:19
24/09/2012 at 11:06

BD - i'd say you're going along fine, just slowly build the mileage and you'll see improvement. It DOES happen eventually as your body adapts to the training but you have to be patient and disciplined.

My stats were very similar to yours 6 months ago and after a HM this Sunday i'll be going back to HADD for a couple of months. If it didn't work i wouldn't go there again. I've improved by at least 2 mins for the same HR.

Edited: 24/09/2012 at 11:09
24/09/2012 at 12:16

mace: thx - I forgot your earlier post which mentioned the 2 min improvement. That was the one that gave me real encouragement!

What was your HM result?

24/09/2012 at 12:25

BD - i'll let you know after i've run it on Sunday

25/09/2012 at 09:55

Another chart!! Anyone fed up with these yet??


 What I'm comparing is a run in my first week and a run in my 4th week of about the same time. The white line is my AvHR for the runs which was the same (130). The red line is the actual HR - on the more recent run the red line is less volatile and now a lot smoother over approx the same time.

28/09/2012 at 19:45

Well BD if the chart convinces you it is good enough for us.

Did you start walking at 25 mins into the run (or the old one - stop to tighten your shoelaces !!)

01/10/2012 at 09:33

Probably had a lie down

01/10/2012 at 11:11


No running for 5 days now due to a cough and general snot-filled lurgy. Less than 6 days until the Chester marathon, so beginning to get stressed now!

01/10/2012 at 13:53

Dr. Dan - fingers crossed for you it cklears soon, good luck.

I ran my first race yesterday and have posted my report on the 2012 Marathon thread.

Here it is for all the HADDERS ....

Folkestone Half Marathon – Sunday 30t Sept

With 2 full days rest , good hydration and plenty of decent kip I arrived in Folkestone with the wife and kids in plenty of time for the 10am start. I didn’t feel at all nervous but did feel a bit strange in a “ not knowing what to do with myself “ way. So I spent half an hour watching the other racers and feeling slightly intimidated especially when about 10 Gurkhas joined the starting line up … well that’s 10 I won’t be finishing in front of !!

My plan was to run to Heart Rate. “Brian” on the HADD thread had advised me to run progressively, doing the first 4M @ 75-80% ( 132-140 bpm) , aim for about 85% ( 150 ) @ 8M then as I feel after that. Sound, sensible advice.

 I’d worked out that all being normal this would roughly replicate my recent sub LT runs and would get me round in about 1:40 … maybe even a bit quicker depending on how that last 5M actually felt. After all, the sub LT’s ( 10M) had been pretty comfortable and now was the time to find out how hard I could push myself.

I’m standing towards the back of the pack on the start line with seconds to the off and I look down at my Garmin ….. 120bpm, touching 70% … WTF!!?  Quick fiddle with the HR strap, yep nice and tight , re-check Garmin and it hasn’t changed. 

WE’RE OFF ….. and so is my HR as I hit 80% inside the first 100 yards and by the time we get to the top of the slope which loops us through a housing estate and back down through the Folkestone Leas, I’m at 150bpm ( 85% ) which was my plan for mile 8 !! This isn’t looking good, my pace is about 8:30 for the first mile but my HR is 15-20 beats up on normal.

So I decide to stick to 8:30 and head down the Road of Remembrance into mile 2. This is a bitch of a descent and I can already feel it in my quads as I look back over my shoulder and imagine when I have to run back up it at mile 13 . NEGATIVE THOUGHTS … CALM DOWN !!!!  Mile 2 is a touch over 8:00 and my HR is still around 150 as we head onto the promenade and make our way to Hythe.

The re-hashed plan now is to stick to 8:30 into the wind and tuck in as much as I can behind other runners. I quite enjoyed this and got talking to a couple of other runners. One even had a joke about us towing along behind him. By the time we reached half way HR is around 155 which although slightly higher than I’d planned I felt better about than at the start. The first half was done now, slower than I expected but so be it. I hit HALF WAY at 55:00 and as I look up the leader is passing me on his way back to Folkestone.

Another mile goes by and takes us through a housing estate in Hythe and back onto the promenade … the wind is now behind me. I now make the decision to pick my pace up and run “ as I feel “. Miles 8-12 are the most enjoyable of the race as I pick off runner after runner …. pretty much as “Brian” had promised.  I must have passed a good 100 runners including several who had overtaken me on the outward run. I get to the bottom of Remembrance Road and turn the corner and I’m at the bottom of the hill looking up. All sorts enter my head in a split second …. “This feels great. NOBODY HAS PASSED ME SINCE WE TURNED AROUND IN HYTHE !!” …. “SHIT … HR is 5 beats off max @ 170” ….. “ THIS HILL IS TOO MUCH “ …. “ LISTEN TO THEM LOT HALF WAY UP THE HILL SHOUTING ALL SORTS OF OBSCENITIES AT

01/10/2012 at 13:54


Off up the hill I go and the first 20 yards are ok, then the quads start to scream. I’m passing people as they walk and I refuse to give in, I didn’t come here to walk. Half way up and there’s a face I saw at the start … it’s one of the GURKHA’S  and I’m going past him. I pull myself alongside yet another runner as I reach the top and he glances across as we reach the brow and I pull away from him. Quick glance at the Garmin and I’ve hit a new MAX of 178.

I’m on the gradual uphill home run now and decide to go all out after briefly catching my breath. Runner after runner are targets in front and as I pass them it spurs me on to catch the next one. Another look down at the Garmin …. 180 and 6:30 pace and I hit the 13M marker.

With 100 yds to go there’s nobody in front of me to catch and I weigh up easing down with having a heart attack in front of my family on the finish line. Coasting over the line wins and my first HALF is in the bag.


Ist half  55:00

2nd half  52:00

Time 1:47:00


 An invaluable experience and I learned loads about myself and the race experience.

But what's all that about with the elevated HR !!??

01/10/2012 at 15:56

mace, Fantastic report, and more importantly, BRILLIANT run!!! Big congratulations on perfect execution, and thinking on your feet.

The important thing for me is this:

"An invaluable experience and I learned loads about myself and the race experience."

Doesn't matter how much advice you take on board or how much training you do, the only way you learn about racing is, yes racing!

As far as the HR thing goes, it's something you will always get on the start line. Excitement/adrenaline causes the HR to rise. You can control it to a certain extent by relaxation. Simple relaxation techniques are deep breathing, closing the eyes, visualisation etc. (probably best to google it).

You now have a benchmark, and a new shiny HRmax, which will change your training zones, which in itself will have a positive effect on your training and therefore your improvement curve.

Take it very easy this week, and recover well.

Edited: 01/10/2012 at 15:57
01/10/2012 at 16:37

Mace well done

Brian I am sure all the training you have done will come through on the day,best of luck.

Ponty reverse 10 miles yesterday 9 whole mins faster than last year, well chuffed.

01/10/2012 at 17:54

ooops Brian, message was infact for Dr Dan.

01/10/2012 at 17:56
Just a quick qeustion please. My max HR is 213 but had says to use 193 as a max even if it is higher. Have I read this correct?
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