HADD training plan

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29/10/2012 at 08:00

Keir, I'm not too keen on the idea of 5k + 3mins. I know people tend to use it in desperation. I am a great believer in 70% runs in the initial phase. It all depends on how keen you are, and how patient. But to get all the toothpaste out, you really do need to start squeezing right at the bottom. If you stay below 75% initially, I'm sure that within a couple of weeks your 70% pace will be closer to 9m/m.

If you don't mind me asking, what are your current pbs?


Edited: 29/10/2012 at 08:03
29/10/2012 at 12:11

More stats - week 8 on HADD. This is my run for yesterday - I still get a tiny bit emabarrased when I look at the pace compared to everyone else, but hey - it is what it is.

1m - 11:07 - 129 (70%)

2m - 10:58 - 135 (74%)

3m - 11:28 - 133 (73%); slower pace for incline

4m - 11:04 - 133 (73%)

5m - 11:32 - 133 (73%); slower pace for incline

6m - 11:16 - 132 (72%)

7m - 11:22 - 132 (72%)

Encouragingly I wanted to go further yesterday - felt like I could have done more miles at this pace. Also my HR doesn't seem to have much drift later on in the run for roughly the same pace. Still want another few weeks at this level with some increased mileage (currently at 24 miles per week)

29/10/2012 at 14:11

Taken over the 8 weeks so far these are my average weekly stats.

week - miles - pace - Average HR (%max)
wk1 -17.5m - 11:23 - 71% AvHR
wk2 - 15.5m - 11:44 - 70% AvHR
wk3 - 19.1m - 11:30 - 71% AvHR
wk4 - 20.3m - 11:47 - 71% AvHR
wk5 - 21.1m - 11:29 - 72% AvHR
wk6 - 21.9m - 11:33 - 72% AvHR
wk7 - 19.2m - 11:13 - 73% AvHR
wk8 - 24.5m - 11:18 - 72% AvHR
Although there 'appears' to be no change there definitely IS!

When I look back at some of my stats mid run for earlier runs there were some +12min miles in there!!  This was when I was having to slow down dramatically to keep the HR down - NOW that does not happen at all, my pace and HR are much more stable - still slow but that will improve.

29/10/2012 at 14:34
BD2000 good news then. I had my first sub 8 min mile pace run today with hr average 136 (sub 70%) at first they were anything between 9:00min pace and 8:30. Now though i'm going an doing runs with fairly consistent mile splits so feel I'm getting somewhere. Pace today was 7:54 per mile.

Over last week or so I've been toying with running to pace for first couple of miles then switching to HR after its got up to 70%.

i'm finding that its rather easy to mess up a run buy going off to quick (7:30pace) so buy sticking to 8min pace while hr rate builds up I could eliminate this problem. What do others think?
29/10/2012 at 15:19

That sounds like a good idea Andy. I find I do actually start quite slowly automatically. I don't realise I do until I run with someone else, when I really struggle for the first couple of miles. Certainly HR takes a little while to stablise and make the date accurate.

Thanks for posting the positive comments Andy and BD. It really helps to get some assurance that this plan works. I feel as if I am risking quite a bit by abandoning reasonably paced runs and going ultra slow on everything for the next couple of months.

You are right Brian. It is the discipline and patience which is going to be my challenge. I do understand the logic underpinning this, I just need more reassurances that it is what I need. I am starting to realise that this is a pretty long term approach and rather than base building for VLM training, I still might not be fully 'Hadd fit' and ready for the race in April.

My PBs are: 

5k = 17.59 (Ashford 2012)
5m = 30.31 (Mid Kent 2012)
10k = 37.19 (Rye 2011)
10m = 63.32 (Folkestone 2011)
13.1 = 81.39 (Lydd 2012)
26.2 = 2.54.24 (Abingdon 2011)

I have a good endurance background from years of cycle racing. Although I haven't ridden properly for several years, I certainly think that this background has helped me cope aerobically and mentally over the longer distances. I love going out for long steady runs in the hills, it is just family commitments (3 under the age of 6) which restrict this (and rightly so!). I guess I need to man up and get in some 5am starts. I am really appreciating your advce on this. I am also finding lots of tips reading through the original Hadd thread. 

29/10/2012 at 15:27

Nice work BD2000 ... if you can increase your over all mileage (gradually) you will see big improvements.

Andy - I don't worry too much on my easy runs since HR seems to take care of itself... I just run easy and whatever pace comes out, I take. On my subLT runs, I run the first 2 miles by pace and then stick to the HR limit after that. If I run to HR straight away, then I end up running too fast and pay for it later with HR drift in the last couple of miles.

Keir - if you stick to running at around 9:30/m initially, I bet you'll soon find you can cope with 70%. Your current 5K pace is 15 s/m faster than mine but my 70% pace more like 9/m.

I did the Harewood 10M trail race yesterday - muddy, hilly, muddy, winding, muddy, windy and muddy. The last mile was virtually all up hill as well which was a bit cruel after all that hard work. 75:39 at about 87% maxHR, 80th out of 363. A good tough endurance workout ... which is why I entered it in the first place. Day off today to recover!

29/10/2012 at 21:52

Thanks DD. I'm going to try to see this through. Well done on the race. Sounds like fun (to watch!).

OK - although I have been running under 145bpm for the past 2 weeks, after Brian's new assessment of my HRmax, I completed my first proper 70% run this evening. 

I set the HR alarm to 130 (72%) and rarely heard it go off. Rather than shufflng up the hills I used my arms and lifted knees but kept it aerobic but moved forward slowly with very small steps (12-13 m/m). 

1hr 38min 9.93miles, 9.53m/m ave hr 124. 140max bpm. Hard for a mile counter such as myself to run for 100mins but cover 3 miles less than normal. 

On the positive side - I have found running slower gives me more time to focus on cadence and form. Also, when running in the dark, you don't actually realise how slow you are actually going! 

30/10/2012 at 08:03

Keir, there wasn't much between us at Abingdon. I ran just under 2:56.

I'm surprised you have turned to Hadd. It tends to be runners who can't convert their shorter distance times upwards to the longer distances. But yours convert really well. You obviously have a sound aerobic base already. That said, I'm not sure how much improvement you will be able to see from Hadding.

But, my pbs are very similar to yours, and my 70% pace over a flat 10miles is no slower than 8m/miles!

DrDan, Good solid session at Harewood.

30/10/2012 at 17:23

Maybe i think about this too much but if you were to run at 65% of HR would this be any better or is 70% the optimum?

30/10/2012 at 18:14
Good qeustion that Spen- I reckon it would have benefit if you did a HIGH mileage but it would be so slow a pace to be running and any little rise an you'd be walking I reckon. Just not sure its realistic, could be wrong though. That only my opinion, no facts to base that on whatsoever.
30/10/2012 at 19:02

Hi all,

I've not posted in this thread since introducing myself a week or so ago due to computer problems. Apologies.

I spent the last couple of weeks getting up to 50 miles a week after recovering from Chester marathon. The vast majority of the miles have been at 75% of MaxHR (145 BPM) where my times have been around 8:05 - 8:10 mins/ mile with no drifting at all upto 12 miles which is my longest single run so far aftert Chester marathon.

Today I ran my first 10 mile run at 160 BPM:

Mile 1: 6:47 (146 BPM)

Mile 2: 7:03 (162 BPM)

Mile 3: 7:08 (161 BPM)

Mile 4: 7:11 (160 BPM)

MIle 5: 7:17 (160 BPM)

Mile 6: 7:13 (160 BPM)

Mile 7: 7:15 (160 BPM)

Mile 8: 7:14 (159 BPM)

Mile 9: 7:13 (159 BPM)

Mile 10: 7:12 (160 BPM)

The figures look pretty solid but I found it a hard training run, a solid 8/10 effort wise and my legs were starting to feel it over the last mile or so. I'm not sure I could manage 2 of these runs a week in the middle of a 70-80 mile week as prescribed in the Hadd document I read. Is this a major problem or is one run at 160 BPM and the rest at 145 BPM OK for now?

I think Brian asked for my PBs earlier so here goes

5K - 19:30

10K 42:10 (soft)

HM  1:35 (very soft)

Marathon 3:16

The 5K and marathon times are fair indications of my running but both the 10K and Half times are old and will get beaten as soon as I get round to running the distances on a flatish course, esp the Half Marathon time which I've already beat during the first half of a full marathon.


Sorry for the lenght of the post!



30/10/2012 at 19:28
spen, as AtD said good question. Not sure about the science behind the difference between 65 and 70%. All I would say is that I have not needed to go down to 65% hadding. the only time I dip below 70 is for recovery runs within a more traditional schedule.

gaz, the secret is don't step up till comfortable. So stick with 1 80% run for now.
30/10/2012 at 19:33

Cheers Im a big analyser of stuff like this.   Will stick to 70%

30/10/2012 at 19:35

Cheers Brian. I'm pretty sure I could have kept that pace up for another 3-4 miles so maybe I'll stick to one run a week but try and add a couple of miles to it over the course of the next few weeks?

One major plus is that I found it a much more enjoyable run than my usual shorter, faster tempo run. 

30/10/2012 at 21:32
Brian. wrote (see)

Keir, there wasn't much between us at Abingdon. I ran just under 2:56.

I'm surprised you have turned to Hadd. It tends to be runners who can't convert their shorter distance times upwards to the longer distances. But yours convert really well. You obviously have a sound aerobic base already. That said, I'm not sure how much improvement you will be able to see from Hadding.

But, my pbs are very similar to yours, and my 70% pace over a flat 10miles is no slower than 8m/miles!

Brian - 90secs between us at Abingdon, we must have been running next to each other some of the way!

To be honest, I was looking for some good base training to seem me through to the beginning of a VLM campaign mid December. However having read about Shorter and Mark Allen's approaches, combined with a bit of Lydiard knowledge I somehow found my way here.

I do convert well, so am probably not the ideal HADD disciple, but never, ever train as low as 70%, as shows from my 10m/mileing. I am not sure if this is right for me either, but I don't think I've got much to loose from sticking with it for a few weeks and maybe try to add something a little speedier in December as a lead up to P&D. In the past I have been put off running by focusing on my weakness (speed). This was, I get to focus on my strength (endurance) yet in a new way.

30/10/2012 at 21:36


I recently had ramped up to the 80% runs this past spring. I stuck with 1 80% run initially until I could run that comfortably with little to no drift in pace/HR. This took abou 6 wks. Then I added another 80% run (did them Tuesday/Fridays) and found them to be pretty tolerable ( was running 60-70 miles per week total). It was interesting that at some point after the 80% runs got comfy (and I was doing multiple per wk) I saw huge improvements in my times at all HR. Especially my easy running...my pace came down and for the first time I could run 2 hrs at sub 140 HR (my max is 200 so 140 is 70%) at a pretty brisk pace and it felt effortless. So my advice would be to get pretty comfy on the single run first, then add teh second. Once both are easily done you could start uping effort to say 83% on one. Unfortunately I never got there as I got injured at this point (so big warning not to take these 80% runs too lightly...they are critical to fitness gains but also potentially dangerous).

Well done on the gut check race Dan!

Another great week last week. Still some lingering tightness around the previous sports hernia, but not getting worse and I only feel it after about 7 or 8 miles and it goes away within 30 minutes after the run. Must be some scar tissue.

30/10/2012 at 21:50

Thanks VT. That sounds like a plan. I'll try a second run a week after my last race before Xmas in early December and see how it goes. 

30/10/2012 at 22:29

Interesting VT. What were you doing prior to introducing the 80% run in the spring? 70-70%? and for how long?

31/10/2012 at 00:21

Hi Keir,

I was coming off a fall marathon. I got hurt post-race (ankle sprain) and was sidelined until late December.Then I slowly ramped back up. My weekly mileage looked about like this:

March: 40-45 miles per week

April: 50-55

May: 60

June/July: 65-70

In Jan/Feb/March/April I just tried to run at around 70-75% effort on all runs. Then at the end of April I started doing 1 80% run per week. Mid-June added 2nd 80% run.

Interestingly, I couldn't run from July 10 until early September (and I couldn't do any type of cross training or lifting due to location of injury). In just 6 weeks of ramping up again I'm nearly spot on with my HR effort vs pace that I had earned in early summer (not doing 80% runs at present as a precaution) in the 70-75% HR range. I am surprised that the base really does stick with you. It took me nearly 6 months to earn that level of fitness the 1st time around. One other thing to note is that I never really ran more than 20-25 miles per week consistently until 2011. I was a decent sprinter in my youth but was never a stand out distance runner. When I got into distance running again recently I noticed that my marathon time didn't convert well to my 5K effort (e.g. I needed HADD base training to get my longer distance times down). Anyway, will be interested to see where  second round of extended HADD training puts me. Right now I'm just happy to be running again. Races can wait until next year.

31/10/2012 at 09:03

Keir, agreed. Hadd is a great way to base train.

I have heard of a few runners that get injured in the early days of hadding. I was one of them. I think what happens (certainly personally) is that after a few weeks the numbers improve and the runner gets carried away. I fairly quickly found myself hadding 7 days a week, as it was novel and very enjoyable (as you guys know, I love the stats). As has been said already, the danger period is the 80% runs, and particularly stepping up to 2 per week. This transition must be done very gradually, and the runner must be prepared to back-off at any time. 80% for 70mins is not a big deal in itself, but compared with the inevitable up in mileage, it is potentially a minefield.

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