HADD training plan

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09/11/2012 at 15:35

Hi all,

It was a non hadd session for me last night, the choice was either intervals or hill reps, I chose hill reps, 1.5 mile warmup just under 20 mins HR was up to 161.

followed by 6 hill sprints, 180bpm, 183bpm, 180bpm, 178bpm, 178bpm, 180bpm

finished with a 2 mile run.

As you can see not a good hadd session but it gives a good indication of HRMax.

09/11/2012 at 17:20

Afternoon. Newbie to thread alert. I've spent the last week skim reading through the previous post

A brief background: I have being running for the past 10 years, although my running has had no real structure to it. I have got into a cycle of training for a marathon doing the race, then letting the training/fitness go and then starting again for the next marathon.

I recently ran the Preston Marathon and have entered the Manchester Marathon next April. I am looking at increasing my training from 5 days a week to 7 days. I had looked at Mike Gratton's hard training, but was concerned that it could lead to overtraining and injuries. It was then that I discovered HADD training plan and this thread.

My PB are

5km - 22 mins

10km - 46:20 mins

1/2 marathon - 1hr 44:30

Marathon - 3hrs 53

Average about 50 miles a week training for Preston, did about 6 months training. Aim was to run at 8.15/8.20 pace. Did this in training in 10 mile runs and found it easy, but during race was ok for first 10 miles then pace slowed to 8.53, therefore think I am a good candidate for HADD.

Having been inspired by this thread I have done 3 HADD runs this week. Max HR is 190. Did one run at 70% which was 10.11min/mile and two at 75% which were 9.41 and 9.44mins/mile. Found it quite invigorating to run for time and heart rate rather than miles and pace.

As I am still recovering from Marathon, my plan for next week is to do 3 x 1hr 70% runs, 3 x 1hr 75% runs and a 90 minute 70-75% run. For the next four weeks plan is to increase 90 minute run to 2hrs and maybe add a 70@80% run into the schedule in place of 1 of the 1hr 75% runs. After that will see how I feel. Think I will probably end up Hadding it all the way to the marathon in April and probably follow speedwork sessions plan describes for Joe.

Any advice on my proposed plan would be greatly appraciated. I will pop in on a regular basis to see how people are progressing and update you on my progress.




09/11/2012 at 18:44

Hello all -  I have been thinking about my plan and I hope to do spring Marathon then on to a early summer Ultra.  So it is looking like this

            End Nov      End Dec        

Sun      15    70%           18  70%

Mon        6   70%            10  70%

Tues       6   70%              6  65%

Weds    10   80%              10 80%

Thurs      6   70%                6  65%

Fri          10  75%              10  75%

The Sunday and Monday then increase to 5 hours in hills (Sunday) and 16 miles on road.   If this is too tough the 80% run will go to ~~Thurs with an extra 65% run

09/11/2012 at 20:40

Hi P666 - Sounds like you have a good plan there. Don't be in a hurry to introduce the 80% run.

Are 65% runs really worth doing Spen? Is there any info about the benefits of these from HADD himself?

How far do you think you will cover in the 5hr runs?

09/11/2012 at 21:24

after reading a few threads I  re read the HADD document and this might answer some questions,

I know it's about rats but,

      4 groups of rats

first group, run 10 mins a day

second grp, run 30 mins a day

third grp, run 60 mins a day

fourth grp, run 2hrs a day for 5 days over 13 weeks.

the 2 hr group had the greatest increase in mitochondria at the end of the training period. also a endurance test was carried out and,

10 min rats managed 22 mins

30 min rats managed 41 mins

60 min rats managed 50 mins

2hrs rats managed 111 mins

Time to exhaustion was directly related to mitochondria development, which is directly related to time spent training,

The one thing it does not say for sure but one can only presume that the tests were continuous.

P.S.All rats running the same pace and effort i.e. 50-60% 

P.S.S. hope this helps.. 



09/11/2012 at 21:29
spen71 wrote (see)

Sorry VTrunner I was not having a go!

Understood; I should have just used this one instead .

Too many posts to digest, but one comment regarding 65 mile weeks and 2 80% runs. This is what I was doing this past spring and found it quite manageable. In fact, I was starting to add about 5-6 miles of 80% to the end of my Sunday long runs. While I got injured, I don't think it was all due to the running (I did virtually no core work which set me up nicely to get dinged). From my experience, I first got to the point where every 70-75% run was steady start to end  HR vs PACE. Then it took a while for the 1 80% run to go so I was keeping steady HR and Pace; next challenge was getting that run to feel comfortable; then I added the second 80% run and I was really doing awesome despite the miles and strenuous 80% efforts. Just have to make sure you build the correct foundation at every step.

Chick, nice solid week.

09/11/2012 at 21:33

Dr. Dan, read taht link regarding fibers and how to get them trained. Very interesting and, I must admit, a bit discouraging when you think about how hard you must work to get all teh fibers trained. But, as per the usual, there is no shortcut to getting the job done. Miles of trials...

09/11/2012 at 22:20

The two 65% runs I have put in are recover from the main sessions.  Ie the back to back runs and the 80%

10/11/2012 at 09:13

trials of miles....

Great post VT. Could you add the time frames (number of weeks) at the 70 - 75% / 1x 80% run and 2 80% run stages?

I understand why you have put the 65% runs after the 80% runs S71 - for recovery. I suppose you could argue that all miles help neuro-muscular development. (thanks again to Minni for the link). But wouldn't this time be better spent on core / stretching / cycling? 

I just wonder - having squeezed all the tube out of the bottom of the tube with the 70 - 75% base and have now moved up the tube with 80% runs, why then try to go even further down the tube to 65% to see if their is any paste that you missed from earlier on?

(BTW not trying to be critical - I am just trying to learn) 

10/11/2012 at 13:24

Keir, that question question entered my head this morning while I was walking the dog. If you are "done" with 70 and 75% from a cardio (not recovery) point of view and trying to improve at 80% why go back to 65% instead of just starting there at the start of the program.

I tried a few miles at 65% yesterday afternoon, I found it quite tricky from a technique point of view. It didn't feel any easier than 70% but I had to make an effort to stop myself moving forward which put a strain on my hamstrings.

10/11/2012 at 15:29

Keir and GazOC, interesting question. Once your 70 to 75% runs are steady, do you really need go to 65% at all? Not sure about you guys, but in my case it took about 6 months of solid hadding to reach the point where I could actually get down to 65% for a LSR. Not sure if this is because I am an FT or what. Haven't read the HADD bible for a while now, but I think he advocated always keeping the low HR runs to put in around speed/tempo work. So if that's true, I think I would say yes, adding 65% as you become more fit and progress in the program would be valuable. What does everyone else think?

Also, Keir, will post some chronology regarding my build up to the 80% runs (may have something from earlier I can dig up; if not I've got the records and it would do me good to go over that again).

Day off for me (well, no running anyway; weights, core).

Edited: 10/11/2012 at 15:33
10/11/2012 at 15:47

Cheers VT. I'm really unsure as to where I am in the program cardio wise as, totally unintentionally, I've probably been (sort of!) Hadding for knocking on a year now. I love getting the miles in and taking my time on long runs. Its the speed side of things I have to force myself to do.

I got down to 65% for a couple of miles yesterday OK but it was a mental effort to stay at that pace. 70% still feels a little on the slow side but its still a natural pace that I can switch off and run to with only the occasional look at my heart rate.

10/11/2012 at 16:03

I think what we need to do is get the pace we feel "natural"  stick to it as the HR drops for the given pace.  Well thats what im doing

10/11/2012 at 16:08

Yep spen, thats what I'm hoping for. I've had a HRM for a year or so but only used to now and again up until the last few weeks but it shows although my 160 efforts are a similar pace my 140-145 runs have come down from 8:45 ish to just over 8 mins/ mile over the last 9 months or so.

Edited: 10/11/2012 at 16:09
10/11/2012 at 16:25

I dont use it all of the time.   I dont like looking at the HR for some reason.

10/11/2012 at 16:31

i find it quite reassurring, don't know why!! Its been really handy on those 80% runs as my pace works out at around 7:10 so in the past I've been stupidly rounding that figure down to under 7 minutes and not completing the runs because I was going too fast. Now I just keep the HRM between 155-160 and don't worry about the pace at all.

Edited: 10/11/2012 at 16:32
10/11/2012 at 16:41
GazOC wrote (see)

although my 160 efforts are a similar pace my 140-145 runs have come down from 8:45 ish to just over 8 mins/ mile over the last 9 months or so.

Gaz - I don't mean this to come out the wrong way, but that is exactly what I am worried about with HADD and what I DON'T want to happen. I don't really care how efficiently I can run at lower HRs, but I understand that by becoming more efficient and faster at slower HRs, I should automatically become faster at higher HRs. If this hasn't happened for you, I wonder what the point of HADDing is for you? 

That said, HADD does seem a great way of rapidly increasing weekly mileage, breaking the 10% increase per week rule, as slower running greatly reduces injury.

10/11/2012 at 17:01


The attraction for me is that I want to get my LT up while maintaining high mileage and without having to to do LT runs. I know my cardio at 140-145 is good because those are the type of runs I prefer and concentrate on, I don't like LT runs and either tended to skip them or have to cut them short due bad pacing or CBA moments.

The last lot of HRM readings I have are from early last year when I was in pretty good shape (I PB'd my marathon). This was due to 60-70 miles a week consistently for 5 months and virtually no speed work. I've only been doing the Hadd 80% runs for the last 2 weeks, before that pretty much all my improvement in speed (from a 1:50 HM to a 1:36 HM in 4 months) was down to long slow running so I think its the way to go, just that I think I've got to the point where I need to be putting in some faster miles to get much quicker. Hence the 80% runs.

Although my long run speed had got faster, I've stagnated a bit at very "top end" speed because I think of the lack of speed work. Hadd seemed to be a great way of staying at 70 miles a week and at the same time incorporating speedwork. The other thing I considered was dropping to say 50 miles a week and pushing more on the speed work with fresher legs but seeing it was high mileage that got me my improvements early last year I didn't want to give that up.

10/11/2012 at 17:17

ok. Perhaps I misunderstood. Sounds like you have made dramatic improvements in HM and M times from HADD. What is 160bpm for you in %of max terms?

I also don't like speed work. I forced myself to do a load of faster sessions over summer after an injury in th espring. I got back to 10k pb time within 2 months plus 15sec improvement on 5k pb, then just had enough, hated running and stagnated mentally. What's the point if it is not enjoyable?


10/11/2012 at 17:24

160 is just over 80% for me. Before that I was doing LT runs around 85%, failing and trashing my legs in process so I just ended up doing a lot of slow miles which worked out well for me. Now I'm trying to keep the mileage and incorporate some faster stuff to hopefully improve my times a bit.

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