Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Good and the Bad of Hadd

It's nine weeks since I embarked on the John Hadd training experiment. There are good and bad features of any training system. For instance, the 'jog 3k every second day system' is good because it's very easy. It's bad because in 10k races, you struggle to keep up with grandmothers pushing prams.

Here are some of the good features of Hadd, as I see them:

  • Every training session is doable. I've found that every single run is successful. The runs at lower aerobic heart-rates (70-75% of maximum HR) are very easy. The runs at upper aerobic heart-rates (80-83%) are nothing more than 'solid paced' runs, and considerably easier than tempo runs or interval sessions.

  • You recover well. My recovery from each day's running is better than with other methods of training. Why is this so? I'm not quite sure, but I think it's because there's no lactic acid produced in Hadd training. I'm enjoying getting out of bed in the morning and walking around like a normal person, and not like an old man in need of a Zimmer frame.

  • Improvement is measurable. I can see that I'm getting better by running at the same heart-rate over a particular course and comparing the pace of the run to that of a few weeks earlier. There's no need to race in order to test improvement. Actually, I'm not sure this is a good aspect of Hadd, as I like racing.

  • The schedule is easily adaptable. If I'm having a bad hair day, I simply go out for a 'lower aerobic' run, when I might have planned an 'upper aerobic' run. Both types of runs are productive.

  • Hadd training leads to eventual faster racing. John Hadd contends that the main limiting factor to performance in distance running is a low lactate threshold. Training using his methods should result in a high lactate threshold and faster racing. I'll get back to you on that one.

Now for the bad features of Hadd:

  • Infrequent racing. You don't get to race during the base-building period. I love racing, so this is a major sacrifice. However, if I end up racing faster and staying ahead of grandmothers pushing prams, it could be worth it.

  • It's addictive. I find myself looking forward running each day. Part of this anticipation is due to the improvement feedback of the heart-rate monitor, and part is because, although I like running 'fast', the pre-Hadd days when I used to run hard interval sessions were not anticipated with glee.

  • You run a lot, and you run slow. My shoes are wearing out faster. Luckily, I have some slow training partners or I'd be really experiencing the loneliness of the long distance runner. I have to go back to the ancient PB days to find a time when I ran more. I've run 607km in the last six weeks. Although this is quite modest compared to some Hadd and Lydiard disciples, it's a lot for a slow wombat such as myself. I take a long time to run my kilometres. Hey, this is not so bad. I like running!


Blogger Bruce said...

Pretty impressive mileage over the last six weeks. Keep it up. What are you training for again? Any marathons coming up?

7:20 pm  
Blogger miners said...

Yes, the miles have certainly been adding up! Glad to hear you're getting through them a little more comfortably.

and knowing yourself, I'm guessing you're training for an 800m and a marathon at the same time? ;)

7:28 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Where do I get a hold of the book about jogging 3k every second day :-)

Good to hear you are enjoying your running so much. That really is the main aim, better results are just a bonus.

7:35 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

Careful you haven't been had :-p

I know what you mean about looking forward to each run - I remember back to the heady days of my Great Heartrate experiment I had my longest stint of consecutive training days ever - actually I can't even remember now why I gave it up now....

8:45 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Great to see you are still goinh low heart rate with Hadd. Although I would like you to post what the C2S hills did to the young ticker.

11:58 pm  
Blogger Hamburglar said...

Even the bad features are good. Keep it up Ewen!

7:37 am  
Blogger Jason said...

"'jog 3k every second day system' is good because it's very easy. It's bad because in 10k races, you struggle to keep up with grandmothers pushing prams" - great description.

I'm with Hamburglar, some the of the bad points sounds like good points, especially the addiction bit.

Keep the up the great training, I am learning a lot from your take on it.

8:33 am  
Blogger Scott said...

It seems like your on to something here Ewen. But as for "the loneliness of the long distance runner" you can't blame the Hadd slow runs for that you are basically just a bastard and no bastard wants to run with you!

Only joking ;) but still you are a "lucky" and "Smart bastard." Please send me your snail mail address I have a frig magnet with your name on it here.

1:12 pm  
Blogger Steve's Stuff said...

I'm with some of the others. Some of those bad points seem to be good points.

Love 2p's little pun.

4:51 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

The loneliness of the long distance runner. Oh yes, I'm very familiar with that.

The training seems to be going well. I mean, you recover easily, you're looking forward to each run, and you still get faster - what more can you ask for???

6:59 pm  
Blogger TA and the Gnome said...

I'm with Tesso, although I have a feeling that every second day is a little excessive... :-)


10:48 pm  
Blogger Spark Driver said...

It sounds like you are enjoying it.

I understand that a footballer addicted to drugs is a bad thing but a runner addicted to running?!? That can't be that bad??

4:18 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

If it's a positive addiction Sparky.

No marathons Bruce. Miners is close... I'm training for the 5000m. I hear there's an opening in the Aussie team after Osaka ;)

So, just track races this summer - maybe an 800 in there - and on March 8, a jog/bush walk through the Blue Mountains.

9:06 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

I agree with the positives. Certainly recovery from the steady runs is quick & improvements are easliy measurable.

It is certainly easler to look forward to HADD training runs that intervals or tempo runs. This is human nature though - who wants to run hard if easy will do. While I never looked forward to intervals I certainly felt good afterwards - the sense of achievement is probably greater. But hey, if I don't have to do them I won't.

3:27 am  
Blogger IHateToast said...

i'm doing the sadd program. i run infrequently, not long, and slowly. it's very addictive.

9:49 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

This is great Ewen and i look forward to hearing more of your training.Now the Hadd article you once put me onto had a peaking race.What is yours?

Cheers R2B

1:23 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

Steady but still going, well done! Re the Polish connection mentioned on my blog, the person I am going to complete the latic threshold testing is a ATFCA Level 4 (or 5) coach, he is a highly sucessful coach here in Vic, his prime charge is Liam Adams. Gregor is Polish and use very much a science background approach for his training.

8:46 pm  
Anonymous Ali said...

I relate to all your good and bad points, especially it (running everyday) being addictive.

4:42 am  

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