Hadd for Queenslanders
Is it too technical? Is it at odds with the pleasure of running 'naturally'? As I said in Hadd, Lydiard and Individualisation, there are many different training methods for running. You need to find out what suits your own personality and physiology. I wouldn't recommend Hadd-training for younger teenagers, or runners who are happier on low weekly mileage. The only technical aspects are the need for a heart-rate monitor and a stopwatch. My own enjoyment of running hasn't suffered at all. In fact, I can't wait for work to finish, so I can get out and run.
Who is John Hadd? Nobody knows. He's a coach of distance runners – from older teenagers to adults. His online fame comes from the document "Hadd's Approach to Distance Training". According to Hadd, the main thing preventing a person from running fast over long distances, is a low lactate threshold. A person might be able to run fast (or at a certain speed) for a short distance, but they can't keep their speed going. Low lactate threshold (LT) forces them to slow down in longer races.
Why does this runner have a low LT? Hadd suggests they run too few miles in training, and whatever mileage they do is run too fast. The runner needs to improve their lactate threshold so the speed at which they can run comfortably (without lactic acid accumulation) becomes faster. How is this done? Initially, by training at two paces. These paces are not fixed at minutes per kilometre, but at percentages of maximum heart-rate. So, the runner needs to know their maximum heart-rate. Hadd explains that you can do this by running an all-out 800 metres, resting two minutes, then running an all-out 400 metres. Your heart-rate at the end of the 400 is your maximum.
The two paces used are 'lower aerobic' (70 to 75% of HR maximum) and 'upper aerobic' (80 to 83% of HR maximum). The 'upper aerobic' level will be comfortably under your current lactate threshold. Using these two paces, mileage is increased to a level you can maintain. How much weekly mileage is needed? Eblues reported success off 65 to 80 kilometres per week during his 2006/07 season. Hadd's famous pupil Joe, averaged 148 kilometres per week over a 16-week period. During week 14, he ran a 15:58 5k with an average HR of 186 (96%). Joe had done no anaerobic training, with his only speedwork being 3 sessions of 200/200 fartlek to get him used to "moving faster biomechanically without incurring high lactate". During week 19 he ran a half marathon in 71:43 with an average HR of 181. For my experiment, I'm planning to run 90 to 100 kilometres per week.
At certain points during the Hadd plan, the 'upper aerobic' heart-rate is edged up by 5 beats per minute. This is done when you can run 16km sitting on your current upper aerobic heart-rate, and your pace stays steady during the whole run. The 2400m tests I mentioned in my previous post aren't a necessary part of the plan. They are just a way of monitoring improvement and giving you a guide as to what pace might be maintained during a race. Over time, your running speed at all heart-rates will get faster. This indicates an improved lactate threshold - the key to success in distance running.
If you still don't understand Hadd, Stephen Lacey might be able to help. Just say "please explain". I need an early night. I'm catching a 4.30am bus to Sydney in the morning to run my 24th City to Surf!