Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hadd for Queenslanders

I've set myself something of a task here... to explain Hadd-training in simple terms, within the confines of a blog post. John Hadd's original document is 25 pages. It's worth printing and reading through a few times if you're interested in trying this type of training (or if you're a coach who wishes to use it).

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!


Blogger Superflake said...

Good luck with C2S tomorrow Ewen. See you at the start line hopefully.

7:46 pm  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Very good Ewen. Now translate this to words of one syllable for North Queenslanders.

Hey, some people need to know that you don't go flat out in every training session. Pushing up speed to max in training all the time usually has no extra benefit, postpones recovery, and increases the chance of injury. One benefit of going Hadd is the message might get through.

And few runners I know have been running slow enough for long enough to justify running faster in training, yet.

Hmm. Perhaps he's on the right track. An easier way of doing lactic threshold training. It will revolutionise the way 800m runners train, if it works. So much for the "they all run too far in training, that's why we have no-one at world level" arguments you hear occasionally.

9:30 pm  
Blogger plu said...

Yep that is a good summary. For me the correlation between the time you have for different race lengths and the time you should be able to do.

In my case my marathon time is light on compared to my 10k sub 40 minute time. Purely because I never did the kms.

cheers Plu

10:22 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Every good summary Ewen, not sure if anybody north of the Murray understands but down south it's as clear as mud.

It sort of flys in the face of some training methods for marathons and beyond where they promote less k's, less days per week but run so-called quality sessions.

As you mention there are many training methods.

11:00 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

you speak too fast ..... why aren't there pictures????

is this along the lines of running your slow slow and your fast fast?

5:38 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

To iliketoast:

NO! It is about running your slow faster and your fast slower.

What I am trying at present is to blend in Hadd with some classic Lydiard principles, and seem to have found that the secret is to aim to run every day for a distance and intensity that is just nearly too much to recover from by tomorrow, but isn't. Another way of putting it is that you must never stuff up tomorrow's training by what you do today. Yet you are always undergoing gradual adaptation and building. Eventually you even get to run fast.

11:40 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Wow, I think I understand. Except for one thing, who is Murray and what is he doing south of the border?

9:50 am  
Blogger Tesso said...

Whoops, meant to say I didn't get to chat yesterday. I spotted you in the crowd at some stage but that was it. Thought I might see you at the end.

9:51 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Iliketoast is a south east Queenslander, so two syllable words work well, as per Stephen Lacey's comment.

I would add, that your slow becomes faster as physical adaptations gradually take place. At first, I was running much slower than what I used to regard as 'slow'...

As an example, on 27 July, I ran an 8km course at 71% aveHR for a pace of 6:36/km. On 10 August, I ran laps of the same course (17km) at 71% aveHR for a pace of 6:18/km.

My 'fast' is slower than what I used to regard as fast (for me, it's about 5:30/km now), but in time, the speed should get faster while the aveHR % stays the same.

Sorry I missed you Tesso. I did see Eddie, Rob and friends and a few other CRs briefly. Didn't want to miss the bus.

3:33 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Interesting, I reckon I need to do more training runs at a slower pace and intend to one I am better and back to long runs.

Hope you had a great C2S

7:00 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

Great explanation Ewen. Sounds like the training is going well!

9:24 pm  
Blogger IHateToast said...

you should have used an apostrophe.
Who's John Hadd? Nobody knows. would have brought in a whole new element to your blog.

8:11 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Good summary of HADD Ewen.

Hadd does finish up by saying this is a aerobic conditioning programme that those aiming to run shorter distances (5 to 10k) should complete before turning to any speedwork.

I intend following Hadd for a marathon at the end of October with no specific planned Tempo or Interval runs, that most Marathon programmes include. Certainly easier on the legs overall.

I followed Hadd to get my maximum heart rate but failed miserably - only got to 171 bpm (I don't like running fast). I know my HRmax is in the 180's somewhere (My last race recorded a 181 HR)

After 5 weeks into the my Hadd training Stephens definition of Hadd as "running you slow faster and your fast slower" hit the nail on the head.

5:00 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

Very interesting and I'd like to be able to run enough kms to make it worthwhile getting a heart rate monitor. Where's the C2S report?

2:23 pm  
Anonymous Rick B. said...

Why is it mileage when you run kilometers? Or is it kilometres?

Nice explanation.

4:04 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi Rick, when I was a youngster Australia still used imperial measurements, mph in the car and for my early running years, still used miles as all the running mags/books were in miles, so I guess "mileage" stuck. Besides, "kilometerage" isn't a word ;-)

9:02 am  

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