Did Hadd do it for me?
How slow did I run when doing Hadd-training? The upper aerobic (harder) runs eventually got down to 5:06 per km (8:12 miles), while the lower aerobic (easier) runs were around 6:00 per km (9:39 miles). How much did I run? 91 kilometres per week, or for about eight and a half hours per week.
So, towards the end of Hadd-training, I became faster, but there was one unforeseen consequence. My maximum speed became slug-like. When asked to run significantly faster* than the speeds used in Hadd, my body protested. I suspect this is because one becomes so expert at the shorter stride used when running slowly, that suddenly switching to a more powerful, longer stride causes bitter complaint from the body. The marathon-shuffle I used for slow running was too far removed from the expansive stride needed for a fast 3000 metres. My running economy (use of oxygen) with an unfamiliar stride was poor.
Discovering that I've become both faster and slower is my epiphany. I like Hadd, but the downside is that it takes too long after finishing Hadd to regain maximum speed. I can see now why Nick Bideau (Craig Mottram's coach) recommends one session of sprinting in the weekly schedules of his distance runners – 4-5 x 80 to 120 metres at 95% of maximum speed, with full recoveries. The 'fine speed' that Arthur Lydiard talks about is therefore retained throughout the year.
I hope everyone has a good week. For my up-over readers struggling through icy blizzards, you'll be pleased to hear our final weeks of down-under summer have been mild and idyllic with temperatures around the 70°F mark.
* My 11:07 goal for 3000 metres requires a speed of 3:42 per km (5:58 per mile).