Couch to 5K
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HADD Training


Since graduating about 2 months ago I've moved to running 4 days a week, with my long run being 11k, and the others being around 6K with a mix of Threshold, Tempo and Easy.

I'm intrigued by the HADD method where you focus on base training with all running at less that 75% HRmax but focussing on much longer distances. Has anyone tried this and had success?

2 Replies

Hi Corius - I haven't tried the HADD method but am intrigued by your current running program. Which program are you following or have you created the 4 days a week plan yourself ? Can you expand on it a little i.e. which days do you run consecutively to fit the 4 runs a week in and do you rest after the 11k ?


Hi, I run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. I tried a couple of plans that you pay for. See Runners Connect and Full Potential;. They are pretty expensive at around £20-40 per month and I'm not sure they are value for money (well, for me at least)

Endomondo has a Training Plan feature that is quite good which you get access to if you are a Premium member, and I think it's may favourite so far. The plans are all more or less the same. You give an end date and what your current performance is for say 5K along with age etc. The plan then gives you typically, for four days a week, a fast Intervals Run, a Tempo Run, a Long run and an Easy run. Google these to see exactly what they mean.

However, I've now decided to simplify that and focus on getting a good base to work on by increasing the number and duration of my runs and by increasing my aerobic capacity. There is lots on the web about it, but the 2 most common strategies are HADD and Maffetone. Which are pretty similar. Essentially you only run slowly at less than 75% Max Heart Rate but try to get up to at least 50 miles a week. When you're new 75% is pretty slow, around 9min/km (14min/mile). I like this approach as I can run for much longer, but my muscles still get a good workout. The theory is that by running at that rate you are increasing the muscles' capacity to produce energy aerobically and consequently the threshold where your body can't get rid of Lactic acid increases, so you should see your pace increase week by week, although your heart rate will stay the same.

Once you get this strong base to work from you then do specific training closer to the time you will be taking part in a race. At that point you can start doing the Tempo, Interval runs etc. I'm up to 16 miles a week now, so I've still got some way to go.


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