Monday, November 12, 2007

Up a level

My grand plan for building my aerobic foundation is based on the Hadd method of running two key workouts per week at or near (meaning below) LT with the rest of the mileage at paces that allow for recovery and volume. One major difference from a previous try at this method is that I am using this program to build my foundation only. Once I complete the program, I plan on a more intense program designed to add 'power' and stamina and peak my conditioning for a marathon. I have left the date of the Spring marathon TBD in order to account for any changes in the basic outline.

But there is a basic outline. I have divided my plan into 3 week blocks. It is a way to "stay on top of your workouts" as my friend Eric would say. At each level, I spend three weeks in order to gain consistency and allow my body to adapt to the increase in distance and/or intensity. I try to increase my mileage within a level by a very small amount (maybe a mile) to keep the mileage building ever so slowly.

So on to Level 2. I have just completed level 1 and it has been very refreshing. It has allowed me to get back into consistent training without the stress of "too much too soon". The up-tempo days (Tuesdays and Fridays), while brisk, have been quite doable and really enjoyable. But I do recognize that it is a good thing I am only doing this twice per week. The rest of the week is spent running varying times and distances of lower intensity.

Using this outline of 3 week blocks, I will complete the foundation building in about 15 weeks from now (18 weeks total). How long I do the "locking & peaking" work afterward will depend on which marathon I choose - but a maximum of 10 weeks I would assume. This should work out fine if I stay on track and below (as opposed to beyond) by ability to train.

Here's a brief rundown of the 3 week blocks:

Level 1 (weekly):

6 hours of aerobic running plus a long run. 2 days up-tempo = 2 x 75 minutes @ 15 bpm below MP HR.

Level 2 (weekly):

6.75 hours of aerobic running plus a long run. 2 days up-tempo = 60 min @ 15 bpm below MP HR & 75 min @ 15 bpm below MP HR.

Level 3 (weekly):

7.75 hours of aerobic running plus a long run. 2 days up-tempo = 2 x 70 min @ 15 bpm below MP HR embedded within a 90 minute workout. ** Also, when appropriate, include 60 minutes @ 15 bpm below MP HR during the long run but shorten the long run on these days **

Level 4 (weekly):

Same as level 3 but key workout intensity is now 10 bpm below MP HR.

Level 5 (weekly):

Same as level 3 but key workout intensity is now 5 bpm below MP HR.

Level 6 (weekly):

Same as level 3 but key workout intensity is now MP HR.

Increasing beyond level 3 depends on the "ease" of the up-tempo run. If the HR climbs and the pace needs to slow in order to maintain HR then advancing to the next level is not recommended - you might be "locking in" your conditioning too early.

After being able to run MP HR for 60 minutes or 75 minutes (depending on the workout) with relative ease, Hadd recommends moving into race preparatory training which can include hills, speed, and tempo running (10k pace). Adding time/mileage is allowed to the above levels if done only on the easy days.

To plan a week's workouts, take the time needed for the key workouts (2.5 hours) and divide the rest of the time allotted among the four remaining days. Long runs are separate. Hadd spells it out in his articles.

There's hardly any difference between Hadd's marathon base building program and Lydiard's except perhaps the number of days running at or near LT. (Lydiard is 3 vs. Hadd's 2). In both programs, the distance and intensities are varied and spaced throughout the week to prevent over-training. And both recommend moving on to workouts that lock in your conditioning and peak your training for a specific race after the conditioning phase is complete.

The key component of Hadd's program is to convince runners that their perceived LT is really a lot slower than they think initially and therefore they tend to run too fast too early in their training cycle. His method of training is designed to prevent training "to no effect" by appropriately reducing the initial training paces and increasing the intensity only as the LT improves over time.

Today: 8.5 miles @ 8:39 pace. HR 135. Felt good. Massage at 1pm.


Blogger Mark said...

A very sensible plan and one if stuck to it will bring you a PR.

I like the three week chunks with reflection.

The two quality w\o's may not bring as much stress as the weekly long run. For some reason I am reading the LR as secondary to the up-tempo days. I guess "plus a long run" just leaves if vague to this marathoner.

11/12/2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...


Nice post. I have been thinking about undertaking a similar training program, but not as well thought out as yours. Does Hadd really recommend training at MP HR?

Do you plan on running his 2400m tests to determine when you are ready to advance a stage?

Good luck. I will watch your development under this program with interest.


11/12/2007 5:21 PM  
Blogger Grellan said...

Looks like a well thought out plan Andrew. I have been following HADD recently but not in the structured way you have set out (all in my head and I tend to be forgetful).

Do youn intend to fit in any races during the next 15 weeks & if so how do you intend to slot them in to your plan? (substitite for the quality runs perhaps)

11/12/2007 6:32 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Mark - I didn't mean to downplay the long run. I just wanted to separate it out because this particular anchor workout has its own development.

Chris - I think Hadd recommends getting up to MP HR by the end of the aerobic conditioning period. Running at MP HR is not suppose to be that hard when done for an hour or so. As far as the 2400 tests, I know Mark (above) has done them with great success in tracking his performance. But I haven't included them. Hmmm... My plan to advance was going to be the 'ease' factor in running 75 minutes at the current HR level.

Grellan - No races planned. I might run some but like you say, I'll have to make adjustments if I do run a race. I'm not against it, but I'm not including any in the plan. I guess I'll just do it by feel.

11/12/2007 8:08 PM  
Blogger Love2Run said...

I like your plan to stay under control and not over-train. BTW there's a nice hilly/windy/cold Hypothermic 1/2 over this way in Feb!

11/13/2007 8:25 PM  

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