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RE: 2 kinds of runners. Which are you?
That such a question is asked so often surprises me, Antonio. Don’t get me wrong, you are by no means the first person to ask, because from reading posts on this and other message boards over the years since my old Letsrun threads, I have seen the belief expressed many times that Hadd training is, “slow training”.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Hadd training is extremely intense, so intense that I found that almost all runners who came to begin training with me could not handle the intensity straight outta the box. So, to get them to a stage where they could handle it, years ago I had to go back and invent what we now refer to as Phase I. In a sentence, Phase I gets the runner “ready to train”.

We need to get the runner into a condition where he/she can handle work sessions like the following:
6 x 800m at 104% of 5k pace with everything from equal time recovery (down to) 1:15-1:30 recovery.
5-6 x 1k at 5k pace with 200m jog recovery in 90 secs
3 x 3k at 95-96% of 5k pace with 800m jog recovery
2 x 5k at 93-94% of 5k pace with 800m jog recovery
8k at 92% of 5k pace
16-20k at 88-90% of 5k pace

And we found that without a solid Phase I (outlined in the thread you refer to) they could not manage them. Of course nobody starts at these paces or these rep durations. They work up to them over weeks, months and years. So there are progressions to get every runner to handle longer and longer reps at the paces outlined and assuming you have completed a solid Phase I, you can rapidly benefit from more intense training.

Talking about pace, note that I refer all these efforts back to the runner’s 5k pace. I do this because if I say (eg:) go and run 2 x 5k at Half Marathon pace, then that means different things to different people, and it is most often the case that their HM PR is slower than I would expect it to be, so the pace they would train at is slower than the pace I want them to achieve.

I don’t want people to run 2 x 5k at HM pace, but 2 x 5k at 93-94% of 5k pace (which is usually quicker, until they become well-trained, and then once they do, “HM pace” and “93-94% of 5k pace” become basically the same pace).

So, the short answer to your question is; No, I do not just train runners as outlined in the monster thread. That is just Phase I - training to be able to train.

There is a lot more to Hadd Training than was contained in those old threads. Although I would have to re-read it to check, the thread was begun purely in response to a request/question from another LR reader. At the time, I had been posting some training advice here and these on earlier threads and the direct question came up; Hadd, How do we get to there (being able to run the sessions I was advising) from where we are?

Phase I is just that; a way to get from where you are today, to where you can handle something along the lines of those sessions outlined above. I was happy just to post up Phase I, because I knew that if runners got through it they would be able to benefit from faster training in ways they could not have benefited before Phase I.

At the time I did not think there was much need for me to post up training advice at faster paces, because (as you know) everybody posts up such training advice. I’ve been known to refer to this as “sexy training”, and naturally every runner is keen to get there as quickly as possible, (despite the fact it is often not in their best interest to do so).

Magazines, websites and forums are full of (often unsubstantiated) anecdotal training of elites; Mr So-and-so ran 14x1k with 8.5 seconds recovery! You know the drill…

The knee-jerk implication of such articles is that to perform in races as Mr So-and-so does, you need to go and do (attempt) such training sessions.

Never having mastered the art of the knee-jerk, my reaction is in another direction; I am not so interested in what Mr So-and-so is doing today, I am much more interested in knowing what earlier training he did to get in such a condition that he can today handle such a session. In other words (and getting back to what I wrote above); how do you get there from here?

So, Phase I and the other Phases are the best way I know to do just that.

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