This post is thanks to Matt, check out his blog, "A Guy who Runs", and be sure to look through his past posts as he has a lot of great information. I had emailed him earlier this month and asked about the HADD test (which he had referred to on his blog) and I asked if it was similar to the MAF test? I wanted to try it out but I had failed to find info on it on-line (it may be there but my 30 seconds of looking on Google didn't find it) but I did find info on the MAF test so I took the easy way out and asked about the HADD test. No this is not the start of a trend, I will still continue to drive aimlessly around instead of stopping and I will not ask sales clerks questions and I am sure I will find other ways to not ask for help but for whatever reason on this day my curiosity got to me. He was kind enough to provide me this info and I wanted to make sure I posted and labeled it, so as the spring continues, I could find it again when I am ready to give it a go.
The MAF test and HADD tests are different, but they share the same concept. They both attempt to measure improvement in a static manner.
If I recall correctly, the MAF measures your ability to run 1 mile at an exact hear rate.
The HADD tests measures consistent distances at different heart rates. I think the HADD is more comprehensive as it measures low end and high end heart rates.
You might consider reading Maffetone's book, "The Maffetone Method". It's not really well written, but has some great content in it, and will help you understand low hear rate training better. The tough thing about low hr training is that it takes some serious discipline, and you need some time to do it where you are not racing. It is best done after the Fall season is over.
For the Hadd test, I would suggest the following for you.
Do a .5 mile warm up @ really low speed (I do 1 mile at 6mph)
Then, do 5 intervals at the same distance. Depending on the shape you are in, you can chose the distance. I suggest 1 mile. Adam and I do 1.5 miles, but that can be tough for people not used to running 10 miles on a regular basis.
Considering you are a little older than I, shoot for average hr segments at the following
Each segment you will start below and end above, but it is the average you are shooting for. I don't change speed during each interval. If it is off, it is off, I just use it as feedback for the next time.
You will probably find it tough to nail down the first 2 intervals (getting your hr low enough), but that's what this is all about (patience).
The key thing to remember is that this is a measurement more than a test. You can't change the results any given day by giving more effort. I have talked to people who just can't grasp that concept, and get frustrated. Your results are what they are. You live with them and use them as a benchmark for improvement.
I did do a preliminary run a few weeks back and discovered that on the road, he was right the low HR's were hard to hold. I was able to run the other heart rates but they did take a lot of focus as my tendency was to zone out and to speed up or down 5-10 beats, the 160 HR did cause some stress, imagine that. I only went 3 to 4 minutes at each HR as I was running longer so I just wanted to see what it would be like. I liked his advice to focus on it later in the fall, my thinking is that it would be a nice winter diversion if I don't get to it earlier.
I will plan to post my results when I do it as I do think it's an interesting concept. Thanks once again Matt.