Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Maximum Performance Running Launches New Coaching Options

Maximum Performance Running has initiated new coaching service options for distance runners of all ages and ability levels.  Options that are both effective in producing great running results, and affordable for most any budget in these tough economic times.
On-Line Coaching
On-line coaching is the coaching option designed for the serious runner looking for a personal running coach to help them take their running to the next level.   In this option Coach Mark Hadley becomes your personal running coach, consulting with you on all aspects of your training, and designing for you custom training programs in order help you reach your goals.  You and Coach Hadley have regularly scheduled feedback sessions, schedule adjustments and optimizations, and he is available to you 24/7 for when urgent situations occur that require immediate feedback and discussion.  Let Coach Hadley use his 30+ years in the sport of running, and his vast experience in successfully working with runners at all levels, to help you achieve your goals in the sport.
On-Line Coaching Includes:
-        Initial consultation(s) with Coach Hadley to discuss your running and training history and future goals and race schedule
-        Complete and customized detailed training program, designed a training cycle at a time, but updated weekly
-        Weekly e-mail exchange with Coach Hadley to report your results from training, get feedback on the week, have training paces and any specific instructions assigned for the following week, and to make any adjustments to the program/schedule that are needed for optimization.
-        24/7 access to Coach Hadley if problems/issues arise or urgent communication is needed
-        Personalized race strategies based on your training, strengths and weaknesses
Price:  $125 per month*
*Discounted to $75 per month for members of the: 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project
On-Line Coaching replaces “Personal Coaching” as a streamlined, more affordable option but one that still includes all the personal attention and customization that is critical to maximizing your running performances.
Click here to go to MPR's On-Line Coaching Page
Custom Training Programs
Custom program is the perfect choice of the runner who in the past has used a generic program found on the internet or in a book in order to train for their big races.   An MPR Custom Training Program helps them boost their performance through a training schedule that has been custom designed specifically for them, taking into account their strengths, weaknesses and personal situation (work, family, travel, vacations, race schedule).  You put a lot of time and effort into training, don't entrust that to some generic program, you deserve better!  Let Coach Hadley build you a personalized training program, so you can get the most from the time and effort you put into training for your next big race.

4 Easy Steps:

1) Select the program length you want (8-24 weeks) depending on your goal race and then register on-line
2) Coach Hadley sends you (via e-mail) a Runner Questionnaire to fill out
3) Fill out and return the questionnaire and Coach Hadley will follow up if there is any need for clarifications / additional information
4) Coach Hadley will design your custom training program and have it to you (via e-mail) within 5 days after receiving your questionnaire back.
Each Custom Program Includes:
-          Detailed Custom Training Schedule
-          Custom Race Plan
-          Tips, charts and fun extras
8 week -         $99.99
12 weeks  -  $124.99
16 weeks  -  $149.99
20 weeks  -  $174.99
24 weeks  -  $199.99
Click here to go to MPR's Custom Program Page
Consulting Session
The MPR Consulting Sessions are designed to help runners get answers to their running questions?  Coach Hadley offers 1-on-1 consulting sessions to help runners get answers, whether it is through a planning session, training plan review or design, or situation analysis.  The MPR consulting sessions is a chance to sit-down 1-on-1 and pick the brain of a coach with over 30 years of experience in the sport, and one who has successfully trained everyone from masters to youth and from beginners to elites?  Consulting sessions are available on the phone from anywhere or in person in the Charlotte, NC area. 
Price:  $50 per hour
Click here to go to MPR's Consulting Sessions Page
Making A Difference – Giving Back
Not only can MPR’s coaching services help you achieve your goals in running, but it can help make a difference for those with special needs.  MPR founder Mark Hadley’s family has been greatly affected by Autism (his youngest daughter and his nephew both have Autism).  So in order to be a good steward of the coaching skills he has been blessed with, Coach Hadley is donating 10% of all revenues from MPR’s coaching and consulting services to charities that focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders research, advocacy, and support.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project in conjuction with Maximum Performance Running is excited to announce the formation of the: 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project
Numerous years ago I got into the field of coaching because I have a passion for helping people chase and achieve their goals and dreams. And I have spent my time in coaching mainly focused on the marathon as my specialty, helping multiple runners achieve an elite level in the event.  So I am super excited for the opportunity to combine my specialty in coaching with my passion for helping people chase their dreams through the formation of's 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project.
- Coach Mark Hadley

Project Premise and Goals
The more people the United States has seriously training to run a high level marathon, the stronger, deeper and more competitive we become as a marathoning nation. For many serious runners, the goal and dream of competing in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials keeps them training and competing at a high level, and motivates them to continue to improve. The 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project has been established to foster both of these things, to help deepen our country as a marathoning nation, and to help serious runners chase and accomplish their goals and dreams.'s 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project has 3 goals:
1. Help as many people as possible qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
2. Help as many people as possible obtain the A Standard for the trials
3. Help as many people as possible finish at or near the top of the field in the trials race

Once we help a project member reach the trials standard, we help them work towards achieving the "A" standard (if not already acheived), once the "A" standard is achieved we help them work to maximize their placing in the trials race.
2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifying Standards

Men:       A standard - 2:15  B standard - 2:18  Alternate B Standard - 1:05 half marathon
Women:  A standard - 2:37  B standard - 2:43  Alternate B Standard - 1:15 half marathon

Qualifying window: August 1, 2013 until 30 days before the trials (est. winter 2015/2016)

Qualifying Standards To Join The Project

The project is open to any U.S. citizen who has run 1 (or more) of the below standards in the past 12 months.

Men:       Marathon - 2:30:00   Half Marathon - 1:11:00    10k: 32:00
Women:  Marathon - 3:00:00   Half Marathon - 1:25:30    10k: 38:30

Project Athletes Receive

Athletes in the Project will be trained using the training philosophy described on this site, that has been developed over the past decade by Coach Hadley.

- Initial consultation with Coach Hadley to discuss your running and training history and future goals and race schedule

- Complete and customized detailed training program, designed a training cycle at a time, but updated weekly

- Weekly e-mail exchange with Coach Hadley to report your results from training, have training paces and instructions assigned for the following week, and to make any adjustments to the program/schedule that are necessary.

- 24/7 access to Coach Hadley is a problems/issues arise or urgent communication is needed.

- Other items/resources as provide by sponsors/donors.

Project Cost To The Athletes

$75 per month*

*Discounted through sponsorship from Coach Hadley's coaching business, additional sponsors/donors being sought to lower this cost further.

Register / Questions
To register to be a member of the Project or for more information see our webpage:

or email Coach Hadley at:


The 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project is seeking sponsors and donors to:

- Provide the project members with free or deeply discounted products and services that may help them in their training and preparations.

- Provide funding to reduce the monthly cost of the project for members

If you or your company is interested in being a sponsor of the 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project, please contact Coach Hadley at

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Predisposition & Marathon Potential

Pezz exploring her range
Given equal preparation, how much an athlete slows down as the race distance gets longer depends on many individual variables ranging from muscle fiber make-up, to bone structure, to mental wiring and personality.   Some people’s minds and bodies are better suited for longer races and some for shorter races.  I call this aptitude towards different distances their natural predisposition.

It only makes sense then that our natural predisposition will play a large part in what our potential is in the marathon.   If we have 2 people with the same 10k PR but one has a shorter distance predisposition (person A) and one has a longer distance predisposition (Person B), then Person B will have better potential in the marathon than Person A, and Person A will have greater potential at the 5k than Person B.  This helps explain why Desi Davila and Shalane Flanagan are pretty evenly matched in the marathon but Shalene has a 10k PR more than a minute faster than Desi.   This also helps explain why Dick Beardsley could run even with Alberto Salazar in the marathon when he might have been lapped by Alberto in a track 10k.  Desi and Dick may simply have greater long distance predispositions than Shalane and Alberto.  This doesn’t mean that a person with a longer distance predisposition can’t run very good at shorter races (or vice versa), it just means that their potential is better at the races closer to their predisposition. 
Doing some research and investigation on this subject over the last several years, I have made some general findings.  The typical neutral predisposition distance runner will slow roughly 4.5% each time the distance is doubled (starting at 5k) if they are equally as well prepared for each race distance.   Being neutral means they will fair roughly the same in equally competitive races at different distances.  Their 31:00 10k PR, translates up into 1:08:31 half marathon and 2:23:12 marathon potential and down to 14:50 5k potential if equally as well prepared for each race. 
With 4.5% representing neutral, I find the standard range to be roughly 3.5% (strong long distance predisposition) to 5.5% (strong shorter distance predisposition).   This range can make a big difference in the athlete’s potential at various distances.  If we you use a 31:00 10k as our base time we see that a runner with a strong shorter distance predisposition may only have 2:26:02 marathon potential (slowing 5.5% each time the distance doubles), but a neutral predisposition may have 2:23:12 potential (as given above), and runner with a strong longer distance predisposition may have 2:20:23 potential. 
While there may be a few individuals who fall outside of this 3.5% to 5.5% range, I think the range captures 99% of all serious distance runners.  I break this range down into 5 sub-categories: 
Strong Long Distance Predisposition:   slows roughly 3.5%
Moderate Long Distance Predisposition:  slows roughly 4.0%
Neutral Predisposition:  slows roughly 4.5%
Moderate Short Distance Predisposition:   slows roughly 5.0%
Strong Short Distance Predisposition:  slows roughly 5.5%

My terminology is distance running specific so “short distance” is 3k-5k and “long distance” is the 30k to marathon.

Using our example above (31:00 10k PR) these sub categories produce the following results at various distances: 

Strong Short Distance
Moderate Short Distance
Moderate Long Distance
Strong Long Distance

We have all seen this, and numerous time recently at an elite level.  You see 2 guys who run roughly the same times in the 10k but when they move up to the marathon there may be 3, 4 or 5 minutes different in their performance.  This doesn’t mean that the coach of the runner who ran slower didn’t necessarily train them as well as the other runner’s coach did, it may simply mean that the faster runner has a greater predisposition to that distance than the other runner.   

It is important to note that all of this assumes the runner is equally as well trained for each distance.  This will not be the case for a lower mileage runner, as 60 miles a week will not allow you to be as well prepared for a marathon as it will for a 5k or 10k.  For this reason it is hard for some recreational or even sub-elites to fully judge their predisposition based strictly on race times. 
Our predispositions are not something that we can influence or change to a great degree, rather it just shows us what distances we are naturally best off focusing on for greatest potential.  This can be very valuable information for a runner and/or coach to have.
For example, when I began coaching Stephanie Pezzullo in late 2011, she was primarily a Steeplechaser and 5k runner, and most in the sport (including Pezz herself) thought of her in that light.  But as I began to coach her and saw her workouts and began to help her explore her range, I noticed that while she had primarily run the shorter distances in the past, she in fact had a neutral predisposition.  This meant that she had the potential to run much faster than she had ever thought of in longer distance races like the half marathon or marathon.  Based on this, in the spring of 2012, I told her I thought it was possible for her to run 2:32-2:33 in a fall marathon if that was of interest to her.  She decided to go for it and she ended up running a 2:32:42 debut in Chicago.  Until we discovered she had a neutral predisposition, the idea of running a 2:32 may not have even occurred to her as an option.
Understanding a runner's predisposition also helps a coach and athlete to understand the approriate paces to use in training.  For example, if I coach 2 runners with 31:00 10k PR's, but one has a moderate long distance predisposition and the other a moderate short distance predisposition, and I send them out to do a 10 mile aerobic threshold (AT) tempo run, the approriate pace will be different for each of them because of their predispositions.   The runner with the moderate shorter distance predisposition will need to do this workout at about 5:30 pace while the runner with the moderate longer distance predisposition can probably handle about 5 seconds per mile faster.  Similarly if we are doing some VO2 Max repeats the runner with the shorter distance predisposition will probably be able to hit slightly better times than the longer distance predispoition runner.  Knowing the runner's predisposition helps in setting expectations and avoid over-training.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


designing training is like preparing a good stew
In the last 3 blogs I have talked about the first 3 tenets of my training philosophy:  consistency, capacity, and frequency.  So today I want to finish off with the 4th and last tenet:  mixture.   Mixture is the most commonly talked about aspect of training, with countless books and articles written about the various stress workouts we do and about how to use them. 
In my philosophy mixture is about making sure we get in all aspects of training on a regular basis.  These means that we touch base on all 3 categories of stress workouts:  speed, stamina and endurance in a systematic manner in our training.  I discussed the various workouts we use to do this in an earlier blog (here).   While we will phase our training, the phases just determine how often we work on a certain category, not whether or not we work on it.  All aspects of training are included in each phase (Fundamental and Specific), just with varying frequency depending on what we are trying to achieve. 
In a Fundamental Phase of training our mixture is relatively even, as we work in all categories and sub-categories on a regular basis.  In a 3 base unit micro-cycle (usually 7 or 9 days in length), we will work on each of the 3 categories once.  In a Specific Phase we focus in more on the category or categories that are the emphasis for our goal race distance and as such those categories will get workout more in our training.  But we still periodically touch base on the other category(s) so that they don’t become weaknesses that hold us back. 
Similar to the tenet of consistency, one of the reasons we do this is so that we can keep our fitness level increasing as much and often as possible without back-sliding.  By keeping all aspects in our training, we never develop weaknesses that could hold back our progression in fitness.   This become especially important in a sport such as road racing where the athlete races much of the year without a typical off-season. 
Some people find it helpful to look at this tenet as cooking.  You never make a good stew with just one ingredient, you have to add multiple ingredients in the right proportion in order for the end product to come out perfect.   Too much stock or not enough salt or too many carrots and the end product isn’t quite what you intended.  Just like in cooking, part of being a good chef, (or coach in this case) is the art of knowing how much of what to add and when.  So a large part of designing a successful training program is knowing the athlete, where they are in each aspect of their fitness, and where they want to go, and then being able to put together the right mixture of the right workouts to get them there.