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Lydiard Training Idea's

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  • ocnoc wrote: »
    This tread is pretty interesting - please don't turn it into a p!ssing match

    Fair enough.

    Has anyone here tried to follow Lydiard's schedules pretty close to how they are in his first book - the big mileage, followed by hills and lots of track work?

    It seems to me that lots of people say they are following Lydiard by doing a big block of high mileage at the start of their training but how many follow it up with the hill phase (that's so tough it makes people depressed according to Lydiard) and then track work where they're doing sessions (not all particularly tough) 6 days a week?

    Is it a good system for 800/1500m? It worked for Snell but how many middle distance athletes start out like Snell. He was big and powerful to start with and had a background in lots of sports. Maybe it's a good system for that type of runner but perhaps would send the smaller guys towards longer distances - e.g. maybe it would work for someone like Rudisha but if Kirwa Yego did it he might only improve at longer stuff.




  • ss43 wrote: »
    Has anyone here tried to follow Lydiard's schedules pretty close to how they are in his first book - the big mileage, followed by hills and lots of track work?

    I did the mileage and hills phases under my coach's guidance, but didn't do much track work later on. I was training for a marathon. He had me do lots of marathon pace miles instead.

    In previous years I would have done training that was much closer to the schedules in the books, including the 100 mile weeks. But my results improved when the coach took over, on fewer miles. He says I was never getting enough recovery, basically.




  • ss43 wrote: »
    Fair enough.

    Has anyone here tried to follow Lydiard's schedules pretty close to how they are in his first book - the big mileage, followed by hills and lots of track work?

    It seems to me that lots of people say they are following Lydiard by doing a big block of high mileage at the start of their training but how many follow it up with the hill phase (that's so tough it makes people depressed according to Lydiard) and then track work where they're doing sessions (not all particularly tough) 6 days a week?

    Is it a good system for 800/1500m? It worked for Snell but how many middle distance athletes start out like Snell. He was big and powerful to start with and had a background in lots of sports. Maybe it's a good system for that type of runner but perhaps would send the smaller guys towards longer distances - e.g. maybe it would work for someone like Rudisha but if Kirwa Yego did it he might only improve at longer stuff.

    I have about on the low side of twenty runners following programmes designed according to the guidelines of the Lydiard Foundation. The exact number of weeks of each phase vary from runner to runner depending on time available and target discipline but we have everything from marathon to mountain to 800m runners. They start out doing very similar training (but obviously matched to their current physical ability, a person struggling to complete 60 minutes is not forced to do a 90 minute run Tuesday and 100 minutes Thursday).

    As training progresses it grows more progressive, as Thomas mentions, a marathon runner does not do a "track phase" per se and do no work faster than VO2max pace at all (except strides). The best current explanation of Lydiard training for marathoners is in Healthy Intelligent Training but the author elaborates on it nicely here:
    http://hitsystem.com.au/2010/01/27/how-lydiard-would-approach-marathon-preparation/ The details were later edited and added to the second edition of the book which focused a lot on the distances 800-5000m.

    For whether we do hill circuits, yes we do at least 2-4 weeks but today we only "subject" runners to two of these per week in general. The response from people doing the session has been overwhelmingly positive. Feedback suggests people feel they improve both their uphill and downhill skill within a short period of time and they enjoy the seamless flow of the season.

    On the downside, any kind of niggle in the lower leg and I have had to pull my runners out of this phase and put them into an alternative strength regime during this phase. I have myself struggled to complete this phase on a few occasions because of some lower leg issues that were not cleared up sufficiently. A low impact alternative is the sand dune running advocated by Cerutty. I was curious about these and put them on at Brittas last week and early impressions are good and I am running two more of those sessions this month.

    Instruction on how to do the three drills is extremely helpful as it can be hard to make out exactly from images. I start my runners on the basic drill ("exaggarated uphill running") and we rarely progress to much springing and bounding as few runners have progressed to that level of strength and technique yet. The bounding exercise is more important to middle-distance runners than long-distance runners but what we would sometimes do is vary the drill so we do the exaggarated uphill running on the steep bits and bounding on shallower bits. Halberg admitted once that they'd often take small breaks during the 800m ascent of "jogging" because the climb was not consistent. This didn't matter as long as they got plenty of plyometric work in along the way.

    I love the downhill striding personally and can feel my leg speed return very quickly after a few sessions. I can see why Snell got excited enough to allegedly run his downhill 800s in 1:50 during these workouts.




  • The interesting thing about base training, and one that I still need to fully wrap my head around, is that according to my coach, base training is NOT to build your fitness.

    Instead the main purpose is to recover from the race phase of the previous training cycle. According to the coach, it takes a minimum of 6 weeks to get the race phase out of your system, and if you insist on doing faster running, that doesn't happen. Your next peak will be higher the more you recover from the previous one.

    That's assuming I interpreted it right, of course.

    This, of course, goes totally against the grain of keeping close to race fitness all year round.

    It is an interesting comment, and reminds me of a Lydiard coach, Glenn McCarthy, who got a collegiate runner into his fold. The runner was essentially totally burned out after 4 years of near-constant hard training and racing. According to the coach, it took him almost two full years of mainly aerobic work to undo the damage to the athlete's endocrine system done by those four years. After this period he could start to rebuilt the runner successfully again and reintroduce hard anaerobic work.

    That, of course, is an extreme example but the point your coach may have tried to bring across was that base/aerobic phase is extremely effective in restoring the body to normal pH after a period of regular hard racing.

    He may have been fastidious about "base training not building fitness", though, because this remains the main purpose of the aerobic phase. It would be off-topic to go into the exercise physiology behind it here, but anyone who has done a Lydiard base training phase as the old master prescribed it will know first-hand just how much your fitness improves within a relatively short number of weeks. You get a bit tired for a while but then the "tireless state", Lydiard loved to invoke in his books, really takes hold and mid-week half-marathons can be banged out at a comfortable pace on Tuesdays and Thursdays with little ill-effects.

    I think Keith Livingstone sums up the purposes of the aerobic phase quite nicely with the following:

    "So, in terms of balancing energy systems, training for sprints is dead simple, middle distance is a real juggling act of varying intensities and energy systems at just the right time, and marathon training is dead simple.

    The ideal base conditioning of a marathon runner or a middle distance runner are identical for the first 8 weeks. The purpose of the aerobic base for the middle distance runner is to INCREASE HIS CAPACITY TO DO MORE ANAEROBIC VOLUME, LATER, WITH FASTER RECOVERY.

    The purpose of base conditioning for a marathoner is to INCREASE HIS CAPACITY TO DO MORE AEROBIC VOLUME AT HIGHER SPEEDS, WITH FASTER RECOVERY, and INCREASE UTILIZATION OF FATTY ACIDS, while CONSERVING GLYCOGEN STORES."




  • Came across this today. Basically its a summary of Lydiards principles for high school athletes though I think given many people here are coming from a low aerobic base or just starting out I think it is very relevant here. This guys has done some great summaries previously including one of Renato Canova.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_zzkn1-wR0dVTVGN2VBNmZYaGc/edit


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  • Was going to post that yesterday but lost the link. Ta ecoli.




  • If anyone is interested in coming along and discussing this live, our company, ChampionsEverywhere, have invited Keith Livingstone, author of "Healthy Intelligent Training - the proven principles of Arthur Lydiard" to Ireland, and he'll be doing a number of events:

    - Wed 24th Oct: Keynote speech in 53 Degrees North (unfortunately booked out already) - "Any 'normal' man can run 2:30 for the marathon"
    - Thu 25th Oct: "Talking Lydiard" - open conversation with Keith with questions from the crowd in Toner's pub. - http://www.championseverywhere.com/talking-lydiard-a-thursday-evening-with-keith-livingstone
    - Sat 27th Oct: Talks at the Marathon Expo (times to be confirmed)
    - Sun 28th Oct: Talks at the Marathon Expo (times to be confirmed)
    - Wed 31st Oct: Event TBC - to be organised with Irish Runner magazine, so still confirming details

    To be upfront - there's no fee for any of the events except the unconfirmed Wednesday event which will likely be a 3 hour running clinic.

    For Thursday, entry is free but we will be gracious for any donations which will all go against covering Keith's travel cost from Melbourne where he now lives. There'll be book sales and signing after each event.

    Quick interview with him here, taken after his talk in Laragh this Sunday: http://www.championseverywhere.com/interview-keith-livingstone-lydiard-expert

    We hope this will be the first of many visits as Keith is here to help us with some grass-root Lydiard work for the long-term future.




  • Bumping this thread - found it useful while planning out a base phase built on Lydiard principals


    Planning on sticking to;

    Lots of easy miles.
    Midweek steady run starting out at 70 minutes, peaking at 90
    Saturdays: MP, Steady and some stuff just quicker than MP (probably maxing out at 60 minutes work with easy miles either side)
    Sundays will typically be long and relatively easy
    Strides twice per week


    Right now I am hoping to stick this out for 8 weeks or so before moving into the next phase




  • A great resource is the Lydiard Training & Academy group on Facebook which is run by the Lydiard Foundation - their president (Nobby Hashizume) is posting some fantastic and long out of print information (Lydiard's old interviews, old Q&As from the 1970ies running magazines etc.).

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/3096418263702239

    I did the first Lydiard coaching seminar they organised in Boulder back in 2011. It was fantastic event with lots of guest speakers (Mark Wetmore, Peter Snell, Steve Jones, Frank Shorter, Lorraine Moller). Very informative - so definitely an organisation worth following as you're bound to pick up something you to think about.




  • Raighne wrote: »
    A great resource is the Lydiard Training & Academy group on Facebook which is run by the Lydiard Foundation - their president (Nobby Hashizume) is posting some fantastic and long out of print information (Lydiard's old interviews, old Q&As from the 1970ies running magazines etc.).

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/3096418263702239

    I did the first Lydiard coaching seminar they organised in Boulder back in 2011. It was fantastic event with lots of guest speakers (Mark Wetmore, Peter Snell, Steve Jones, Frank Shorter, Lorraine Moller). Very informative - so definitely an organisation worth following as you're bound to pick up something you to think about.

    Thanks for sharing, some super stuff in there alright


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