The Legacy of Arthur Lydiard

Arthur Lydiard had been a very influential distance running coach coming from New Zealand and his legacy has gotten considerable influence over the coaching of athletes now. He continues to be known in making jogging or running popular in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Quite a few have advocated that he actually invented jogging. Lydiard coached several Olympic winners from NZ in the 60’s (Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and Barry Magee) and had a major impact via various other mentors on various other well known New Zealand runners such as John Walker who was the first person to run more than 100 sub-4 minute miles and run a mile faster than 3 minutes and 50 second. Arthur was born 6 July 1917 and passed away on 11 December 2004 at the age of 87. Arthur Lydiard has had been given numerous honours in his native New Zealand as well as in Finland where his training became accountable for a resurgence of Finnish long distance running during the early 70’s. The periodical, Runners World called him as the Runners World coach of the century in their millennium edition. As a runner himself, Lydiard competed in the marathon at the 1950 British Empire Games, completing thirteenth having a time of 2hr 54m. Lydiard’s influence on athletics has been immeasurable and way beyond his personal successes as an athlete himself.

With regards to Lydiard’s running doctrine, he advocated breaking up the year into unique running periods or phases. The foundation or background period of time was the stamina phase that was made up of at least 10 weeks of highest mileage that the runner are capable of doing to be able to enhance their aerobic base or background. This is how his renowned 100 miles per week originated from as he considered that is the optimum. He strongly suggested for your longer runs might be around 20 miles. Most of these distances are run at a speed that was just under the anaerobic tolerance and is kept as a constant aerobic tempo. The aim should be to develop the best endurance foundation feasible for the next stages. The following period had been the hill running period which largely include uphill bouncing or springing exercises to create power in the legs which was generally carried out three times weekly. Some middle and long distance aerobic running is still completed during this stage which could go on for approximately 4 or so weeks. The next 4 or so week phase became referred to as the sharpening or speed cycle in which some anaerobic interval and speed work running is added so the athlete are able to improve your speed. After that four week phase, the tough training is backed off and the focus will be on staying focused and healthy for racing.

Many consider it doubtful that any coach will ever have more influence on the coaching methods of endurance athletes than Arthur Lydiard. The program which he introduced completely revolutionized middle and long distance running regarding the level of work he considered an athlete should be performing. The actual programs consisted of lots of working hard. The majority of running programs utilized by athletes today may track their origins back to what was touted by Lydiard.

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