Arthur Lydiard was really a very influential middle and long distance running coach coming from New Zealand and his legacy has had substantial impact on the training of runners today. He has become acknowledged in making jogging or running popular in the later 1960’s and early 70’s. Some have mentioned that Arthur Lydiard possibly created jogging. Lydiard trained many Olympic Games winners from NZ in the 60’s (Barry Magee, Murray Halberg and Peter Snell) together a tremendous influence by way of other coaches on various other dominant New Zealand runners for example John Walker who was the first person to run over 100 sub-4 minute miles along with run a mile quicker than 3 minutes and 50 second. He was born 6 July 1917 and died on 11 December 2004 at the age 87. Lydiard has been given many accolades in his own New Zealand and in Finland where his mentoring has been the reason for an increase of Finnish long distance running in the early 70’s. The publication, Runners World named Lydiard as the RW coach of the century in their millennium issue. As a runner himself, he took part in the marathon at the 1950 British Empire Games, completing thirteenth with a time of 2hr and 54m. Arthur Lydiard’s impact on middle distance running has been immeasurable and way beyond his personal achievements as an athlete himself.

Concerning Lydiard’s training school of thought, he supported splitting up the season into several running periods or phases. The base or background time period is the endurance phase which was made up of not less than 10 weeks of highest mileage which the runner can perform in order to increase their aerobic foundation or background. This is where his recognized 100 miles a week originated from since he regarded that to be the most effective. Arthur Lydiard suggested with the longer runs would be around 20 miles. These types of distances were run at a speed which was just under the anaerobic tolerance and is kept as a stable aerobic pace. The goal would be to develop the greatest endurance foundation possible for the subsequent phases. The next phase is the uphill training period which predominantly include things like uphill bounding or springing exercises to enhance strength within the legs that was generally carried out 3 times per week. Some middle and long distance aerobic running is still performed during this period which may continue for approximately 4 or so weeks. The next 4 or so week period of time had been referred to as the sharpening or speed stage where some anaerobic interval and speed work training is completed so the athlete will run faster. Following that 4 week phase, the hard running is backed off and the attention will then be on keeping sharp and fresh for racing.

Many consider it unlikely that any coach is ever going to have more influence on the training programs of endurance athletes than Arthur Lydiard. The blueprint that he produced completely changed middle and long distance training with respect to the volume of work Lydiard thought a runner needs to be engaging in. The routines was made up of plenty of hard work. Most coaching programs utilized by runners these days may find their beginnings back to what was recommended by Arthur Lydiard.

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