Arthur Lydiard


Arthur Lydiard was really a very significant middle and long distance running coach coming from New Zealand and his legacy has gotten substantial impact on the training of athletes now. Lydiard has been recognized for making jogging or running popular during the later 1960’s and early 70’s. Some have even implied that he even created jogging. Lydiard trained many Olympic winners from New Zealand in the 60s (Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and Barry Magee) and had a considerable influence through some other mentors on various other famous NZ athletes for example John Walker who was the first to run more than 100 sub-4 minute miles in addition to run a mile quicker than 3 minutes and 50 second. Arthur was born 6 July 1917 and passed on on 11 December 2004 at the age of 87. Arthur Lydiard has had been given a number of honours in his own New Zealand as well as in Finland in which his guidance had been responsible for an increase of Finnish long distance running during the early 70s. The magazine, Runners World called him as the Runners World coach of the century as part of their millennium issue. As a runner himself, Lydiard competed in the marathon at the 1950 British Empire Games, finishing thirteenth with a time of 2hr 54m. His influence on running has been immeasurable and way beyond his own feats as an athlete himself.

Regarding Arthur Lydiard’s coaching approach, he supported breaking up the season into different running periods or phases. The base or background time period is the endurance phase that consisted of not less than ten weeks of maximum miles that the runner can do in order to improve their aerobic foundation or background. That’s where his common 100 miles each week originated from because he deemed that is the most effective. Arthur Lydiard encouraged with the longer runs might be about 20 miles. These distances are run at a speed that was just under the anaerobic tolerance and is kept as a stable aerobic pace. The aim is usually to build the biggest endurance base feasible for the next phases. The next phase was the hill running phase that chiefly involve uphill bouncing or springing workouts to improve strength within the legs that was usually carried out 3 times a week. Some middle and long distance aerobic work is still completed during this cycle which could continue for around four or so weeks. The next 4 or so week period of time had been known as the sharpening or speed stage in which some anaerobic interval and speed work training is completed so the runner can improve your speed. After that 4 week interval, the hard running is backed off and the focus will be on staying sharp and healthy for competition.

Many consider it unlikely that any coach is ever going to have more influence on the training methods of endurance athletes than Arthur Lydiard. The plan that he established totally changed middle and long distance coaching with respect to the level of work Arthur Lydiard believed an athlete must be performing. The routines was made up of a great deal of working hard. Most running programs used by athletes ever since can find their beginnings back to that which was advocated by Lydiard.


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