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As has been said many times, coaching is an art. One cannot appreciate a painting by simply reading or listening to the painter explain his work. To appreciate and understand the painting, one must experience the painting itself. The same is true of coaching. While books, lectures, and conversations may help us to understand a coach's methodology, they can never give us a complete appreciation for the coach and his work. So unless someone has been personally coached by both Arthur Lydiard and Dr. Daniels, it seems unfair to ask who we would prefer as our coach. It's like asking which painter's work we prefer when we have not personally seen and experienced the paintings of each painter.

However, a more practical question that we may be able to answer is not who would we rather coach us, but whose published training structure do we find more effective when applied properly? Perhaps the best way to answer this is to compare each structure phase by phase. I realize this comparision is flawed from the start in two ways. First it is based on my own intpretation of both coach's published structures - however I'll do my best to present and compare each. Secondly, to make the comparision fair, I will use DRF's 24 Week Program and a similar 24 Week interpretation of Lydiard's works. I'm sure I have overgeneralized and misinterpreted so I encourage criticism and or corrections.

Base Phase (DRF Phase I "FQ" vs. Lydiard Aerobic Conditioning)
DRF prescribes a 6 Week Foundational Quality phase of "Easy Pace" Running with the inclusion of strides. Every three week the athlete is permitted in increase mileage as much as one mile for every workout session per week. Within the 24 Week time frame, I would assume Lydiard would prescribe a 12 Week Aerobic Conditioning phase of Aerobic Paced running with the inclusion of strides. Emphasis is placed on single session aerobic paced running with an option for a second daily session of easy jogging. To oversimply, the major difference appears to be DRF 6 Week Aerobic Base vs. Lydiard's 12 week Aerobic Base. It should be noted also that Dr. Daniels seems to suggest a longer Phase I if there is time.

Transitional Phase (DRF Phase II "EQ" vs. Lydiard's Hill Spring Phase)
DRF presribes a second 6 week Early Quality Phase with primary emphasis on "Repetions" of 200-800m with full recovery to develop economy and prepare for the stresses of Phase III, and secondary and maintence emphasis is placed on Anaerobic Threshold (T-Pace) and Vo2Max Intervals (I-Pace). Again within this 24 week time frame, Lydiard's Hill Springing Phase would last 3 Weeks with primary emphasis on Uphill Sprining, Downhill Running, and Wind-Sprints to develop economy and prepare for the stresses of the Anaerobic Phase. Both Daniels and Lydiard stress the importance of this transition to the next phase. The question boils down to which is a more effective transition Repeats or Hill Circuits.

Specialization Phase (DRF Phase III "Q" vs. Lydiard's Anaerobic Phase)
DRF prescribes a third 6 week Quality Phase with primary emphasis on Vo2Max Intervals (I-Pace) of approximately 600-1200m with recovery jogs of equal or slightly less duration, secondary and maintenance emphasis is placed on T-Pace Runs and Repetitions. Lydiard prescribes a 4 week Anaerobic phase with 3 workouts a week of 400-1600 intervals with recovery jogging of equal distance. DRF Interval workouts and Lydiard's Anaerobic workouts seem to be very similar, down to the recovery jogging between intervals. The differences appear to be DRF's single interval workout a week, with a different focus for the secondary and maintence workout compared with Lydiard's 3 anaerobic workouts a week. To a lesser degree the difference between DRF recovery jogs of equal duration vs. Lydiard's recovery jogs of equal distance is also a consideration.

Race Conditioning (DRF Phase IV FQ vs. Lydiard's RaceCoordination Phase)
DRF prescribes a final 6 Week Tapering Phase with primary emphasis on T-Pace runs to allow recovery for important late season races, secondary and maintence emphasis is placed on Intervals and Reps with reduced volume. Within the confines of the 24 Week plan, I assume Lydiard would use a 3 Week Race Coordination phase with primary emphasis on Time Trial Races and a single sharpening workout of 50m-100m Sprint/50m-100m Float once a week. The difference seems to be that DRF allows for recovery with lower intensity T-Pace Runs while Lydiard "sharpens" using short bouts of high intensity pick-ups. DRF completes the 24 Week plan with this phase with a peak race at the end of the final 6 week phase.

Lydiard Peaking Phase
Lydiard finally prescribes approximately 10-14 days of final freshening up before the peak race. Unlike the prior phase, the peaking phase focuses on a single peak race, rather than time trials, and the sharpening workouts are reduces in volume rather than intensity.

So when we weight the two structures which would you prefer? To be honest I incorporate degrees of both structures in my training as that is what works best for me.

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