Enjoyed your article. I liked the line about Arthur’s reply to “rest day”. I remember him saying that, if you absolutely don’t have any time to train, “even if you go out and jog for 15 minutes, you’re still winning.” When you look into it microscopically, there probably wouldn’t be much benefit to it. Bad science (well, perhaps not particularly that “bad”)? I sure was quite inspired by that comment. The thing about Lydiard is that he was a motivator. The story was repeatedly told that, after talking to Lydiard for 15 minutes, all you want is to get out and run.
Runner’s World contacted Lorraine Moller about “a 10% rule” that was supposedly preached by Lydiard. Lorraine passed it on to some of the Lydiard disciples. My take was that Lydiard would have never put it in a “rule” dictated by specific “numbers” like this unless someone squeeze it out of him (“How about increasing the mileage by 10% a week?” “Well, that sounds reasonable.” “Okay, Lydiard said increase the weekly mileage by 10%.”). Barry Magee, on the other hand, came back and said that Arthur would have just gotten you onto a long run, no excuse or whatsoever. I don’t know how much Peter Snell was training in high school but when he joined Arthur’s stable at the age of 19, he basically put Snell onto running a 22-mile Waiatarua pretty much right a way. It took him 3 and a half hours for the first time and he broke down in tears afterwards (sorry, Dr. Snell, for keeping reminding the rest of the world of this story!). Perhaps scientifically not a sound advice but you can’t argue the results.
Quite a few letsrun.com thread readers, for some reason, got mixed up the Lydiard program with John Molvar’s training thesis (he clearly states that it’s only his “interpretation” of the Lydiard program). While I have no intention of attacking the Molvar system, in fact, I think it’s a quite sound program with adequate aerobic development followed by systematic speed training; the part I have most problem with is this 9-week build-up to 100 miles a week. Arthur would have NEVER put anybody in such a number-oriented schedule. You would either take your time and carefully build up, or just get up and run 100 miles a week. As “scientifically inadequate” as it may be, that’s what shapes up all “Arthur’s Boys” including the original joggers.
As Tom pointed out in his article, both Lydiard and Dr. Daniels knew where the devil lies. No matter how scientific the schedule may look, be it the Daniels’ formula or Lydiard’s day-to-day schedule, if you don’t, as Arthur often said, the schedule is not worth the paper it’s written on.
By the way, Tom, you did get the check, right?
If you want this thread not to get buried among all the Webb’s running strategy threads, you need to get moving, buddy!