Hodgie -san, Coming down to the 'nitty gritty' you are dead right. The best athletes are responsible for themselves.
I also believe that Arthur encouraged that. You only have to look at how each of the 'originals' trained. There was differences in individual workouts , but a commonality overall.
I mentioned previously running with Bill Baillie in 1983 to help him prepare for the World Masters Champs. The schedule we ran looked nothing like a written Lydiard one. Bill ran what suited him yet he was in touch with Arthur during the whole deal.
I would have to put Jack Foster in with your
"experiment of one". It took him about 5 years to 'perfect' what worked for him.
He bounced ideas off various people (especially "Arthur's boys" and also the likes of Hill and Adcocks)until he hit his formula.
The photo in his book on page 44 with him talking to Bill Baillie was taken after he had just run the phenomenal Onehunga to Auckland road race. They were discussing Training and tactics.
I just wanted to thank everyone for responding the way they have to the thread. When I started it, I was hopeing to get some kind of response, but this is great. Thanks again. Anyway, Do you think that Daniels might go anaerobic for too long? My coach in college had us doing anaerobic work for 10 weeks and by the end of the season, everyone was burned up. Did he interpret it wrong or is this the way it is supposed to work? I like how lydiard does it by not spending to long on anaerobic training (about 6 weeks or so), that sounds alot better. What do you all think?
I believe that most of the problem that these great Coaches have is other peoples interpretation of what they feel "should be done".
I have eluded (as has Nobby) to this with some of Arthur's frustrations earlier in the thread.
The aspect that Hodgie-san bought up is correct. Somewhere along the line there has to be some Athlete responsibility.
The Coach should be the "Guide" not the "Driver".
Some coaches get too carried away with hard, demanding anaerobic work, for too much of the season. I like doing some strides most of the time and they are anaereobic, but not so very stressful. As has often been indicated here, the way types of training are interpreted is so important. The worst experience I ever had as a runner was the first coach I had (the first 6 weeks I ever trained as a runner I was told to do 10 repeat 400s -- on a cinder track in spikes -- 5 days a week for 6 consecutive weeks). And each session was to be better than the previous one. It's why I became a coach -- to try to figure out how it should be done, and it is a never ending education
Ahh, the good old days, eh? I've had stetches of that sort of thing myself and had a simila response to yours; thinking that there had to be a better way and setting off to find it.
I spend a lot of energy telling runners not to run. So many want to come to the track to "get some speed" as if they are stopping by the local pharmacy. Last night we ran a 2 mile warm up 10 striders on the track, 2500 meters making it feel like the first half of a race then right out to the river for 6 miles then back to the track for a similar 2500 meters. I would rather have gone for a varied pace run up the mile and a half pine-needled path to the skyline trail then back to the beautiful lake...and not go near the track, but such a run is a fantasy after work on a Tuesday in the dark in Boston. So I have to dream up "workouts" to simulate running in the country side while waiting telling these eager runners not to race each other in hard 400s.
We have adopted Jack's lingo to distinguish repetitions from intervals and we do hill bounding but I haven't figured out why everyone has to speak with a Japanese acent while slowing leaping up hills.
I'd have to be careful when I say this because people here tend to jump all over the place with one false statement and it's always black or white.
At the end of the day, it is the athlete who'd have to get out and slog all those miles. I was watching "The Right Stuff" last night and there was a scene when a bunch of military people approached Chuck Yager and explained about the sound barrier and the machine they built was ready to go and this and that. Yager said "but they never get up in the air." Lydiard, as colorful as he was and as dominant figure as he was, knew that all so well and that is why he never recruited athletes. His number one policy in coaching was that the athlete would have to come to him. He would NEVER go asking runners whether he could coach. The drive would have to come from the athletes.
However, I don't believe Peter Snell would have become such a great athlete if it weren't for Lydiard. I doubt, and you know this better, people like Beardsley or perhaps even Rodgers would be a runner they were without coach Squires. Or at least all those dozen or so GBTC runners around Boston area would have not run as well without coach Squires. Even Eliot; I doubt whether he'd be as great a runner without Cerutty. They all knew some things about training and training "right" but more importantly they all had such strong personality that surely rubbed off onto their athletes.
I think one of the biggest reasons for Lydiard's success was his ability to push and demand his athletes BUT he did it at the right time. He would chase down some young runner (I wouldn't say who) on Sunday morning after he was out partying till very late, plodding around Waitak, shouting "If you can't run this in less than 2:20, you're wasting your bloody time!" Again, as Tom stated, perhaps scientifically bad suggestion; but they all knock themselves in such super shape because of that. Far too often coaches today are way too conservative that they don't push their youngsters like Lydiard did.
Now, on the other hand, to jtupper's point, Lydiard would stop runners "struggling" on track doing repeats. That is totally different situation. Too often people read Run to the Top and read the part when Lydiard told Snell to go ahead and complete 200s repeats and throw up; they think he's a tough and cruel coach. Again, completely different situation. Lydiard would NEVER push his athletes to do one too many repeat. But on the road, he might push you to do one (or more) too many miles; and he would not let you just plod!
Thanks for starting this thread. It sure is going pretty good. I'm surprised that this didn't get burried among Webb threads!
"However, I don't believe Peter Snell would have become such a great athlete if it weren't for Lydiard."
I love Lydiard because he led by example. Everything that he advocated doing was something he himself had experienced.
Trial & error the ultimate "science."
Certainly many coaches are conservative in terms of demanding more running but many of the same coaches push the intensity level too high without providing a sufficient foundation. Most common mistake I have seen.
Nobby, I fully agree with you about the recruiting and 'pushing' of athletes. Some here may see a 'ruthless' streak, but sometimes I have wondered whether or not it is part of our "Downunder" makeup.
We have quite a few Coaches in various codes who have similar approaches.
I too will not work with an athlete unless they say "I want ... .. and I will work".
I had a parent approach me 6 months ago asking me to Coach his son (the kid ran 3 days a week). I said to him "Come back to me when you have got the kid running "minimum" 5 days a week, then we will start training". The guy saw me last week and said the kid is doing the work (also noticed he ran quite well in a club race)and so I will now look at fitting him in.
I have limited time so I don't want to waste it.
I think the item about Arthur making Peter run another 200 and then throwing up is overated. My understanding of that situation is that in Rome prior to the start of the Games the guys had a session of 200's to complete. Towards the end of the workout Snell complained that he felt ill (had done all along) and may throw up if he did another repetition. Arthur said "Do another one and if you throw up it will proably get rid of whatever bug you have".
Peter did another, threw up and promptly felt better for it and had no problems from then on.
I have been on long runs when things have not gone well (too much alcohol the night before)and remember vividly one run on the Tracks of the Waitakere's where I started to struggle on a hill. The relevant comments were made by some of the others and they took off and left me in my misery (I still had to climb a thousand feet). On getting back to the car park everyone had gone, I was alone. The ostracising that day was enough. I learned my lesson.
Everything the next week was back to normal and we moved on. Nothing was said.
The only time I have seen Arthur really "hot under the collar" was regarding disloyalty. He demanded that.
I may have already posted something on that once before. I will check.
Quote from Bill Baillie: when I asked him what he thinks a common mistake today's runners/coaches make, he said that they tend to underdo conditioning and overdo (too fast and too much) track workouts.
Quite from Barry Magee: when I asked him about the balance of training, he said, as Arthur would have said also, that there's time to run fast and there's time to run slow. There's time to run a lot and there's time to run not as that much. Too many people mix them all up and lose the crucial balance.
It bothers me to read some high school coaches saying that they "only" have their runners train, say, 40 miles a week or whatever. I'd be curious to see what the intensity of those "only" 40 miles. Sometimes it may be better to have them run 80 with easy intensity and sometimes it may be better to have them run 30 with good intensity.
Yep !! I posted a section on loyalty earlier this thread !
At one of our friends' wedding, my wife and myself (as a matter of fact, along with 4 others) got food poisoning (due to cantelope we had that morning). My wife got sick first. She threw up (while I enjoyed the chicken on her plate!) but she felt better first. I believe a similar thing happened to Richard Taylor at 74 Commonwealth Games. Be it foodpoisoning or just a simple nervousness (butterfly), it sometimes does make it feel better to just "get rid of it". Yes, I've done it many times myself!
When Lydiard was in Japan in 1991, someone asked him what quality he looked in the athletes, his reply, without hesitation, was "sincerity". He remained his stance that "you let me down once, you'll let me down again." He always was very hard on that one (though he has taken many people back again when they sincerily apologize...myself, oh, perhaps 3 times or so?). I guess what I'm proud of most is the fact Arthur trusted me and in a way relied on me in the last 10 years or so. Out of so many people he knew that he could possibly approach to organize lecture tours or whatever--and some may have had a better position to do it more successfully--, he came to me. I remained loyal to him and he certainly responded back to me accordingly. That, more than anything else, I am most proud of.
Quote from Barry Magee: when I asked him about the balance of training, he said, as Arthur would have said also, that there's time to run fast and there's time to run slow. There's time to run a lot and there's time to run not as that much. Too many people mix them all up and lose the crucial balance.
Nobby et all,
This is a great thread, I've enjoyed all the contributions. Nobby, with regard to your quote about times to run alot and not as much, what do you think Arthur would suggest for overall milage during the 4 week hill phase for marathoners for runners averaging 100 miles during the conditioning phase?
I'm trying to combine a newer edition of "Running to the Top" with the lecture you took dictation for, and combining it with whatever I can from print interviews with Arthur.
Sorry to bog this thread down with specific questions, but I'm happy to help keep it above the Webb bashing threads.
Before I head out to the airport; this I think is what Arthur would have said: "It doesn't matter!" Hense, so many of us left confused, right!? The point is; we need to build aerobic capacity because that's what governs your performance level. It also lasts longest (meaning, you're not going to lose it quickly) so you build it first. Then you move onto hill phase because you'd want to start developing power and flexibility before you start doing faster, more race specific training. Then you develop your anaerobic capacity to exercise as well as speed then you coordinate all these elements together so you can race smoothly without any hick-ups.
Now, if all this is understood, then you'll know during the hill training phase, you'll need to introduce exercise to develop power and flexibility WHILE you maintain your aerobic capacity. In other words, you'd want to keep up fairly high mileage. "Arthur's Boys" did four laps around a 2-mile loop plus approximately 2 miles of warm-up and cool-down 6 times a week plus 22-mile on weekend. So the mileage was quite high. I would not necessarily recommend this routine unless you're super fit; you'd need to keep up good mileage during the hill phase. So depending on what type of hill training you're doing, you may want to throw a couple of long aerobic running like 1.5 hours or so between hill training days. Actual mileage per week is not important; but you need to understand what you need to accomplish during each phase; what type of training would make it possible to achieve those physiological and mechanical developments during each phase; what is your strengths and weaknesses; and how you can realistically shuffle them all up to fit them into your weekly schedule.
Maybe I'm not quite helping you. Rule of thumb, or a ball-park figure, I'd say, would be; if you're running, say, 80 miles a week for conditioning, you should be able to handle or keep up 2 or 3 days of hill training with 2 or 3 long runs and maintain your mileage somewhere around 60 to 70 (70 would be better if you can); before you dip down to, say, 40 or 50 of track schedule. Bear in mind, marathon might be a bit different. Hill training would definitely help marathon running but first and foremost, you need solid endurance and stamina. In other words, you schedule should not sacrifice that elements regardless of whatever else you want to do.
Your answer definitely helps me, and from what I've read by and about Arthur "It doesn't matter!" indeed sounds appropriate. Having some idea of what "the boys" did helps, I'll try to adapt it for my situation. I'm going through the book a second time (which for me really helps), and someday I hope to compare it to one of the earlier editions of his books. Thanks again and keep this thread going folks.
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.
Thanks for the great comparison. Really makes it easier to understand. And, as far as I'm concerned, I see even more similarity than not. As Lydiard would most probably have answered to the question of mileage during hill phase, details (exact numbers) don't matter that much. Whether you do 6 weeks of conditioning or 12 don't really matter. The important point is that you use whatever the time available to develop aerobic base. If that's understood, how you do it doesn't matter that much either. Lydiard's hill training phase is to develop power and flexibility in your legs. If you limit it to "hills" (or worse yet, some people look for explicit 2-mile loop with 800m uphill with 800m flat on the top, 800m slightly less steep downhill section, etc.; and come back and say, "Nah, we can't find such a hill so we can't do the Lydiard training!" You laugh, but it's true!), then you can't even do the Lydiard training on a flat area. That's nonsense. You need a transition, yes. And Lydiard "recommended" that the hills, in his opinion, would be the best and most effective way to acheive what you need to develop at that phase of the overall program. Can you compliment? Absolutely! The numbers Lydiard has given are more or less "the best possible case scenario", or as Kim Stevenson said, just a guide.
Thanks (again) for the great insight Nobby.
One of the great strengths of Dr. Daniels' books is the way it is presented as a training guide rather than a training rule book. By not prescribing exact mileages or detailing exact workouts, DRF becomes a easily adaptable coaching/training tool. Even the very detailed Pace Charts are most effective when used as a guide rather than unbreakable rules.
Ditto Nobby here, but also you have hit the nail on the head with your comment about Coaching is an Art and being Coached and working with people is so different to 'listening' or 'reading'.
My own understanding of Arthur's work came from VERY infrequent meetings with him and the running I did with Bill Baillie, which in the big picture had holes in it as I spent 5 years out of New Zealand in the mid/late 70's.
I was also lucky in that I Coached a good friend in the 1980/90's who was Coached by Murray Halberg in the Mid/late 60's (he won a National Junior 3 mile title)and he bought a good perspective to what we should do.
One of the things I find interesting is people here think I am an "expert" on Arthur and interpretation of his work. I know I could drive up to Auckland, knock on at least 10 doors and find people whose understanding and knowledge of Arthur's work far in excess of my own.
I like Nobby, want to keep the Lydiard "legend" alive as he was such an Inspiration and Motivation to a generation of Runners and what Worries me is that many here who do have the knowledge may let it slip away as they either lose interest or move on to other things.