Source Ken Doherty Track & Field movies on paper 1967. hopefully I am not infinging on anybodies copyright.
Doherty"s evaluation of strength's of the "Lydiard system"
Thye great strength of lydiard's system lies in its precsiely balanced emphasis upon such related but contrasting factorsas stamina and speed. He claims marathon training (100 miles per week), is key to his system,in the sensethat such "marathon" stamina provides a sound foundation for an even greater emphasis on speed than other systems can provide.
Another great strength lies in it's variety.For example, it insists upon a variety of terrains - and by terrains we mean not only hills and wood paths and running tracks, but also deliberately selected mud and slush,soft sand,fences and stone walls, paved roads, uneven bush country- all for the purpose of establishinga wide and firm foundationof running fitness. on these varied running surfaces, Lydiard planned a variety of training methods: cross country, road racing, marathon running, speed hill training, and when he finally got on the flat running track, many devices of modernn interval trainingand even of the old American over and under distance training with its repeated time trials. I have often criticized the latter because of its over emphasis upon all-out performance in each trial. Lydiard answers this by insisting upon planned increments of improvement: run what you can today, while being certainthat you'll be able to improve upon it next week and six weeks from now. He even has gone as far as to provide de3tailed tables of effort on a time basis.
Another great advantagw held by lydiard does not lie som much within his system as in his location in NZ where he has almost comlplete freedom to fix his competitive schedule so as to further the development of the individual. He can decide what races the athlete should enter to best prepare hiom of rhis BIG racesof the year, regardless of the team situation. Competition, which we tend to rate as all important, can be considered a motivator for training. IN NZ, Lydiard can organize about eight months of training in which competition is secondary. In contrast, in the United States school program, there areabout seven months in which team competition is crucial; individual development through daily trainingmust often be a lesser concern. ( Santee?)
This relative freedom meant that Lydiard could start beginning runners from where they were. They could progress gradually - what a wonderfully sound word that is!- gradually through the various steps of his plan: through time training, mileage training, cross country, road racing, and all the rest. Each new level could be attempted whenthe preceding levbel had been , not merely tried, but masteredto othe point of certinty of control and ease of action.
This freedom from the burden of winning -them-all, which I have attributed to NZ, should also be credited to Lydiard's insistence upon first things first, then second things , then third - and so oon. He is admant in looking ahead twelve and fifthteen months to the BIG RACES and in planning the year" program in terms of them. Even more, he insists upon planning an entire career.
For example: he wrote,