umm yes, I mean no, I mean Lydiard's information is easy to misunderstand, because there is so much of it. We have to do so many different things to run fast, so it is best in my opinion to keep our advice as simple as possible. Hopefully, a good coach will teach runners not to have too much tunnel vision - which we as runners tend to be guilty of, because we need a certain amount of obsession to be succesful.
Sure.... I can be nasty and just leave it at that!? Just kidding!
But seriously, yes, I don't see too much problem shuffling workouts like that providing (!) we have a clear understanding of what's it doing to the athletes. Second and third generations of Flying Kiwis; John Walker, Rod Dixon and Dick Quax in the 70s and Allison Roe, Ann Audain and Lorraine Moller in the 80s; all did variation of the Lydiard program. Both Dixon and Walker did lots of hills (can't avoid them!) but I don't believe they did specific hill phase. Quax, while again included lots of hills in his runs, never did hill phase as Lydiard laid out. If anything, Quax was probably closest to what you're describing (though personally 10X1000m in 3:05 is a heck of a workout for young athletes, considering Seko, with PR of 27:45, did 10X1000m in 2:55). So in that sense, Quax might have been the furthest out from the original Lydiard scheme yet he probably was the biggest promoter of the Lydiardism of all (till now with Lorraine and I). Again, hill training is just transition in most part. Whatever you feel sufficient to cover that purpose should be good.
Now I'd think you're not just talking about hill training. And, fine, there are many different ways to satisfy stimulation of all the necessary energy systems and other developments. I believe Lydiard program covers all that and he laid it out in such way that it makes sense (to me) most. There are other ways to do it. But if we're talking about simplest terms to make youngsters understand; I was watching "Leagues of Their Own" last night (good movie!), that drunken coach played by Tom Hanks, I would think a coach like him would go; "Hey, coach, how should I run a mile?" "(spit, spit) Go out and run a mile as hard as you can...(burp)" That would be quite simple. I believe Lydiard laid out a very sound training progam; from A to Z--in a very make-sense-sequential way to train and develop athletes. And it would be a coach's job to explain what to do, how to do it and WHY they are doing those particular workouts the way they are; and athletes understand why we are following this particular program.
Frankly, though, if we are talking about a less confusing way to train for young athletes, what's all this mumbo jumbo of LT run and AT run and lactate level and all that? I think 1/4 effort, 1/2 effort and 3/4 effort is much more simple and easier to understand.
Now whether doing mile repeats is waste of time and effort for someone who can run fast 400m or not, that's another discussion topic. I don't think they are; but I also know that some people feel that the speed of training should be the same as what's expected in the actual race. Again, this would bring us all the way back to whether running 100MPW at, say, 6 or 7 minute pace worthwhile for running a 4-minute-mile. I guess I would answer to this the way Lydiard would have probably answered (which actually agree with your point); it's all important. If you train at slower pace, regardless of how tough it is to do 1k repeats or mile repeats, that's not going to be enough. You need to work on faster speed. "You will not try a cake half cooked."
Am I answering your question at all, or am I just mubling?
Very good post Nobby. So much information causes confusion. But hasn't it always been the same? We can read stuff from any decade in the past 100 years or more, and there was always good info and bad info.
What I’ve been trying to do with this thread is to share what I’ve learnt from Lydiard, or myself learning about the Lydiardism over the years; with help from knowledgeable people like HRE, Kim and Glenn. I’d be the first to admit, that I’m no position to “share” insight of the Daniels formula but that does not mean I hadn’t studied. I’ve read his book and I’ve read what’s posted on internet that someone so kindly shared on much earlier page. The problem today is that there are just SOOOOOOO much information out there. Particularly with the explosion of internet, there are 100 times more information available than 20 years ago. I probably shouldn’t call that a problem but really we are totally bombarded with wealth of information.
The real problem is that you lose focus. I actually felt that way in 1980, just reading running magazines. That’s when I decided; that the Lydiard program made a perfect sense to me; many programs follow the same patter though it may not appear the same; why not study THE Lydiard program and get down really deep into it? Too many young athletes and coaches have way too many choices today. They are sitting in front of a dinner table with 30 different small dishes; from Chinese to French to hamburger and French fries to seafood salad to pasta to rice. All they’re doing is try this a little bit and try that a little bit… They have no time to continuously stick to one decent program to really see the benefit of it. They would try high mileage for 3 weeks and when they don’t see a drop of 20 seconds in 1600m, they’d try out something else like 20X200 with 200 recovery jog. And even if that showed marked improvement, when they hear some argument that the recovery should be shorter, then they try out 20X200 with 50 recovery. They there comes scientific study that “continuous” tempo run would produce better result (“3.6% more efficient…”), then they’ll move on to tempo runs… Does this sound familiar? The Japanese marathon book I referred to earlier, whether intentional or not, kept talking about “…when Morishita ran his breakthrough marathon, it was 3 years after he joined Asahi-Kasei…” or “…when Taniguchi won his first marathon, it was 4 years after he came under Soh brothers coaching…” things like that. And here we’re talking about THE SAME TRAINING PROGRAM. Here in the US, some kids would post a message, saying, “I’ve been doing high mileage (40MPW) for the past 2 weeks. What else do you guys think I should do?” and the reply comes 7 different directions from run more slower to run less faster to include LT runs to include AT runs to include BS runs to go sprint up short hill till you vomit to running backwards… God knows what’s next!
My whole intention here is to share what I know about the Lydiard program—a sort of a strip-tease (sorry, Tom!) of what to come once the Lydiard Foundation is up and running (knock on wood!). I’m in no position to explain in depth anything else. In fact, I was hoping someone here who “studied”, not just “read”, the Daniels’ formula to tap in and share their experience. But when it really comes down to it, I really don’t think anything is that vastly different. I’m not insinuating at all that Lydiard invented everything. It is true that some other coaches were doing high mileage base building before Lydiard; hill training before Lydiard; peaking before Lydiard. All that is so true and, with all fairness, some people accuse him of taking all the credit, that is a bunch of BS. He always mentioned that 50/50 sharpeners is also called Igloi training. He didn’t invent that and he never took credit of inventing it. But I truly believe that he perfected putting it all together in a balanced way. Anybody who came after him is pretty much application of that. Nakamura never said he invented the Nakamura system but it’s the application of Lydiard program. And Lydiard never came down on him and accused him of stealing his idea. If you want to argue that, start a new thread; I don’t think our topic here is not that level and we’re not interested.
Another problem with the wealth of information, particularly internet, is that you never know who really knows what. You can just come out, pretending you know everything and throw some famous names here and there, pretending you’re buddy-buddy with them and so many of us just get suckered in. How do you know what I’m talking about is true? So be careful with that. And finally for God’s sake READ! I’m not the best writer either (what do you expect from a damn foreigner!?) but so many others just don’t read thoroughly. I have never had any intention whatsoever of putting John Molvar’s training down at all. As a matter of fact, I always stated that it seems like a sound program a (except for that 9-week build-up, John…!) and I’d highly recommend young athletes trying out. I had a problem that being called “the Lydiard Program” and I had even bigger problem people considering that as “THE” Lydiard program. John CLEARLY stated at the top of his paper, that it’s his “interpretation” of Lydiard program but when it appears on this message board, it has become “Molvar System = Lydiard Program”. What’s up with that? Where did they get that idea?