Read the book dude.
Haven't posted in a while. Couple things:
1. First things first: let me add my congratulations to Mike Sokowlski for a great 7 minute PR and for breaking 2:40. I've greatly enjoyed his description of training through a 6 month Lydiard program, though I have to confess it makes my running look slow and limited in comparison.
2. Nobby: as always, thanks for all the energy you put into everything. How is the three circles website and the video project(s) coming? What is your next project?
3. Mucus: this tends to be a pretty forgiving thread (VERY forgiving by LR standards), so I'm sure people will try to respond to your assertions. I think you are correct that any workout matters. Of course it does; everything matters, including whether you run or rest or how you train or whether you try and train on a donuts-and-beer-and-no-sleep diet (like a number of college freshman). But the topic focus has been on what training will help you the most and hurt you the least; my usual tangent is that I'm interested in training I can actually DO in the context of work, age, family and so forth (which is why I enjoyed Mike Sokowlski's blog so much). But I think a key point -- beyond the basic Lydiard periodization into aerobic phase, hill phase, anaerobic phase a so forth -- is that 10x200 in 28 might mean something very different for you than for me, for example. It probably wouldn't even produce lactic acid in Seb Coe, but it might wreck me for the rest of the day. On the other hand, since I marathon train, when I do a club speed session with young guys I tend to do slow intervals, but I recover much faster than they do (I hate to walk in a workout), and sitting around for 5 minutes between intervals is just wasted time to me. That's why Lydiard puts some emphasis on running to feel. When it is time to do anaerobic work, one can do intervals with no stop watch and of undetermined distance -- run hard until the lactic acid is built up, slow down to recover a bit, repeat until the recoveries stop coming, then go home. That was his story with Dick Tayler training for '74 (reprinted in most of the books). If you're wondering how fast you actually are, that's what races or time trials or for -- and there will certainly be accurate measurements and stopwatches on those days. And running to feel is a much more pleasant approach at my age; why worry about the watch so much (hell, I can't even read it when I run -- it's pretty dark at 5AM around here).
Anyway, I personally have had a lot of luck using Arthur to "give me permission" to just focus on mileage for a phase, then focus on hills for a phase, then finally doing a few anaerobic weeks. I don't put in Sokowlski's effort, but it has made my training time a lot more pleasant and effective. Just my two cents.
I appreciate what you say Spider. You have put it in context. I am not here to kick Lydiard. BUT I do believe many things get blown out of proportion. Would you believe that I have read very thouroughly the book Run To The Top? The notion that many track sessions can be absolutely unstructured as to how long, how many, how fast, how much rest, is, in my readings on Lydiard, just a bit too much on the mythical side of things.
you have to remember, as Spider says, that there are other ways to focus on pace and distance. Lydiard used time trials quite frequently. So if you were hoping to run 30:00 for 10km, you might not care too much about running 72-73 second quarters for your interval sessions, but you would want to be able to handle a 5km time trial in 15:00 or so.
For my part, I have never believed that it's possible to run a few interval sessions and say that you're in shape to run a particular distance at a particular speed. I've never seen anyone who was able, consistently, to predict accurate race times from interval session times. And what of fartlek? There have been runners who run quite well off of unstructured fartlek, which is not very different from doing intervals at no pre-set pace.
Where to start? I have ALWAYS been able to predict my current race fitness off structured track sessions.
I have always believed that Lydiard time trials are actually races, and should only be done when no races are scheduled for a long time. or you won't race much that season.
Fartlek....it can mean a million things.
I do not come here to kick Lydiard. But too much of Lydiard has been blown out of proportion and goes beyond common sense into the realm of gospel.
Don't know about Jack Daniels. But the Lydiard way has worked for me. I just do 40 miles/week. I tried Bob Glover's (New York Runner's Club) method and it worked just as well for the first year but not the 2nd. I've gotten much more consistent results with Lydiard.
In answer to an earlier post, I think his first book may have been "Running to the Top". Anyway it's no longer published. I got his book "Run the Lydiard Way" from '79, and also "Distance Training for Masters" from '99. His methods haven't changed much although his earlier book is much more detailed.
For the sharpening phase he didn't recommend 50/50's in these books, more like 20 x 50m. My understanding of the 'floating' phase was that it didn't matter how fast you did that, as long as you recovered. The point of this drill was developing intensity in terms of speed and sharpness, at least that's how I understood it. You had already developed your stamina and anaerobic capacity in earlier phases.
Also for the hill springing exercises in the book I have, I think he recommended a hill of 400m rather than 800m.
I didn't mean to come out negative in response to you if it at all came out that way.
Everybody knows where I stand so my point of view is very one-sided and prejudiced. I think the Lydiard program is THE most complete program out there. Anybody who uses a program that may not look like one is merely not-so-standardized application of it (like Japanese) but the principles are exactly what Lydiard would preach. It just makes perfect sense to me. It lays out when to do what and why and, again, that reasoning makes sense to me.
I'm guessing here; the purpose of your 6X200 in 30 seconds is to run 2 minutes for 800m. I can see why you set out to run them in 30 seconds because it is your goal pace. I would then ask you; why 6 times? My hunch is because you're taking a recovery jog in between so total of rast runs of 800m (4 times) would not be tough enough to prove to run 800m in the actual race so 6 times.
One of the funny things in this country is that everybody is talking about "goal pace". If you want to run 15 minutes for 5k, then you have to get used to running at 5-minutes pace for the mile (or actually slightly faster); so you do a lot of repetitions at that pace. It is based on principles of adaptation. You need to make your body accustomed to that speed. Not too many people talk about the need to "get used to running near that speed over the distance CONTINUOUSLY" in this country. Everybody still wants to take care of everything in terms of "goal pace". People even avoid taking a long run for preparation for the marathon (to get used to going the distance) and take up shorter, faster training; people take up cross training (you're not particularly getting used to the pounding) to run a marathon. It's always "speed".
Under the Lydiard program, you'd be running 600m within 1:30 +/- 2 seconds on a very calculated pacing several times before you actually toe with your opponents. There are a lot more to the Lydiard program than merely running 100 miles a week or doing repetitions without knowing the number of reps, how fast, or how far the distance. It is a complete packet and, without performing all of them, you will not get the full benefit of it. You are only picking up bits and pieces of it. It is not going to be a complete picture if you over-look any piece of the puzzles.
Simply to answer your question of "what exactly the purpose of workout (here, you're referring to the repetitions without knowing the numbers); it is to develop your anaerobic capacity to maximum. It is not the pace judgement workout; it is not race-simulating workout; it is not time trial for further evaluation of what else is needed to be done; or shound't even be a confidence-boosting workout (because if you set it up too tough, there's always a chance that it comes out the other-way around!). It is simply to develop your anaerobic capacity to maximum. And for that, the best way to do it is to go by how you feel.
Using the Lydiard approach I have never timed myself or worried about distances. For example during the endurance phase I just go for an hour run, not worrying about distance. For the anaerobic phase I just run around a field for 3 minutes or so as hard as I can for say 6 times. The only time I timed myself was for time trials going at 7/8th effort. If you run poorly here, then you know something is wrong and you can troubleshoot from there. Fortunately I've never had that experience.
So basically I run at an effort that I think is good for the particular phase I'm in, without worrying about slight differences in distances or times. This works for me.
One correction; in regards to "floating" phase of 20X50m or 50/50 or 100/100; it does matter how the "recovery" float (sounds like a new kind of ice cream dish...) is done; you should not recover fully, or recover too well, because the whole purpose of this workout (sharpener) is to stimulate your anaerobic metabolism with quick sharp workout without affecting general blood pH level. If you recover too much between the sprinting, then you can go on and on too long (30 minutes?) and that would affect your metablism differently. You don't want that at this stage of the program
All the fairness to those who write down times and numbers; even Lydiard himself would, and had, tell you roughly how many repeats you should do or how fast he would expect you to do them. It is simply because he knew the athlete well enough to come very close. Athletes get to know where they stand and they can easily "predict" what they would be doing. However tough it may be; successful coaches would tell athletes how fast they would expect 400s to be or whatever the distance and roughly how many they should repeat. But once you just write down numbers for the sake of putting down impressive numbers, that's when you start to get in trouble. However tough the workout may be, even Tergat's infamous 20X400 in 55 seconds with a minute recovery or Coe's 6X800 in 1:50 or whatever, they are able to complete them. If you just wrote down 6X200 in 30 seconds and had problem completing, you need to take a good look at what you're doing and why you're doing them. Is it necessary for you to be doing them in 30 seconds at this stage of your program? Are you getting enough recovery for this type of workout? Are you really achieving what you need to achieve at this stage of development, etc. If you can answer all those questions; by all mean, go for it. But if not, you need to take a good look at your current approach.
Common sense would say that if you are able to prepare satisfactorily in races from using structured interval sessions you should keep on with it. But, as Nobby explains very well, that's not how Lydiard used interval sessions. The time trials are NOT races, they're fast, controlled efforts at something resembling your racing distance.
There's a story, perhaps waaaay back in this thread, perhaps someplace else, about the time when Bill Baillie was trying to run under four minutes for the mile and doing sessions of quarters at just above 60 seconds. He wasn't able to get under 4:00 that way, so he slowed the quarters to something like 70 or even a bit slower and did his sub-4:00. So he actually succeeded by moving AWAY from the sort of specificity that most Americans associate with interval work.
This isn't to criticize what you do or suggest that you do something else, but to try to show that we're not talking about something that's in the realm of a gospel anymore than the idea that your interval work is supposed to be precisely planned and race specific is.
able to prepare satisfactorily in races from using structured interval sessions
That should read "perform satisfactorily in races..."
By "recovery" I would agree that you don't want to fully recover. As I recall the purpose of this drill was to improve your sharpness while maintaining your anaerobic capacity that you developed previously, and yes, not drive down your pH. I'd just jog the floating phase and when I started sprinting again I was still feeling the some of the effects of the previous sprint, but I was not "short of breath" tired.
Mucus Features....Hehehehe, God, that's a funny name.
Back home after sea and sand !. Tried to catch up with latest on this thread.
Firstly Mucus . I endorse Nobby and Rich. But would add that when you read Arthur's books and look at the schedules. They were never designed for athlete "A" or "B". They were a "guide" as to what could happen that particular day or time frame.
Arthur did tell athletes the why's and the wherefors. Maybe not in the terms you are thinking, but they were told.
I have another 'real life' story but it is a little rusty as it only came to mind reading this latest theme.
Nobby may have heard it too. Hopefully my facts are not too stretched.
One time a bunch of athletes were to meet Arthur at one of the Tracks for a workout. (Probably the Lynndale Track .. which I am very familiar with)
All were expecting that they would run something like has been discussed here (Lets say 10 X 400 for arguments sake).
The athletes had run to the track so were well warmed up (2 or 3 miles if memory serves me right)
When they got there Arthur then told one of the guys to keep on running as he was not going to do the workout as he felt the guy needed an easy run that day as he felt he had not recovered from the last session. So the guy proceeded to leave the track and carry on his way. The other two carried out the workout Arthur prescribed for them but it was not what they expected and neither did the same things exactly. I cannot remember detail.
What I am saying though is Arthur looked at the individual and went from there.
As we have said here before, Arthur did not want to publish "schedules" as he knew they would be misinterpreted.
When he wrote them it was to give the reader a very good idea as to what the athlete should be doing in a particular phase. What day you do a particular workout on does not really matter as long as you do it within the time frame that suits. I posted a while ago about one of my athletes doing his long runs on a Wednesday as that suited his lifestyle at that time.
As Arthur said the only reason he put long runs on a Sunday was because in New Zealand at that time (1950's /60's)that was the best day to do them.
Hopefuly I have not rambels too much here.
Nobby I learn you are Japanese.
Is there any similarities between then Japanese and Chinese training system (Ma Junren)
Both work in exessive volume 250-400k, Has there been an exhange of information/ ideologi.
Can you give us detailed overwiev over the Japanese and Chinese system (if you know)
I am also very curious about the eastern mentalities, the Chinese are said to be the most enduring of worlds people. They can suffer the most and newer complain is this becuase of religion, mentality, karma laws, etc you think?.
I only know Falun Gong, and it is the most marvelous system to build up morality.
Yes, I am Japanese...and you're Swede?
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I went back to Japan (the time before this New Year's) was not to pick up a book on Ma's runners. It talked quite a bit about their training and, I can't remember exactly why, I didn't buy it for whatever the reason. I really should have and, next time I'm back in Japan, I'll definitely look for it again (hopefully it's still out). It's hard for me to comment on how Chinese train because I really don't know and, the information out there by saying that they run 20~30 miles a day, I don't know the validity of it--I only take it for grain of salt; I've seen so much misinformation out there!
One thing I know is, yes, I guess they, both Japanese and Chinese, run a lot. It is probably because of their system and mentality that allow them to committ themselves to do so. They don't think too much of if it creates overtraining. They probably think more or less like Gerry Lindgren--if you want to be good, then you need to work hard at it; if you want to be better than others, then you need to work harder than others. Very simply thinking. Of course, that alone is not going to be a solution; they still put "some" thinking into it but they don't tend to use "science" as an excuse or permisson to train less.
I, as some of you know, was back in Japan mere a month ago. Most houses in Japan, as my parents' place, don't have the central heating system. My mom kept telling me, before I went, that it's been very cold (about 45~50F compared to MN's sub-30F). Well, my wife called me and asked me how the weather was in Japan. I told her that it's very cold...inside the house! She laughed (she lived in Japan for 3 years and spent one winter at my parents' place too) and said, "Go outside to warm up...at least you can get the sun!" They only recently installed the running hot water (thank God, now I can take a shower when I go for a run there!). But my mom still washes dishes with cold water--that's what she's used to. Hardship to some is nothing if you're used to it.
I'm not saying Americans are soft or anything like that. When you read Mike Salkowski's blog, you can see how he trained with his young family and work obligation. I used to get up at 4:00 just to get my long runs in because of my family obligation. It's the choice you make. I guess what I can say is that, here in the US, there are way too many choices. It's easy to say you don't want to get up early in the morning to get the mileage in; so you don't. What does bug me is that some people use that as an excuse to say, "Well, we can't run 100 miles a week because..." We don't hear too many of that kind of excuse in Japan...and I'm sure we don't hear that in China either.
As always, enjoy your life-stories. Funny your story sounds so much like what you hear about how Igloy coached runners. But of course you hear people criticize "the Lydiard Way" being a cookie-cutter training method...
I remember the story when Dick Quax told AW runners to pack up and be done with the repetition workout when they weren't quite recovered. I also heard the story when one of the runners didn't perform up to his expectation in time trial, Arthur told him to go jog around a bit and come back and run time trial over again.
I am Norwegian (Nabour with Sweden)
I wonder much about the chienese training, werry intersting maybe the book was written by Zhao Yu:
From News paper:
Zhao Yu, a freelance writer in China, spent months at a time with the team. The result, An Inquiry Into Ma's Army, represents the most exhaustive study of the methods of the man who is one of China's best-known sports figures internationally and most certainly is a national hero (he has been selected as a member of the government's top advisory body, called the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, or CPPCC). Zhao's book-length report appeared earlier this year in China's Writers, a six-times-a year periodical published under the auspices of the China Writers Association. Zhao has been excoriated inside China for his generally unflattering portrait of the coach, and Ma has threatened to file a lawsuit alleging that Zhao defamed him by distorting certain incidents.
I tried to find the book to learn about their special system but could not manage it. I also tries to understand Chinese medecin and how to use that for recovery and injury prevention. (I guess you have another system in Japan) (like shiatsu, macrobiotic, Reki etc)
Please send me and email if you can find the book, then you must send me an example.
Also in Norway before people were poor and had a hard life. Since 1960 mostly people have become very rich and soft. + fat
Before the norwegian athletes had background of worked as farmers or chooped timber and then competed with little traing and could still beat profesional Soviets in skiing.
Today there is almost only skiers that do heavy endurance career very few runners. in 1970 10 fastest runners could avergage 13.40 now it is around 14.30. We only have Marius Bakken and Jim SvenÃ¸y. National records are:
100 m 10.08 Moen 96
200 m 20.17 Moen 96
400 m 46.11 Douglas 99
800 m 1:42.58 Rodal 96
1000 m 2:16.78 Rodal 96
1500 m 3:37.4 Kaupang 76
1 mile 3:56.2 Kvalheim 74
3000 m 7:40.77 Bakken 01
3000 m steeple 8:12.05 SvenÃ¸y 97
5000 m 13:06.39 Bakken 04
10000 m 27:32.52 Nakkim 90
halvmaraton 1:02:13 Kvernmo 87
Maraton 2:10:17 Kvernmo 88
This is not so bad but these are the outstaing. Somtimes we have 0 runners under 30min 10k and 2.20 marathon so there are very little "pool" to find future runners. But in the 70s/80s the numbers were 20-30
But with only 4.5 million people one should not complain but the attitudes of many youth today make it impossible to become athlets even if they are talented. Life now is easy and comfortable why suffer from 200k of running, are you mad. Only people with a passion run in Norway these days.
I should have an opportunity to go back to Japan in February so I'll check the book.
It's interesting to see Norwegian records. I see Kvalheim's record for the mile still stands since 1974. It is my observation, more or less my gut-feeling opinion than hard-fact statistics, that the country with middle distance records, particularly 1500/mile tend to do lots of killer intervals. Japan, for one, as much as their marathon runners run, seems to be in that trend; their middle distance runners don't cover as much distance as their long distance people and they tend to abuse intervals. I'm still planning on bringing Dr. Peter Snell to Japan for a middle distance clinic. That would be interesting...