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RE: Effort and Pace
I was asked by a group called Japan Running Academy to write a tribute to Arthur Lydiard for their biannual publication. Others included people like Kenji Kimihara, a 1966 Boston marathon champion, and Morio Shigematsu, the former world record holder in the marathon in 1965 (breaking Abebe’s record) so it’s a tremendous honor to be a part of this. Another contributor is Mifuyu Komatsu who translated “Running with Lydiard” in Japanese in 1992. She just sent me her draft and I’d like to share a part of her piece:

“…all this time, I’ve been thinking the Lydiard method is for elite runners, not for middle-of-packers like me (she’s a 2:45 marathon runner). So I always looked for some “how-to” sample schedule or copy of some other people’s schedule, picking pieces here and there. My eye-opener came when I visited New Zealand and met with this 70-year-old gentleman. He started running when he was 60 and was actually competing for time in the masters competitions. He handed me a book called “Running with Lydiard” and said, “This is my bible.”

A few days later, I had an opportunity to actually attend one of Lydiard’s clinics at local high school. He preached the importance of understanding the principle of training program, “whys” of each and every day’s training. It made me realize how superficial my understanding of training was. You need to understand the fundamentals of training; that’s the only way to actually “apply” the program to your own needs and situation. Overnight, I became aware that I was only chasing quick-fix formulas.

…I trained under former athlete of Lydiard for 12 months. First thing I learnt from him was; what Lydiard meant by “train by how you feel.” Whenever we went for a run, he always told me to “run comfortably” or “relax but push yourself just a little bit” etc. Everything was bogus. I was almost lost at first because up until then, all my training was done by minutes-per-kilometer style. Upon my question, he replied; “You need to control your training, not training schedule controlling you. Your biorhythm changes everyday. There’s no way you can predetermine how fast you should train.”

…as I realized how much more fun it is to just go out and train as I felt like; how much more fun it is to “feel” my running by heart, not by my head; and how much more exciting it is to participate races with such in-tuned state of mind; then I realized that the Lydiard method is such a creative act of freeing your mind from big-headed number games…”

Her article was concluded with comments from Lorraine Moller: “…even though Lydiard himself has put down certain numbers such as 100 miles a week, the most important thing is not to follow the numbers, but how your body’s reacting to certain training. I always tell people to sharpen your “Inner Coach”. You need to develop the ability to understand how your body is reacting, what your body is requesting as the next step, etc. If you sharpen your “Inner Coach”, and understand the principle of the Lydiard method, you’ll eventually understand the pattern that suits you best.”

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