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RE: A Lydiard Thread
Evaluation: Weakness in Lydiard System
Source Kenneth Doherty Track & Field movies on paper 2nd ed. 1967
Apologies for any typos in advance and don't mean to take this thread in another direction.
I must confess that though I tried- and - tried hard I can suggest no important weaknesses in the Lydiard system as used in NZ. Of course it will be improved in its details, and Lydiard will uncdoubtedly be the first to do so. But basically it seems to have everything.
But unfortunately it does present difficulties, if not weaknesses, in its application to the American school-college program. Coaches are under pressure to win team victories, and such an emphasis is often opposed to individual development School boys tend to judge their coach and system- as well as their personal success-on the basis of immmediate results this year, this month, and even this week, rather than on gradual development toward some greater but doubtful goal far over the horizonand some ten years away.
Lydiard's system uses about six months of training with only minor competition prior to the track season: we now use only a few weeks. His sytem requires 52 weeks of some kind of running each year: our American school program, only about 40. His system calls for at least six different kinds of terrain and methods of running: ours only two or three_ and in most cities, only one! The relative disinterest of the NZ public allows Lydiard to evaluate the win -loss record of his team as his judgement may decide: ours tends to encourage individual development of course, but only as long as the team wins.
Despite these and other differences, Lydiard's system can be of great help in our efforts to improve American running.Adopting its basic tenets will not require us to begin over again. We shall not need to abandon either fartlek or interval training. Actually, Lydiard uses his own versions of both, though he seldom uses the terms as such, Both havet their special values. But the clarity with which Lydiard has presented the major goals for training and the step by step methods by which those goals can be achieved provides us with a fresh and better way than we have ever had before.

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