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RE: Dixon, JOHN Dixon
You got me curious too so I went over the articles about Noguchi's training. I guess I had some misinformation. I swear I thought I saw somewhere that she does not run as much as other Japanese marathon runners (somehow "800km a month" stuck to my memory...).
Two of the article (out of three) were written by coach Hirose who handled day-to-day coaching of Noguchi before Athens and 2:19 at Berlin. He says that she trained 900~1200km a month before Athens. One phrase he kept repeating was "Stamina = how much you have trained". I have heard a very similar phase like "Miles make champions."
Though she didn't do any particular type of hill exercise but what she did, and this I've seen many other Japanese runners do, was did lots of hilly course running as base building phase mainly in preparation for Athens course. Japanese use a term "building legs" or "strengtheing legs" for this period, pretty much equal to the Lydiard's marathon conditioning phase. They believe a big part of preparation to marathon depends on conditioning legs. This I found very similart to Lydiard's claim of "capillarization" of working muscles as well as hill training phase.
There are two other comments I found interesting: One was "speed in marathon depends on stamina (or endurance). If you can run a half marathon in 1:50 but can't complete the marathon under 4 hours, that's because you lack stamina, not speed." Another comment was "You need to perform certain amount of speed training and you need to develop adequate stamina in order to perform adequate amount of apeed training. And you need to have certain type of training as transition." As I mentioned in Kenyan's 800m training, I could not help but feel the very similarity to the Lydiard system.
By the way, when I asked Ms. Noguchi if she's heard of Arthur Lydiard, she said no. She didn't know who the heck Lydiard was. I commented eariler that I feel Lydiard is WAAAAAAY under-rated in this country. People always talk about it but never practice it. It is complete opposite in Japan. They don't know who the heck Arthur Lydiard is, but all they do is the Lydiardism. I will bet $1000, however, her coach, Mr. Fujita, knows who Lydiard is. When I got together with Ms. Hayakari, a 10th place finisher in women's steeplechase in Helsinki (9:40), she didn't know who Lydiard was either. I gave her the autographed picture of Lydiard. She sent me an e-mail later, saying her coach could NOT believe it's the actual autographed picture of Lydiard himself and took it from her and framed it.
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