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RE: More Worms please.

I’m glad you didn’t act like a typical letsrun readers or posters to my cocky comment! By the way, I'm happily married. Seriously, I really appreciate it and I actually did mean all those questions that I threw at ya.

I think basically Lydiard called his own training program “balanced” with more emphasis on aerobic vs. anaerobic instead of…you guessed it, multi-paced. I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that I think the Lydiard program is THE most complete and comprehensive training program—it’s got EVERYTHING in the correct order; IF you fully understand what they were doing. He would say, run 100 miles a week at aerobic pace. People argue that it’s not good because all you’d do is slow running. It’s not so.

As mentioned over and over here as well as other places; they weren’t just jogging. They run some of the runs quite fast. Also they did some fartlek. They also ran lots of cross country over very rugged area. Then they ran LOTS of hills during the conditioning phase—out of necessity living in New Zealand. So if it’s not multi-paced, it certainly was multi stimulus training. Then when they start out track workout, you, in general, start out with longer, slower pace (as described as 3k pace in Skuj’s program, though not necessarily at this rate) then move on to shorter distance at faster pace (as described as 800m pace in Skuj’s program, though not necessarily at this rate). And, while not necessarily the intensity, but certainly the speed of workout intensify right up to the target competition, just as described in Skuj’s program.

However, while Lydiard’s runners did run over 2-hour even a few weeks before targeted competition, the effort is much easier—all the hard aerobic running at strong effort were done months prior to it so as to ease the stress on your body (not putting both “speed” stress as well as “endurance” stress).

One argument here is that you said that you’re getting “your mind into 800m race” with the type of training that you’re dong now. Here’s the thing; many people complain about the Lydiard program because they’d have to do “nothing but lots of mileage for 3 months and you might burn out psychologically.” Well, the actual fact is that you have higher likelihood of burning out doing prolonged anaerobic training and, according to your schedule, you’d be “getting your mind into 800m race” for 4 months! That’s a hell of a long time to be thinking about the fast running and actually performing it—particularly IF you haven’t gotten a very strong solid aerobic base (a kind of ability you would develop by doing lots of mileage).

One other thing is that people always seem to talk about Lydiard’s block approach but he ALWAYS stressed a smooth transition from one phase to the next by gradually introducing a similar exercise into your program; a most significant one is hill training but even from conditioning to hill training, he had talked about slowly introduce a similar type of stress into your program. Anybody who thinks his approach is an angular block-like program is someone who took it way too literally and has never actually practiced it in real life situation—or, in other words, not using what you got between your ears or something called “common sense.”

Oh, by the way, what you had described as your weekly program looks awfully like Lydiard’s non-race week schedule…

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