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Oh jees:

Completely agree with your comment on discipline. When things are tough (i.e.; injured), it is easier to be disciplined because we are desperate. But “discipline” is more often than not needed when things are going well. You are lucky to be directly coached by Dr. Daniels. It is from actual conversation or one-on-one interaction that you learn 100 times more than just reading books. Again, I have tremendous admiration for Dr. Daniels and his accomplishment and contribution to the sport. When I visited Jeff Johnson, I remember his desk was full of charts and formulas from Dr. Daniels program. I respect Jeff that much to trust his judgment as well! Also right on about Lopes as well. The word to describe the man was “control.”

I would, however, like to clarify one “misleading” comment that has always come up ever since the Lydiard program had arrived this country. When comparing the Lydiard program with any other program that emphasize more on speed, intervals, or any other form of shorter faster training; too many people classify “Lydiard (=quantity) vs. Quality”. This is VERY wrong. Lydiard was always annoyed that people labeled him as a “100-mile-a-week” man. It is, as HRE pointed out (“miles make champions”), an integral part of the Lydiard program but it still is only a part of a whole program. It involves a lot of hard quality work such as repetitions (his runners were doing 20×400 in 60 seconds on grass track) or, one of the topics of this thread, 50/50 sharpeners. Many runners and coaches today consider Lydiard’s original hill training “too demanding (too much quality?)” and inviting injuries and completely omit it. What enabled Arthur’s runners to be able to handle such high quality workouts is his marathon conditioning. It was a lot of running and it was a lot of high level aerobic running as well for a long period of time (approximately 3 months). But they didn’t stay there forever. In fact, Lydiard was against doing too much conditioning. When he had a clinic tour in Japan in 1991, he criticized Japanese to be doing too much conditioning and not enough speed, or technique, work.

I think, and it’s because I was one of those people as well, way too many people consider Lydiard JUST as a “100-mile-a-week” man and don’t complete the entire program and label it a failure. I have seen it many many times; runners try to run 100 miles a week for months and years and never got anywhere; so they started doing some intervals or some quality training and BOOM, they improve so much. “Ah, the key to improvement is high quality intervals; not those stupid long slow distance!” Well, how can we say that all those months and years of long slow distance actually provided them adequate aerobic base to handle those interval training? Lydiard has stated many many times; that “the purpose of his marathon conditioning phase is to enable the athlete to perform more race-simulating workouts.” One will not make you a complete athlete without the other. To me, the difference between the Lydiard program and many others is the former “develops” athletes so they can handle those tough workouts. If you grab someone who’s been running nothing but many slow miles for a few years, it is relatively easy to sharpen him/her to run fast. But where will he/she be in two years? I can name several coaches in college or high school whose runners perform really well under them but I’m more interested in where they will be in 4 or 5 or 6 years later. I actually trained under one of those coaches before. I got injured in less than two months. Everybody on the team was saying that “those who survive his training would do very well; but for every one good runner, there always had been 5 or 6 quitting due to injuries or burnt-out.” I don’t care how much you improve in a short-term; I will not call such program a good training program. I am NOT calling the Daniels formula as such. I’m merely suggesting that you’d have to be careful how you analyze effective training program.

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