In Nobby Hashizume

Happy New Year to everybody! My new-year resolution is to write blogs for Lydiard Foundation website more frequently and periodically!! ;o) We shall see…  2017 marks “100-year anniversary of Arthur Lydiard’s birth”.  We are determined to make a clear mark this year as Lydiard Foundation.

We came back from our annual ski vacation in Breckenridge, CO, to frigid north of Minnesota; this was the first year, after my starting out relatively late age (28-year-old), that I actually really enjoyed skiing, even moguls!! I couldn’t help but think what Arthur Lydiard used to always say – never too late to learn!! ;o) But at the same time, I might have over-did it and hurt my right quads.

Toshinari Takaoka, a 2:06:16 marathon runner, winning 2005 Tokyo Marathon

Last month, I was asked by a Japanese running magazine, Courir, as one of 5 coaches in Japan, including Eriko Asai, a 1988 Olympic marathon representative for Japan, whose late coach, the late Isao Sasaki, was known as a guru of Long Slow Distance in Japan, to write about Long Slow Distance training. Do you do LSD training? How often do you do it? Why do you think it is effective? Courir’s chief editor, Higuchi-san, got it right; he put down for my caption as: “You cannot substitute short-fast run with long-slow run. There are certain development(s) you can only achieve by going easy and – because of that you can go – long.” Now with my quad injured, I can really only go (very!) easy; unfortunately not long, but very easy. This is fine too especially now that it’s about…1 degree F with frozen ground!! It is actually tranquilizing to run nice and easily through semi-dark frozen trail. Gives me a lot of time to think – I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have been discussing quite a bit with the second fastest non-African marathon runner in history, Japan’s Toshinari Takaoka (I will cover that in my later blogs!!).

Aoyama-gakuin University team and their coach, Susumu Hara, celebrating their 3rd Hakone Ekiden victory with the team

New Year’s first couple of days are always very busy in Japan in the distance running scene – January 1st was All-Japan Men’s Corporate Team Championship (Toshi’s team, Kanebo, unfortunately didn’t do as well after finishing 2nd in the East Japan preliminary competition earlier) followed by famous 2-day Hakone Collegiate Championships. The winning team, Aoyama-gakuin University, is one of the hottest collegiate team in Japan right now. There had been several books written on the head-coach, Susumu Hara’s coaching philosophy. There had been a DVD with their core-strengthening training routine. Yesterday, I saw a tweet that reads: “Aoyama-gakuen University team does Tabata-sprint workout!!” Something American runners would LOVE to see!! ;o) “You see, a problem is…,” I said to a friend who forwarded it to me, “is it only one part of a whole training program.” As a matter of fact, Toshi sent me one of these books because, he said, he found that, in it, Coach Hara mentioned that his basic training principle is “Lydiard”. Of course, you need EVERYTHING. You need long easy running. You also need short, fast sprinting like Tabata sprints, which Lydiard was doing back in 1950s in a form of 50/50. You need all that. The key is; to get all types of training in the correct timing and sequence so you can peak on the day – THAT is Lydiard.

It is “stingingly” cold out there!! Maybe I should write about winter running next… ;o)

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