FAQ

Find Answers to Many of Your Questions

How is Lydiard Training different from other systems of endurance training?

Lydiard is a training developmental system that consists of a series of phases, each emphasizing a specific development and ordered so that the phases build on the development preceding it. This structure is the Lydiard Pyramid, that essentially starts with the slower paces and builds aerobic mileage first and then trades off mileage for intensity as the athlete progresses up the pyramid. The goal is to precipitate a peak performance on the date of the goal race. This phasing was the basis of what exercise physiologists later termed “periodization.”

How true do you keep to the original training methods of Arthur Lydiard?

One of the aims of Lydiard Foundation is to preserve the integrity of Lydiard Training as Lydiard himself taught it. Lydiard training evolved over his 60 years of coaching, through trial and error. We have remained true to the structure and intent of the training.

I’m a social runner who enjoys racing. Training without racing isn’t an option. Does that mean Lydiard training is out for me?

Many runners just want to race every week and are not prepared to take the time to build a base. Lydiard training can be adapted to such runners by substituting some workouts for low-level races. However if you cannot sacrifice a few races for the long-term effects and run for instant gratification then the investment of a long-term approach to raise your game to a new level Lydiard training is probably not for you.

Don’t I have to train fast to get fast?

Ultimately yes. But if you go slower in the beginning of the pyramid you set yourself up to go much faster when it comes to race time.

What happened to the mandates of 100 miles a week, seven days a week?

Originally Lydiard training was geared towards Lydiard’s runners who were all Olympic and National class runners. One hundred miles a week and 7 days a week training were the commitments they made to their training to become the best they could be. When Lydiard brought the training to cardiac patients and started the first jogging program he set high standards that were within their capabilities. This is the hallmark of a great coach – one who can personalize the program to the needs of the athlete. Lydiard advocated effective training, not a set of rules.

What if I just want to run recreationally and don’t care too much pushing for that PR. Wouldn’t Lydiard training be a waste of my time?

While Lydiard training is recognized as a  performance training system it works because it is the most effective way to get the body efficient as a fat-burning and oxygen-utilizing engine, reducing your risk of injury and/or burn-out. Recreational runners benefit from these developments as much as the competitive runner. If you are going to spend time training isn’t it worth getting the optimal benefits from your time spent?

This training is way too slow from the very start? How can I run a marathon if I don’t train at my marathon race pace?

This is one of the biggest questions we get from those new to the training. They need reminding that the first development is endurance and has nothing to do with final race time. The goal in Phase One is to get used to “time on your feet” for building mitochondria on your slow twitch muscle fibers, and to stimulate other circulatory and muscular-skeletal infrastructures. As you progress up the pyramid increasingly simulate race pace.  Many people find that by switching to Lydiard training that their race pace is actually much quicker than they thought they were capable of and make a quantum leap in performance.

Why should a track runner or even a 10k runner do long runs?

Running for longer than 2 minutes is primarily an aerobic event. The greater your aerobic capacity the faster the pace you can sustain on race day. There are significant contributing aerobic developments that take place in the 2 to 2.5 hours range.

A marathon jogger with longest run is 14 miles, how can I go to the start line without the confidence of my 3 X 20 mile runs?

Develop confidence in training that is physiologically contributing to your final performance. What use is the confidence that you can run 20 miles if the training leaves you in an under-recovered and depleted state for your race? This happens to many joggers who push to make the distance, go past the point of diminishing returns with runs that are too long, and go to the start line of the race with ‘dead legs’.

Is there speed work in Lydiard training or is it all Long Slow Distance?

One of the popular misconceptions is that Lydiard is Long Slow Distance training. This is incorrect. Lydiard is holistic training: over a period of 3-6 months it covers ALL training types and combines them in a synergistic and progressive way so that you can achieve a performance peak on your chosen race day. There is a huge variety in the five phases and within a training week so that the training is fun and exciting and keeps you from falling into a training rut  or a racing plateau that is so common with unstructured training plans.

I hate the track. Can I avoid track-work with Lydiard training?

Yes, Lydiard training can be effectively performed on any terrain with workouts based on time and effort . For many ’A’-type  runners, taking the distance factor out of the equation is preferable as it reduces their stress level and enables them to relax and avoid racing their training.

Can beginners train Lydiard?

Yes! Start training correctly with Lydiard. This is a lifestyle training plan that offers PR’s year after year without wearing your body down. Training that starts with an aerobic base is health-promoting and enables the athlete to perform and recover from much more specific and faster training later on.

Who teaches the courses?

Presently we have two instructors, Lorraine Moller and Nobby Hashizume, who have been teaching this course since 2008.  Depending on availability and class size you may have both or one of the instructors.  Lorraine has taught this course singly in New Zealand and England and Nobby has conducted classes in Japan and Canada. Most often both enjoy co-teaching the courses.

Is this modified Lydiard or true to the original teachings of Lydiard?

Both Nobby and Lorraine are disciples of Lydiard himself and came under his direct guidance. We believe this is a true and accurate rendering of Lydiard Training.  Most of the schedule structures are directly from Lydiard’s books. Remember that the Lydiard system evolved over  60 years of experimentation and refining by Arthur himself and so the terminology and plans did change over the years, but the principles have  always remained the same.  The basis of Lydiard Foundation’s courses has remained constant and is represented in the Principles, Structure  and Application as we teach them. Any modifications that we have made are always within the parameters of the original teachings.

What is the alumni option?

We reserve limited spaces in our classes for returning participants for just $125. Many returning attendees have taken in so much more information the second and third times around.  Alumni are asked to bring their own manual and updates will be provided.

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