I just came back from Japan a month ago. I conducted the first ever Lydiard Coaching Certificate Clinic in Japan. We only had a month to prepare. Basically, I forced to have it against many people suggesting not to. “This is ‘Lydiard’”, one of the guys said; “you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself getting only a couple of people!!” We received 4 registrations on the first day and ended up getting 18 people.
I really wanted to bring in some hard-core coaches – like a professional corporate team coach. I talked to Toshi Takaoka, now the head coach at Kanebo running team. “I don’t think we can commit 3days…,” he declined, though I knew he was very keen on attending. “Do you think you can condense it to 2-hours?” Well, our course is 20-hours!! ;o) “Then I’ll ask around among corporate and college team coaches…”
I didn’t hear back from him until about 10-days before I was to depart. It turned out; we had a group of 40-people (!) with 7 of them having represented Japan in either Olympics or World Championships competition!! We had two of the country’s 3 sub-2:07 marathon runners in history in the same room!! One of the running enthusiasts I talked to almost fell out of the chair when I showed her the list. One of the first e-mail (inquiries) I have received after the clinic was from Takayuki Inubishi, Japan’s first 2:06 runner.
Now, I’m back in MN, checking out blogs of people who had attended the Certificate Clinic. It is, as Arthur would have said, very “gratifying”. One guy traveled a long way (5-hour bullet train ride) and stayed at Japan’s infamous “capsule hotel” to attend the clinic. “I have been studying the Lydiard method for the past 5 years ever since I’ve read ‘Lydiard’s Running Bible’ (=Japanese translation of “Running the Lydiard Way”),” he said; “but this was an eye-opening experience!”
The Lydiard’s Legacy lives on strong in the Far East. Regardless of the level, we had anybody from a hobby jogger to a 2:20 marathon runner in our Certificate Clinic, and, of course, country’s top runners and coaches coming to our short-version clinic (I counted at least a dozen sub-2:10 runners in there!!) organized by the Asian marathon record holder, the second fastest non-African in history. Lorraine and I had been chugging along with this Lydiard Coaching Certificate Clinic for the past 5 years.
It has been very rewarding to say the least. Coupled with our on-line training program, Running Wizard, we had devoted ourselves to the mission to convey Lydiard’s message throughout the world. Just a few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Arthur’s home land, New Zealand. It reads: “Hi Nobby. Just a short note to say thanks for this (Running Wizard). You probably do not remember but about eight years ago you sent me an email with excellent advice about base training, which helped me a great deal. I have found this programme to be excellent and have discovered many things I was doing wrong previously. Mostly not understanding the purpose of every work out. Well, have a great day. Mark”
One of my favorite Arthur’s stories is: I spent a year in New Zealand under his care. At that point, the country of New Zealand wouldn’t issue a visa, as a tourist, to stay in the country for more than 6 months. Arthur wrote a letter to New Zealand Counsel General in Japan, that I would be under his care and that he would be responsible of me. This particular day, he and I went for a run around Manurewa bush track. It was pretty hot and we both ran shirtless. As we came back (at Arthur’s old house in Manurewa) and we both sat on the front step. “For everything you’ve done, Arthur,” I said to him, “I don’t know how to thank you enough.” If you knew him, you’d understand what I mean about his tone!! “You CAN’T!” he said!! “But do the same to others.”
On Arthur’s birthday, I feel good that we ARE in fact doing the right things to help others to understand his message. Arthur would have been, well, “gratified”!!