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Was Arthur Lydiard the best running coach ever?

Arthur Lydiard was really a very significant distance running coach from New Zealand and his legacy has gotten major impact on the training of athletes now. Lydiard has become recognized for making running or jogging popular during the later 1960's and early 70's. Some have implied that Arthur Lydiard actually created jogging. Lydiard coached numerous Olympic Games medallists from NZ in the 60's (Peter Snell, Barry Magee and Murray Halberg) and had a substantial impact through some other coaches on various other prominent NZ runners for example John Walker who became the first person to run more than 100 sub-4 minute miles and also run a mile faster than 3 minutes and 50 second. Arthur Lydiard was born 6 July 1917 and passed on on 11 December 2004 at the age 87. Lydiard has had been given numerous accolades in his own New Zealand as well as in Finland where his coaching had been the reason for an upsurge of Finnish distance running during the early 70's. The periodical, Runners World called Lydiard as their coach of the century as part of their millennium edition. As an athlete himself, Lydiard competed in the marathon at the 1950 British Empire Games, completing thirteenth having a time of 2hr and 54m. His influence on athletics has become enormous and way over and above his own achievements as an athlete himself.

As for Arthur Lydiard’s training doctrine, he believed in separating the year into different running periods or phases. The foundation or background phase was the endurance period which was comprised of at least 10 weeks of highest miles which the athlete is able to do in order to increase their aerobic foundation or background. This is how his common 100 miles every week originated from since he considered that to be the most effective. Lydiard suggested for your longer runs would be close to 20 miles. Most of these distances are run at a speed which was just below the anaerobic tolerance and is kept as a steady aerobic pace. The goal is to develop the largest endurance foundation practical for the next phases. The subsequent phase was the uphill running phase which will largely include things like uphill bounding or springing exercises to create strength within the legs that has been normally done three times a week. Some endurance aerobic work is still carried out throughout this stage which may last for about four or so weeks. The next 4 or so week period was called the sharpening or speed phase where some anaerobic interval and speed work training is completed so the runner can run faster. After that four week interval, the tough training is backed off and the focus will be on keeping sharp and healthy for racing.

Many think about it doubtful that any coach will ever have more effect on the coaching programs of endurance athletes than him. The blueprint which he evolved transformed middle and long distance training for the purpose of the level of work he assumed an athlete must be doing. The programs was made up of plenty of working hard. The majority of coaching methods utilized by athletes today will find their roots back to that which was advocated by Lydiard.