Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I wanted to sleep in again today, but I managed to roll out of bed for an easy 6 miles. Surprisingly, my legs felt better than yesterday morning. I thought for sure with last night’s hills and quick pace that I’d be hurting.

Since I don’t have much else to say about my running I thought I’d post some Lydiard info regarding developing speed. I’ve seen some recent blog entries and an article in a local running magazine that mentions doing intervals to gain speed.

From Daws’s Running Your Best
Lydiard’s rationale was that runners do not primarily lack speed. Even average runners can run a 440 in 60 seconds, four-minute mile pace. Besides, speed and the ability to run while in oxygen debt can be developed in 4-5 weeks, so why waste a lot of time running intervals and speed work when performance is governed by aerobic capacity.

Because Lydiard’s athletes did lots of running, they developed such very fine endurance and high aerobic levels that once they started intervals, they cold do more volume, faster than anyone else at that time.

Lydiard’s program, essentially, is the creation of stamina as the foundation of speed.

Every once in awhile I like to read through some “old school” post that I saved over the years. Below is a post that Tom Fleming left on last year.
OK I found my 1975 training book: a little bit dusty...started the year off pretty crappy. w swollen Achilles tendon...but still had a 125 mile week...was able to get back up to 140 miles the next week with a 3 mile indoor track race at 168th Armory (no mondo, no banked turns…just flat wood) and ran a 13:54 for "some speed work." My feeling was that it's all about buildup of mileage...tons of it…build it up and get as strong as possible in the months of Jan and Feb...weeks 4 - 9 @140 mpw, weeks 10-14...156-157-152-166 and then down to 100 mpw and back down for a taper 11/2 weeks. Over 2300 miles for the year already...most training sessions were at 6:10 and faster...finishing off most runs below 5:15 pace! I didn't race a lot. I trained with focus, great passion and desire! Boston marathon is what I lived for. The NYC marathon meant nothing to me at all!

Favorite training session found here:
AM steady paced 14 mile run (6:15 pace) around the cedar grove reservoir PM 10 mile run w 2x1mile "pickup" en route (4:43 mile pace out at mile 3 1/2 and 4:39 mile pace back at mile 7 1/2).
Later, TF

Good stuff. I guess my suggestion is that we all need to analyze our training/racing schedule and determine if it's really best to hit the track just yet to build speed or if we should build up mileage and get as strong as possible.


Yvonne said...

"Even average runners can run a 440 in 60 seconds"


It's all a matter of definitions I guess ;)

D said...

Thanks for the informative post!

No, I haven't done GMa's marathon but have running buds that have. I've heard great things about it!

seebo said...

I'm with you and staying off that track for now. Good stuff.

Thomas said...

I just realised I'm a well below average runner.

E-Speed said...

60 second 440s...whwhwhat? I think at an all out sprint when I am in peak shape my best is like 78 seconds.

i do agree that the stamina base is v. important though.