Wednesday, September 21, 2005


We all have to make them from time to time. There will always be scheduling conflicts, unexpected occurences, and sometimes a lack of motivation during any program. If I were to do the Lydiard method to perfection, I would be running 100 miles a week in a total of seven runs at a strong aerobic pace. I would also be doing extra second runs during some days at a slow pace, but these would not count towards the 100 mile goal. The "single" runs would be at least two hours one day, and at least 90 minutes on two days.

Here are my concessions to the schedule-
1. I count my second runs in my mileage total, so I usually have a total of 9 runs for the week that get me to my 100 miles.
2. I run about every second day at an easier pace, otherwise my body tends to break down. Lydiard himself wrote that if you feel sore or broken down, it's ok to back off and run slow. I use that to justify it. He wrote that running slower will still have an aerobic benefit, but it take longer to maximize it.
3. I sometimes don't make it to 100. My last 6 weeks were 100, 101, 95, 78, 100 and 96 miles. The week of the 78 I was tapering for a hard race, which leads me to number 4.
4. Lydiard stresses that you should never run above your lactate threshold during your base phase (first 10-12 weeks). Sorry Arthur, but I have three races during the base phase, and I have to break your rule here.

In reading posts on from people who knew Lydiard well, they acknowledge that Lydiard was willing to adapt his system to work with athletes in a variety of situations. Some just couldn't get to 100 miles a week, others had illnesses or other circumstances. In each case Lydiard made the best of the situation and brought out the best in his runners.

I know, it sounds like I'm ready to drink the kool-aid here, but I believe in order to succeed with a system you need to have confidence in it and understand the "why" of every workout. I felt like grim death for the last four miles of my 18 miler today, but the purpose of the run was to deplete my glycogen stores and teach my body to use fat more effectively as a fuel as a run progresses (a gel sure would have helped though).

When I'm mixing my gatorade after, my 3 year old comes up to me and says "Are you having your special running drink?" She helps me stir/spill it, and after listening to what she's been up to while I've been running I sometimes wonder if being gone so long on some of these runs is worth it.

Training: 18 miles at 7:12 pace. Went out strong, suffered the last four,
p.m. 8 miles at 6:45 pace with The Running Shop gang


Andrew said...


Thanks for the post on my blog. You got me thinking of Lydiard again. Your pace is faster than mine, but I think I could learn a lot from your Lydiard program. You're idea about no watch is scary... I'd probably forget to come back to the house and go to work! Anyway, I've read all of your posts (congrats on the win!) and you've got a good way of explaining out the Lydiard plan and how it feels at 100. When I was there once or twice, the 18 milers on Thurs. just about killed me. Nevertheless, after reading Lydiard's book and a similar post by Renato Cadova (sp?) on I still want to give this program a try. Like you said, now that I'm in my 30's I want to give it all I have. Thanks for the re-motivation. If you read my blog you'll see I'm always in need of some encouragement! ha ha. -Andy

Mike said...

Thanks for the kind words Andy, I even figured out how to add a blog link section so I could add yours. Good luck with the training, I'll keep checking in with your blog to see how you're doing.