Friday, September 23, 2005

Listen to the master...or not

Photo of Arthur Lydiard courtesy of

Monday 10 miles (15km) at 1/2 effort over undulating course
Tuesday 15 miles (25km) at 1/4 effort over reasonably flat
Wednesday 12 miles (20km) at 1/2 effort over hilly course
Thursday 18 miles (30km) at 1/4 effort over reasonably flat
Friday 10 miles (15km) at 3/4 effort over flat course
Saturday 22 miles (35km) at 1/4 effort over reasonably flat
Sunday 15 miles (25km) at 1/4 effort over any type terrain

This is supposed to be my schedule, or as close as I can get. 10-12 weeks or as long as possible. Lydiard also advises a second easy run whenever possible. There's a nice article here where Jonathan Beverly, editor-in-chief of Running Times interviews Arthur Lydiard some months before he died. He asks Lydiard what he would suggest for a 40 mile-per-week club runner doing anaerobic (at or near race effort) work each week. Here's a brief excerpt-

Lydiard: "First thing: No. No. Never do anaerobic work in conditioning. Never. Ever. That’s one of the first things: You don’t do it. Don’t even try. Don’t even run fast to the finish. That’s the one thing you’ve got to learn."

Beverly:"For how long?"

Lydiard:"At least 12 weeks. . . . The whole program takes six months."

I mentioned a few days back that I'm trying my best to do the training as prescribed, but I'm definitely breaking the rules by throwing in a few races during the base period. This weekend is a great 8K race called the Jim Click Run'n'Roll, and it gives out $100 footwear gift certificates (which I could really use after $400 in car repairs and paying for a birthday party for a 3-year-old).

Am I laughing in the face of the master? No way, but this is part of the Desert Grand Prix I'm trying to win to hopefully get more shoes (shoes are like currency to me, at 100 miles a week a $90 pair of shoes lasts a little over a month). There are some great runners in my age group, and I will have to have a fantastic race to have a chance at the shoe loot.

My training this week almost mirrors last week, since that week ended with a good racing result. Here's a snapshot-
Monday 22 steady
Tuesday 12 easy
Wednesday a.m. 18 steady, p.m. 8 moderate
Thursday a.m. 6 easy, p.m. 4 easy
Friday 8 steady
Saturday 8 steady
Sunday 8K race+9 warmup/cooldown (edit, only did 9 total)
Total: 100 (edit, only managed 95)

I call it my "faux+taper", because I try to keep the mileage up, but I stack 60 during the first three days of the week to give me some time to recover before the race. Aside from the blasphemy of including a race this week, my schedule is fairly close. If I could get to 100 in singles I would, maybe I'll get down to only one "double" next week.

To end on an amusing note, after coming home yesterday and putting down a bag of what looked like coffee, my 3-year-old daughter says "Oh thank you daddy bear, that's my favorite coffee!" I have no idea where she gets this.

Training: 8 miles, 7:20 pace. Started slow, had to stop and pull some cholla cactus out of my foot on a trail section (it's getting light a bit later now). Nice sunrise though, and breakfast out with the family.

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