Tuesday, October 11, 2005

If anyone out there needs some motivation...

I've been saving this post for the start of my hill phase, because just writing this gives me such a motivational boost. If there was any doubt in my mind that the Lydiard method of training was worth a try it was erased by this fantastic article that appears in the October issue of Running Times. If you're still reading, I urge you to click the link to the article, go for a run, then read the rest of this. I also added it to the sidebar links.

Lorraine Moller, born in New Zealand, made her marathon debut in 1979 and won her first eight races at the distance. She raced in the first four olympic marathons for women, beginning in 1984. She coaches a group of runners in Boulder, Colorado she dubs the "Wings of Mercury" with a motivational focus that gives me shivers.

Moller's success and her coaching methods are deeply rooted in Arthur Lydiard's philosophy that "everything is important", that is training all the body's systems, including the mind. In the article she says, "Your speed is only as good as your endurance". She emphasizes building a large aerobic base before beginning anaerobic training, and employs hill training before moving to anaerobic work. She mentions that doing interval training too early is "like putting fast wheels on a Volkswagon. Youi're better off with slow tires on a Mercedes. With the Lydiard system you can have both."

My favorite part of the article is Moller's description of the success she believes is possible for her athletes, once they do the work and open their minds to break down the mental barriers of what is and is not possible. She says of the system, "When you see runners take minutes off their time, learn to take the brakes off and pace themselves, when (they) achieve results, more than they could have hoped for, they're forever changed. That's an empowering experience. We are all affected." She also talks about dealing with injuries and setbacks, things all runners eventually come face to face with, and her views are encouraging. "Once you've done a lot of running, you can tap into it. The body is a memory bank where records of our entire lives are stored."

Since first investigating the Lydiard method and reading "Running to the Top", I've read and/or communicated with many great people with knowledge of his methods. It's hard to explain, but instead of just re-examining my training, I find myself thinking about other areas of my life as well.

Training: 8 miles, extremely easy after yesterday's effort and tomorrow's hills


D said...

Thanks for the info. I am printing an article on Lydiard as I type this so I can familiarize myself w/his teachings.

Zeke said...

Yeah Mike, great article. Do you know who coached Moller? Ron Daws!

From "Running Your Best"...

"When I helped Lorraine get ready for her first competitive marathon, she was so used to sharpening for track races she had trouble accepting that besides track-type work, sharpening also included tough three-hour runs and sustained efforts between 12 and 15 miles. Rather than cut most of the distance work, marathoners extend and intensify it while also building speed."