Friday, October 21, 2005

No need for numbers

I've written on "numbers" in training programs before. They are comforting, and to some degree they serve as a concrete signpost from which to plot our course of navigation. A few days back in my What the Lydiard Method is...and isn't post I wrote about my realization that the schedules I've been following are merely guidelines, or a starting point. Nobby Hashizume, when asked why Lydiard even bothered with printing schedules if he didn't expect people to follow them religiously has basically said that coaches have to put schedules in their books, it's what everyone wants. Nobby furthered his point to perfection in the infamous Lydiard/Daniels thread on Letsrun.com with this comment-

One of the problems is that people look at numbers waaaaaaaaay too much. Forget 100 miles; forget 10 weeks; forget 4 or 6 weeks (hill); forget 20X400 or 18X400 or whatever. Lydiard laid out numbers for general audience as a guide. We still have to use what we've got between our ears. Lorraine (Moller) and I have been working on Part II of the Lydiard presentation; "Applicaton of the Lydiard Program". In it, we termed "Bare Bone of the Lydiard System"; which is basically the principle of the program without numbers. Think of what we need to develop first, second, third and so on. Think of how we can achieve it, not by number, but by "reasons". Once you understand that, applying the Lydiard program to the US high school/college system is no problem.

If you're following my blog, you are probably as excited as I am to hear about all the work Nobby, Lorraine and others are putting together for the Lydiard Foundation and Five Circles. It sounds like they are putting together a great presentation, and the website will become our "one-stop Lydiard shop". Of all the training systems I have read about, I think Lydiard's is the most often misinterpreted, so their work will go a long way towards reversing that trend.

I'm still following the schedule from "Running to the Top" pretty closely at this point, but I am doing slightly longer runs in-between the hill days because I'm used to it from the conditioning phase. Thomas was surprised I characterized yesterday's 18 miler as a "recovery" run, and he might be right. Still, if I'm running about 95 miles this week, and 18 mile run is just a little over 18% of my mileage, and the intensity is definitely lower than the three hill circuits (though Nobby and Glenn have mentioned I should perhaps be a little less focused on pace). I like having two days with over 2 hours of running, it makes the 80-90 minute hill days seem a little less imposing. Strange logic, I must admit.

Training: 10 miles, 1:24:49, 8:29 pace. 4 hill circuits at about 13 minutes each, all with 3 windsprints, followed by a nice morning at the park with Haiden. Almost fell asleep on a park bench as Finn woke me up for a feeding at 3:45am!

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