Friday, December 23, 2005

Into the Warm Darkness

Warm and darkness together in a sentence in December usually means sleeping under the covers, but in Tucson it means running in short-sleeves and shorts at 5am. Apparently winter has been temporarily postponed, with daytime temperatures yesterday reaching into the 80's. You'll hear no complaints from me, especially after enjoying vicarious weather reports from Northern and Northeastern climes that are less-than-friendly.

I woke at 4, surprised that Finn hadn't gotten us up already. I guess I had enough sleep in me, so I got out nice and early for 10 miles before Finn's 6-month check up. The split-pea and sweet potato soup I had for dinner was not agreeing with me, and the legs were feeling a bit thick after all the hills in yesterday's run, so I just took it easy and enjoyed the weather and the silence. While I'm technically still in Lydiard's coordination phase for another week, the efforts lessen after the final time trial, which I did last Sunday. This was one of those runs where I almost felt guilty for not going harder, but aside from a few more time trials and some more sprint/floats, the hard work is done. Nobby Hashizume shared some of his insights into this period of training. "You've done all your training so don't try to prove to yourself one more time. Don't get in a trap of 'let's see, I wonder if this plant got root. I'll pull it out to see how the roots are growing.' It'll kill it." So today was about not un-doing anything I've done, and with Christmas coming Sunday I'm doing my last 22 miler tomorrow so I can run short and early on the 25th.

One early Christmas present I bought myself was an old, used copy of "Running the Lydiard Way", published in 1978. So far I really like it, as Lydiard shares his experiences and feelings about coaching in Finland, Venezuela, Germany and other countries, as well as his native New Zealand. It definitely gives more insight into Lydiard's character, and the determination, thirst for knowledge and humor he posessed. It makes me even more sorry that I never met the man. When I started a band years ago back when I was in high school, it was much the same with John Lennon. The Beatles were my musical foundation, and the enormity of Lennon's passing, which was lost on me at 9 years old, acutely struck me at age 16.

Nobby Hashizume, Lorraine Moller and the rest of Project Lydiard 21 will be doing a great deal to keep the legacy of Arthur Lydiard and his coaching methodology alive and well, and I for one look forward to witnessing their efforts in the coming year. I mentioned previously that their website, Five Circles would be relaunched before the end of the year with new information as well as videos of Lydiard's hill training. It looks like in order to effectively present all the material in the best way possible, it may take a little longer than planned. Be patient, I know it will be worth it.

Training: 10 miles, 1:13:55, 7:21 pace


Anonymous said...

I met Lydiard years ago during the running boom. He came out to California for a Runner's World event and spoke. My friend, Joe Henderson arranged an intro. It was strange. With all the people there and all that was going on, once he focused on you (in this case me) he really made me feel that I was the only person he was talking to.

I did a modified Lydiard in 1983 after a lousy late 1982. I ran 4 months of solid miles (70 mpw average) with time trials and then added hills for about a month. The difference may be in my approach to speed. Dropping my mileage by about 20% I did 4 weeks of speedwork and then dropped that too and had about the best 3-4 months of racing I ever had.

Scooter said...

This is the hard part, being diligent about NOT pushing it. Don't get sloppy! Have a great holiday!

PS - Like the old school graphic? I ran 3 yrs of HS in the lo-top version.