Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lydiard training is about to get easier...

Well, sort of. This press release just in from Nobby Hashizume, courtesy of the Lydiard/Daniels thread on letsrun.

"Lorraine Moller of New Zealand, the bronze medallist from 1992 Barcelona Olympic woman’s marathon, and Nobby Hashizume, a former professional Japanese corporate running team coach and the last partner to Arthur Lydiard, announced Friday (12/9/2005) in Houston, TX, their intention of moving forward with establishment of the Lydiard Foundation USA. It was almost exactly a year ago at Houston’s SunMart Texas Trail Endurance Run where Arthur Lydiard conducted his last lecture in front of an audience of 600. The following day after encouraging runners at the finish-line of the race, the New Zealand coaching legend passed away quietly in his hotel room. He was 87 years old.

The evening of the official banquet for 2005 SunMart Ultra, marked as the Memorial Service for Lydiard, was magical with Flying Kiwi Greats of the 70s, Dick Quax and Rod Dixon, joined Moller and another Kiwi trained by Lydiard, local Texan, Glenys Quick who now lives in Dallas, to honor this coaching legend. Quax, former world record holder in 5000m and a silver medallist in 1976 Montreal Olympic 5000m behind another disciple of Lydiard, Finland’s Lasse Viren, flew all the way from New Zealand just for this occasion to honor the old master. “Arthur was not only a great athletic coach but a great New Zealander,” Quax said. “He really put the country on the map as an athletic power house.”

Rod Dixon, Director of Coaching and Training for Devine Racing, is considered by many as one of the most versatile middle distance runners in history, ranging from 800m to the marathon. “We New Zealanders all used the principles of the Lydiard program,” Dixon said. “These principles helped us to become International and Olympic runners. It is these same principles that we introduce with our training programs for marathon runners”.

“It was his training principle that produced string of world beating middle distance and distance runners from New Zealand,” Moller added. “When they walked away from that principle, New Zealand athletics lost its edge.”

It is indeed this “edge” based on the Lydiard principle, fondly refereed by the followers as “Lydiardism”, which Moller and Hashizume will be offering through the Foundation’s various programs. “You ask most of successful Japanese marathon coaches,” Hashizume comments, “and they will tell you they based their training principles on those of Lydiard.”

The past 12 months, Moller and Hashizume have worked on the programs in detail and fund-raising. They have secured a funding support from Jennifer Maxwell, co-founder and co-inventor of PowerBar in October. “Brian (the late Brian Maxwell) was a big advocate of the Lydiard principle of training,” Jennifer said. “Nobby met with us a couple of years ago and talked about possibility of Lydiard Foundation. I think Brian would have liked to keep his promise and support their programs.”

SunMart, per its president, John Cook, also agreed to join the program as its participant to support the Foundation."

As anyone who reads my blog knows, Nobby has been my guardian angel during my limited time training the Lydiard way. I have mentioned the Lydiard Foundation before, and now I can say that before the end of the year its home on the web, Five Circles, will be greatly enhanced with Lydiard's teachings, straight from those who knew him best.

One of the best features Nobby will incorporate is a video illustrating all three of the techniques Lydiard used for hill training; steep hill running, bounding, and springing. Nobby was kind enough to send me a copy of this early on DVD when I was just starting my hill phase, and I can tell you it's terrific. Nobby and his wife are the stars of the show, as they are used to illustrate the different exercises, much in slow motion. For anyone considering trying Lydiard's hill phase, this information is invaluable. I would have mentioned the DVD in my blog, but I didn't want Nobby to be beseiged with requests for it (from my three readers).

Anyway, to hear the foundation has secured more funding and partnerships is great news for any Lydiard fan, and I'm glad to pass it along.

Oh yeah, I ran today too. Today was a 2-mile time trial, and though I felt fairly ragged doing it, I managed 11:03, or 5:32 pace. The run was slightly uphill and into the wind, and I could definitely feel Sundays marathon pace run in my legs. All in all I would have liked to run faster, but it wasn't in the cards. I was happy to do the whole two miles though, as I considered cutting it short like I did last week. On the plus side, today was the first day I skipped the duct tape, and I finished pretty much pain free.

Training: 8 miles, 54:37, 6:50 pace with a two mile time trial in 11:03

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