Was Arthur Lydiard the best running coach ever?

Arthur Lydiard was really a very significant long distance running coach from New Zealand and his legacy has gotten important impact on the coaching of athletes now. Lydiard continues to be acknowledged for making running or jogging popular during the late 60's and early 70's. Quite a few have even suggested that Arthur Lydiard actually invented jogging. Lydiard coached numerous Olympic Games medallists from New Zealand in the 1960s (Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and Barry Magee) together a tremendous influence by way of other mentors on other prominent New Zealand athletes including John Walker who became the first to run more than 100 sub-4 minute miles and also run a mile faster than 3 minutes and 50 second. Lydiard was born 6 July 1917 and passed on on 11 December 2004 at the age 87. He has received a number of accolades in his own New Zealand plus in Finland where his coaching ended up being responsible for an increase of Finnish distance running in the early 1970's. The magazine, Runners World called him as the coach of the century as part of their millennium edition. As a runner himself, he competed in the marathon at the 1950 British Empire Games, completing 13th having a time of 2hr 54m. Arthur Lydiard’s influence on middle distance running has become great and way past his own achievements as an athlete himself.

As for Lydiard's running school of thought, he advocated breaking up the year into diverse running periods or phases. The base or background time period is the stamina phase which was comprised of a minimum of ten weeks of maximum mileage which the athlete is capable of doing in order to increase their aerobic base or background. That's where his renowned 100 miles a week came from as he regarded that is the optimum. Lydiard suggested with the longer runs would be about 20 miles. These distances are run at a pace which was just below the anaerobic threshold and is kept as a steady aerobic pace. The goal is always to develop the best endurance base feasible for the subsequent periods. The next period is the uphill running phase which will predominantly involve uphill bounding or springing workouts to enhance strength within the legs which was generally carried out three times weekly. Some middle and long distance aerobic work is still done throughout this cycle which may last for around four or so weeks. The following 4 or so week period of time had been known as the sharpening or speed phase in which some anaerobic interval and speed work running is carried out so the runner are able to run faster. Following that 4 week period, the hard running is backed off and the focus is then on staying sharp and fresh for competition.

Many consider it unlikely that any coach are ever going to have more effect on the training programs of middle and long distance athletes than him. The program that he developed completely revolutionized middle and long distance coaching for the purpose of the volume of work Arthur Lydiard considered a runner must be performing. The programs was comprised of a lot of working hard. The majority of training methods made use of by runners today can trace their roots back to what was suggested by Arthur Lydiard.