RUNNING >> Arthur Lydiard - Quotes

Arthur Lydiard - Quotes

Quotes from Arthur Lydiard


On Saturday 3 June, 1998, on the evening before the Christchurch Marathon, Ian Kemp of Cool Running New Zealand attended a seminar addressed by Arthur Lydiard, now aged 82. Here are some of the notes Ian made.

On selecting a coach:
"Just have a look at the athletes he's trained. If many have become elite you may also. If none have made that's how you'll end up!"

On goal-setting
"The greater the endurance component of the event the longer your goals have to be. For 10k or the marathon, you have to have five-year goals. For middle distance runners, it can be shorter, say two to three years."

On development
"The only way to build ability is to increase aerobic capacity. Many people try to improve their anaerobic capacity, which is beyond the capability of the human body. The only way to improve is to lift the aerobic base. Most people will still be developing aerobic capacity 10 years after they start running, whatever age they start. So if you start at 40, you will still be developing the cardiovascular system 10 years later."

On training
"I have a saying 'train, don't strain.' The Americans have the saying 'no pain, no gain' and that's why they have no distance running champions. They get down to the track with a stopwatch and flog their guts out thinking that it'll make them a champion, but they'll never make a champion that way."

On planning the season:
"You have three stages, conditioning, hill running, then racing, and you should finish one before you start the next."
[TB’s note: Triple Olympic Gold Medalist and physiologist, Peter Snell, said the one thing he would have changed in the Lydiard program would have been to introduce a weekly speed orientated session.]

On over-training:
"If you are not enjoying training, stop all anaerobic training. Go out for a long jog, so slow that the old ladies with shopping baskets go past you. Do that until you start to enjoy it!"
[TB’s note: TechniJogging!]

On coaching:
"Athletes need to enjoy their training. They don't enjoy going down to the track with a coach making them do repetitions until they're exhausted. From enjoyment comes the will to win."

How to train:
"Know your limits and stay within them. Do what you think you can cope with."

On altitude training:
"It has no effect. It's attitude, not altitude!"

Summing Up

"Long even-paced running at strong speed increases strength and endurance, even when it is continued close to the point of collapse."

"Successful training is intelligent training. Intelligent training is knowing the ‘why’ of an exercise, as well as the ‘what’ and ‘how’.

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