Quotable Quote

"The body can only do what the body is regularly accustomed to doing".  Jim Bellwood


Is there one secret of Lydiard's training that stands out above all others?

Yes, there is!  It is for serious runners. You "condition" the body for at least 4 of the 12 months each year. That would mean on 4 out of 7 days per week your run should be from  1.5 to 2.5hours,  2 of them, 2 hours or more.


Why the empahsis on conditioning? 

Because Lydiard knew that "Capillarisation is King".

Research has been done in the USA on cyclists and showed that gentle aerobic cycling for an extended period without prolonged bursts developed prolific capillarisation in exercised muscles i.e. the extra supply of fine blood vessels which supplies extra blood to the muscular system.  Lydiard training, based on a firm gentle start,  is the certain way to lay a capillary foundation.

The world's best cyclist and swimmers use this principle and so should we.


Sustained anaerobic threshold or heavy lactic efforts too early in conditioning have been shown to destroy newly developed capillary beds in muscle.  Call it what you like, - endurance training, stamina building, marathon conditioning - it lays a foundation for all future training and racing.


Is there a place for 50 yd or 50m dashes in today's training and why are they so good?  

  • They sharpen the body for racing
  • By doing lots of them they are a real stamina building exercise.
  • By doing a few of them 10-16, they really kick start the system and improve fast twitch potential and speed.
  • They maintain and improve muscle and tendon strength.
  • You do not get sore muscles because your speed effort is less than 10 secs which means NO lactic acid build up.



Should you train twice a day?

The answer is YES, if you want to fulfill your potential and be the best you can be.  For many it is a time thing but if you can make the time your improvement will be amazing.  It is particularly good when on speed work days you can do 30-60mins run at the other end of the day.  Experienced athletes can also do it in conditioning training as well.  


Do runners need extra sleep?

When you are getting fit you do. Perhaps an extra hour a night or 30min at midday.  Particularly when in the early weeks of conditioning.

When you are really fit you need less sleep.  Perhaps 1 hour less per night which gives you an extra 1 hr in the day to do other things.  The fit body recovers quicker and sleeps deeper in  shorter time.

With the midday catnaps, keep the head and the feet up above the rest of the body.  You come back to life much quicker and feel less drowsy.


How long before a race should the eating stop?

4 hours is a good rule for solid foods.  For most runners an empty stomach is what is best.  Your body is not energised with your latest recent meal.  You do not want your digestive system stealing your blood supply to help it do its job.  The muscular system needs your blood to supply oxygen to it.  What you could try if hungry, is on of the liquid carbo packages.  These are a liquid meal replacement and they digest easily and could safely be taken 2 hours before a race.   

8. What is the order of importance of nutritional supplements  for runners?
  • Calcium/Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • B Complex

If you are over 40 years of age then a good multi-vitamin is an essential.  If you are a male over 50 yrs of age, then Zinc is an essential.

DO NOT buy cheap brands.  Test have shown in the USA that 80% of tested multi-vitamin tablets were ineffective.  You get what you pay for.

9. Research has shown that eating a few almonds every day helps prevent cancer and heart disease.