Lydiard's 50/50s

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WHS
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Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by WHS » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:58 am

I have read that Lydiard advised short sprints (50-60m) with short recoveries (equal length) for up to 8-9 minutes to sharpen runners. Does anyone know if his stars (Snell, etc) used this method? This doesn't seem to be a common approach when sharpening runners now a days, does anyone have any thoughts as to why? Thanks!

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by Spider Man » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:03 pm

I believe the purpose of this session was to create a heavy localised (i.e. in the legs only) lactic response ... as opposed to a systemic response (the whole body) ... It would have a role in the final preparation of the athlete for competition ... Lydiard used the term "wind sprints" to describe this particular session ...

In the 1960s & 1970s athletes would use these as advised/described by Lydiard ... both Lasse Viren & Brendan Foster have described using this training method in their autobiographies ... Viren reportedly ran a 5000m (alternating fast & slow 50m stretches) in 13-25!

This particular session has fallen out of fashion, though similar type sessions such as: intervals with "float" recoveries (popular with Australian coaches); turn around sprints; & the more ubiquitous stride the straights & jog the bends (or vice versa) sessions, are not uncommon.

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by Tinman » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:55 pm

I am sure that Viren did not run 13:25 for 5,000 alternating 50m sprint, 50m float. I recall that it was 13:45 or very close to it. However, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Viren was tremendously fit to even run 13:45 in such a fashion. I suspect Viren was in the 13:10-15 range for 5,000m at the Munich Olympic Games, He ran 8:14 for a full 2 miles a month before the Olympic Games, which was a world record.
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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by Physeder » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:39 pm

:) I don't come on here very often but VALUE hugely Tom's input and support over the years.
Regarding the 50/50's Lydiard workout .. Many people look at it in a schedule and it usually says '2 Miles'. Arthur intended that for an "experienced" athlete or one that had developed through a period of time .. Years not weeks !!!. I have seen it used with High School kids where we had them run say 800m of this workout .. the most I saw on that age group was a mile. You have to build up gradually to do that workout properly.
The key is : The 50m "float" IS NOT a jog rather "buttoning off the pace".
As mentioned above about Viren .. I cannot confirm or deny what he did in that workout but I know that John Walker could run it around 8:40 for the 2 miles as did Rod Dixon. Barry Magee talked of doing it as a young man running something like 9:17 on a grass track when the World record for 2 miles was near the 8:40 mark .. Of course Barry went on to take an Olympic Bronze in the marathon in 1960.
Hope this all helps.

Kim Stevenson
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New Zealand

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by WHS » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:02 am

Thank you for further clarification on this approach. Obviously Lydiard coached athletes had tremendous success peaking at the right time. With such success, it seems odd that this workout is not still popular. I know that Lydiard often stated the overall insignificance of what was done after the base and hill phases, but, nevertheless, when they needed to be ready, his athletes were ready. Other Lydiard ideas seem to continue onward, yet I know of none who schedule 50/50's in the weeks leading up to major races. Do you coaches feel that other ways to peak are superior?

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by Tinman » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:51 pm

Phsyeder -

Thanks for your input. Glad you are joining us in the conversation.

Just for those who don't know: Physeder is a Kiwi - on the north island of New Zealand, He knew Arthur Lydiard, is good friends with Barry Magee, a top runner coached by Lydiard in the 1960s, and has used the Lydiard method, along with versions of my method in recent years, wich more or less follows the essential principles of Lydiard but with less specific periodization.

Physeder has been a junior national coach (and I think a senior national coach, but I can't recall for sure) for New Zealand.

I encourage our members to engage him in conversation. I found that he's both a friend and a peer. He's humble and he's experienced.

Take care,

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by WHS » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:19 pm

Kim,

Have you tried this with your athletes? Do you feel like it is worth a shot? Thanks

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by Physeder » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:00 pm

:) Thanks for Post Tom. Just to clarify a couple of things. I am not a National Senior Coach but have been Manager/Coach of our National Secondary Schools Cross Country Team (Back awhile) and have been in charge of NZ Duathlon Team to World Champs. But I do hold Coaching registration with AthleticsNZ. Other than that I just chug along trying to get athletes to run better and faster.
Regarding the 50/50's , Currently with the bunch of athletes I have I have not run that workout. All of them (bar one) hold down quite high powered Jobs so the balancing of the Training and Professional life is my biggest challenge. All of the ladies I have also have between 2 & 3 children under the age of 11 .. all have run under 3:30 for a marathon. I have one young guy , just out of High School (Tom knows some background) and I spent most of last year undoing huge damage he had done to himself from too much/too fast/unbalanced training .. the danger of looking stuff up on the internet without checking where it comes from. I have slowed him up considerably with his long runs and we only do two faster sessions a week (I include CV runs in there .. thanks to Tom). I hope to run a full Lydiard year this year so next Track season I am sure I will do a 50/50 session.
I had an Masters athlete many years ago and we did 50/50 workout at least once a season. I recall one year he told me he had never broken 2 mins for 800m .. but we had run under 30 mins for 10km so we chucked in a session .. I can't recall exactly what we did (Diaries buried in garage somewhere) but it was not 2 miles. He had trained with Murray Halberg as a Junior so knew exactly how to attack the workout. Over 800 he then ran 1:58-59 not sure of the pocket change. He was well over 40 at the time.
It is most important that this workout is not thrown in "willy nilly" thinking it will get the effect you want. It has to be done after extensive other workouts that have had some Anaerobic component .. If you look at Arthurs older schedules (Pre 1970's) you will see that there is a 4 to 6 week block of hill training and then longer Intervals and then in the last 6 - 4 weeks he throws in at least 2 of those sessions but getting closer to major races he cuts back the distance to a mile and even then he thows in 3 x 100 m at full effort afterwards. Arch Jelley .. John Walkers Coach used to run 2 cycles of Speed buildup work but did not put in the 50/50's until the the 3rd Phase .. Racing. Old story you have got to look at your athletes and decide what fits them not what may look good on paper. Some athletes need more some less with this type of work. Hope this is not too confusing. Cheers Team

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by WHS » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:55 am

That helped, thanks Kim!

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Re: Lydiard's 50/50s

Post by Physeder » Fri Mar 06, 2015 3:03 pm

:D Glad to be of help. Not sure if this is in the rules here but I know I have commented on this workout before on the "Lets Run" site. In face there is a HUGE thread there on "Lydiard v Daniels" It ran for about 4 years total (from about 2004 -5) and easily accessed. Problem with the thread was Trolls. However, Tom and I posted quite a lot on there but here was some good stuff posted by Nobby Hashizume and HRE (Rich Englehart) .. Both these guys knew Arthur's stuff really well so there is some good info on there if you want to wade through the "rubbish".

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