NEW-ZEALAND-L ArchivesArchiver > NEW-ZEALAND > 2004-12 > 1103035851
From: "Olwyn Whitehouse" <>
Subject: Arthur Lydiard (1917 - 2004) "To win you have to put in the miles," he said.
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:50:51 -0600
Longer runs are key, Lydiard said. "Emphasize how far, not how fast."
Dec. 14, 2004,
Lydiard, 87, was jogging pioneer
New Zealander was in Houston promoting his training principles
By ROBERTA MACINNIS and TODD ACKERMAN
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
Arthur Lydiard, the New Zealand coach who was known as "the man who invented
jogging," died at a Houston-area hospital Saturday after suffering an
apparent heart attack. He was 87.
Lydiard was in Houston as part of a two-month lecture tour to promote his
training principles. He gave the keynote speech at a banquet Friday,
preceding Saturday's Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Runs in Huntsville. He
was at the race before being stricken later in the day.
Lydiard pioneered the method of balancing aerobic and anaerobic running to
increase the body's stamina and its ability to process oxygen. He developed
his system through trial and error, using himself as the guinea pig. He said
he often ran 250 miles a week and was still running more than 100 miles a
week at age 60.
Shared his methods
"He did things that changed the way people train," said Roger Soler, the
Sunmart race director. "Pretty much every training method from the 1960s on,
he put down. He also had a passion for sharing his methods he loved to
give out the information."
Soler said news of Lydiard's death was "a shock any time you spend a lot
of time with someone and then a few hours later hear they died, you think,
no, that's impossible."
Lydiard's death was also a shock to Jerry Fuqua, a local running coach and
owner of Runsport.
Fuqua, a lifelong fan, said Lydiard complained of food poisoning Friday
night and didn't want to eat Saturday morning because his esophagus was
irritated. But Fuqua said Lydiard was otherwise fine sharp-witted and
Lydiard's approach of running long distances to develop speed was considered
revolutionary in the 1940s, but other runners took notice when Lydiard, who
started racing in his 30s, transformed himself into a two-time New Zealand
Guided Olympic runners
"I didn't envision my success," Lydiard said about his training methods in
an interview last week. "I knew how I got myself fit. Once I found out how,
I would go to the doctors, the experts to find out why."
He went on to guide New Zealand runners Peter Snell and Murray Halburg to
gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics and helped Snell win the 800-meter and
1,500-meter races four years later at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lydiard shared his principles with Bill Bowerman, the well-known coach at
the University of Oregon and co-founder of Nike Inc. He was the architect
behind another Olympics sensation, the Flying Finns, in the 1972 Olympics.
New Zealand Hall of Famer
Lydiard suffered a stroke during knee replacement surgery in the late 1990s
that left his mobility and speech impaired, but he continued to lecture and
coach until his death.
Lydiard wrote five books, including Jogging With Lydiard and Running the
Lydiard Way. Runner's World magazine named him one of the most influential
runners of the century, and he was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of
Fame in 1990. He was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire by
Queen Elizabeth II in 1962.
Arthur Leslie Lydiard was born in Auckland on July 6, 1917. He is survived
by his third wife, Joelyne, whom he married when he was 80 and she was 32,
and by four children from a previous marriage.
Dec. 8, 2004, 11:46PM
Blazing a trail for success
Lydiard made huge strides in distance training
By ROBERTA MACINNIS
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
He's known as the "god of jog" and "the man who invented jogging."
He guided such running greats as Peter Snell and Lasse Viren to Olympic
glory. He has instructed coaches from Japan to Venezuela and had such an
impact that Runner's World named him one of the sport's most influential
figures in its special millennium issue.
Arthur Lydiard's legacy seems assured. But, at 87, the New Zealand coach
He's currently in the home stretch of a two-month, 18-city lecture tour in
the United States to promote his training techniques. Lydiard will be the
keynote speaker at the 2004 Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Runs pre-race
banquet, which is open to the public, on Friday. Snell also will appear.
"The Lydiard method is perhaps the most misunderstood, misinterpreted and
misrepresented training model," said Nobuya Hashizume, a Lydiard disciple
and founder of Five Circles, a Minnesota nonprofit organization that
encourages running and is sponsoring Lydiard's tour. "The timing was perfect
to actually bring the man to heighten awareness and clarify some of the
Though Lydiard suffered a stroke during knee replacement surgery in the late
1990s that left his speech and mobility impaired, it's hard to keep up with
the man in conversation.
And while he may take a detour or two to discuss Billy Mills' upset gold
in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics 10,000 meters, for example Lydiard always
returns to the message: His approach works.
"Today they (other coaches) will use some of my methods, but not my
structure," Lydiard said.
A runner following Lydiard's sequence works on stamina, strength and speed
in that order before tapering for optimal performance on a specific day.
Lydiard's system of balancing aerobic and anaerobic running to increase
stamina isn't controversial now. But when he developed it through trial
and error, using himself as a guinea pig it was something entirely new.
Hundred-mile weeks (Lydiard says he ran up to 250 miles a week) and running
15 miles to get faster on the track were revolutionary in the late '40s. But
it was hard to argue with success. When Lydiard, who started racing in his
30s, had transformed himself into New Zealand's top competitor, younger
runners took note.
The rest of New Zealand sat up when Snell won the 800 meters at the 1960
Olympics in Rome and Murray Halberg won the 5,000 the same day. At the 1964
games, Snell broke his own 800-meter record and also won the 1,500. (New
Zealander John Davies got the bronze.) From then on, Lydiard's reputation
was gold. New Zealand's success ignited a running craze in that country, and
Lydiard began promoting running for fitness. He traveled extensively and was
the architect behind another sensation the Flying Finns of the 1972 Munich
Having worked with athletes around the world, Lydiard is optimistic about
U.S. prospects, especially if middle-distance runners focus on a balanced
program for example, a program like Lydiard's.
"American runners underestimate themselves," he said. "They can beat the
Africans. I have no doubt the future can be very bright; the potential
hasn't been stretched."
Lydiard said the success of American runners in the men's and women's
Olympic marathons this year is a good start, "because young people need role
models." Snell and the other New Zealand runners taught "young people to
realize they're as good as anyone else," Lydiard said.
Lydiard concludes with some free advice for aspiring runners and their
coaches, i.e. parents.
"Don't have kids run 400 meters, that's the worst thing," he said. "They run
300, then spend 100 meters in anaerobic debt." Longer runs are key, Lydiard
said. "Emphasize how far, not how fast." That's the Lydiard way.
A dozen articles
|Arthur Lydiard (1917 - 2004) "To win you have to put in the miles," he said. by "Olwyn Whitehouse" <>|