Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lessons From Lydiard,pt.2

"The idea that you can't lose contact with the leaders has cut more throats than it has saved," quote by Arthur Lydiard.
The above quote contradicts the instruction of every running coach I've ever had. It would probably not be an exaggeration to say that it also goes against the advice I've heard most other coaches give.However, Arthur's quote makes alot of sense when you stop and think about it. I say this because you cannot make all encompassing statements about racing strategy.This is because you need to consider the length of the race as well as the type of runner that is racing. Runners have strengths and weaknesses,not all do well with the mindset that you must keep in contact with the leader no matter what.We've all seen races where a runner has made his way up through the pack or surged over the last lap to win.Conversely, we have also seen the front runner of a race eventually fade near the end.There is a time to hang with the leader but using your head and assessing the competition as well as yourself during the race is the smart way to run.


  1. Barring windy conditions, the idea that you must stay with the leader the entire race to eventually finish first is nonsense. I believe most coaches preach this because they have not properly prepared the mental toughness of their athletes. It is not easy to let the leaders go and believe you can make up any ground lost later in the race. Run almost any local road race and you will see the majority of the participants race out in the first mile only to labor through the rest of the race until they convert to a desperate print in the final meters. As far as I know, no world or national record has ever been run this way. The vast majority of these records are run on a slight negative split. Don't forget the importance of menatl preparation!