Learning From the Greats — Arthur Lydiard

Every 1-2 years I try to re-read my favorite running books; some, like Running With the Buffaloes I read every year. But others, I try to get to every other year. One such book is Arthur Lydiard’s Running to the Top. It’s hard to find in copy any more, but a great book as far as training and story-telling goes.

To start Chapter Four, Key to Conditioning, Lydiard says, “The key to my conditioning training is one hundred miles a week.” He then says, “One hundred miles a week may sound like a lot of miles but it is well within the compass of a well-conditioned athlete.”

Most times when I post about 100-miles per week I get responses from older guys who say, “I only get injured running that much,” or, “You can’t be a one-trick pony and just do mileage…”

Well, I’m not sure that 40+ year old men need to run 100 miles per week, though if they are physically healthy, then they should be able to.

And I don’t think you can ever say that Lydiard was a one-trick pony. His prized pupil, Peter Snell, ran over 100 miles per week in training regularly (and usually between 125-150 miles per week) and then went on to set a world-record of 1:44.3 on a grass track.

That time would be competitive in most diamond league events today, winning most, and it was on GRASS.

100 miles per week is the standard. You might not think there is anything magical to it, but trust me, it works.




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