Lydiard MEthod Training Program Philosophy

Pictured above: Lorraince Moller winning the 1984 Boston Marathon.

Pictured above: Lorraince Moller winning the 1984 Boston Marathon.

Back in my post college competition days, I discovered a book called “Running to The Top” by Arthur Lydiard. I read it cover to cover and by implementing the Lydiard principles over two 24-week cycles I was able to achieve a personal best marathon in the fall of 1980, running 2:21:07.  In May of 2017 Jennifer and I had the opportunity to complete a 2.5 days coaches training course taught by Lorraine Moller (1984 Boston Marathon Winner, 1992 Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist, who trained under Lydiard) and Nobby Hashizume (A Lydiard coaching protege), where we learned and refreshed while gaining a clear understanding of the science behind the Lydiard™ Method.

Lydiard-based training is based on five critical principles:

  1. Conditioning – At the start of any Lydiard training cycle, there is a long phase of aerobic running to build endurance and lay the base for a strong performance on race day.

  2. Response-Regulated Adaptation – Trying to run at training paces that are not aligned to your current fitness level is not a recipe for success. Lydiard plans adjust your effort levels based on how you are responding to training stimulus to optimize your fitness improvement.

  3. Feeling-Based Training – Learning to accurately interpret the language of your physiology allows the runner to stretch the training envelope while avoiding the perils of overtraining.

  4. Sequential Development/Lydiard Training Pyramid – Unlike many running plans that seek to develop multiple facets of running fitness at the same time, Lydiard training is based on a philosophy of developing the building blocks needed for a good race day performance individually over a longer training cycle to allow optimal fitness development.

  • Peak - Peak condition on race day.

  • Taper - Final preparation for race day.

  • Integration – Race distance specific tuning and sharpening including shorter distance time trials.

  • Anaerobic Development – Adds faster running (tempos and intervals) to prepare the runner to be able to handle race pace.

  • Hills – Develops the leg power and flexibility that will be needed to support faster running while continuing to develop the aerobic base.

  • Aerobic Base Building – A period of aerobic runs (run by overall time, not mileage) at a variety of paces to develop stamina and a base of conditioning.

5. Peaking – The later phases of Lydiard training are designed to guide and sharpen the runner to a point where they are in peak condition on race day in an excellent position to run the best race possible.

With proven success at the highest levels of Olympic competition as well as runners targeting their first 5k the Lydiard Method has consistently prepared runners to arrive at the starting line well prepared, healthy and ready to compete to the best of their ability. At Running Niche we provide free on the ground support through advice, encouragement and running groups to all people who sign up for the Lydiard Training plan via Running Wizard. Truthfully, we’ll provide free advice and encouragement to anyone who walks through our doors. We don’t make any money for our work with the Lydiard Method, all proceeds go towards the Running Wizard service. If you are interested in learning more about Lydiard training or creating your personalized Lydiard Training plan with us, please call us at (314) 405-8006, email us at, or visit our location in the Grove neighborhood of St. Louis!


Bob Dyer (co-owner, Running Niche)
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Read the Running Niche Training Blog, written by co-owner Bob Dyer, which implements the principles of training using the Lydiard Method into regular blog posts and articles.

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