Lydiard Method Phase 3: Anaerobic Development

Given it's time already to decide on your Fall goal race and training approach, the next few TTT’s will be focused on summarizing the key elements of each phase within the Lydiard Method. An optimum period of time to train for a full or half marathon is 18 – 24 weeks. May will be the time to begin your work.

The Lydiard Method is comprised of 5 phases, in sequence, each of which builds specific systems you will need to perform at your peak during your goal race.

The third phase is called Anaerobic Development and typically is 4-6 weeks in length. This phase prepares your body to endure the uncomfortable state of oxygen deficit. Why is this important? Because as you get into race situations you will encounter demands of high intensity which cannot be met by your aerobic capacity.

The key changes which occur during this phase are that anaerobic training teaches your body to create buffer enzymes for anaerobic metabolism or lactic acid. You also will become much better and judging your pacing and you will build efficiency at faster paces.

Lydiard Method Phase 3

This is accomplished through one or two interval sessions per week, depending on the number of days you run a week. If you run 4-5 days you will get one session each week, if 6-7 days then you will get two sessions. Typically, an interval session is 5k to 7k in total excluding warmup and cooldown. They can be done in repeats of 200m up to 2 miles. If you are training for the half or full marathon your intervals are usually at least 1000m each. In between you jog until your heartrate reduces to around 130. This ranges between 1-3 minutes depending on the individual. An example would be 4x1mile at ¼ effort. In each personalized Lydiard plan you will be provided your pace which equals ¼, ½ or ¾ effort based off of your calculated plan race pace. Intervals generally are done at ¼ to ½ effort. Another example would be 7x1000m. We tend to work these individually as everyone reacts differently to this anaerobic stress and we based it off of the prior week’s effort, how it was handled, jog time between to get heartrate down etc.

Recovery time is critical for anaerobic workouts as you need to allow yourself at least 48 hours between session. A 6-7 day a week runner would do theirs on a Tuesday and Thursday but we do move them around and adjust them according to how the runner is recovering.  

Keep in mind during Phase 3 there are still long aerobic runs, easy fartlek and a faster progress calibration run (more on this one later).

Please stop in the store to learn more about the Lydiard Method. We are trained Lydiard coaches and can help you sign up. While your personalized plan costs $100, and goes to a non-profit, we provide the day to day coaching at no additional charge.

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
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