Role of Racing During Training

Included in Lydiard training are specific, strategic times that one can “race”. When and how you do it is critical to your end result on your goal race day.

Beginning 8 weeks out from goal race day there are 3-4 workouts that can be accomplished in a race. By race I mean an organized event whereby you can practice you evening meal the night before, day of morning meal and hydration/nutrition, pace during the race. It also allows you to test out your race shoes of choice and your outfit. You don’t want to learn about unwanted chafing during your goal race, better to experience that in a “practice” race.

The purpose is twofold, first to get mentally and physically accustomed to race situations and second have a clear pace goal you need to achieve, dictated by your training, for the race itself. In most cases this isn’t your ultimate pace on goal race day but is designed to get you accustomed to longer duration as faster paces. Additionally, it allows you to learn during the race about moving past other runners, running the tangents of the course, managing hills etc.

Arthur Lydiard

Coach Lydiard had a famous quote: “Train, Don’t Strain”.

The key is to have a clear plan and goal for each race you enter leading up to goal race. Based upon that result then adjust accordingly in your training and then as you enter your second race prior to goal race, and so forth. These are not all out race efforts but instead carefully planned outings in a race environment. This is training.

One important note; don’t be tempted to pull up the plant by the roots. Trust in your training, if you try to do to much in a race, ie to fast, you can experience a negative effect from it that will set you back in your training.

Remember there is a time and a place for everything in Lydiard training. The time to race is in your last 8 weeks and not before.

Here at Running Niche we are trained Lydiard level I & II coaches. Please stop in the store to learn more about the Lydiard Method. We 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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