Posts tagged Saint Louis
Warm Up and Cool Down

Two very important aspects of any good training plan are time and attention placed on proper warmup and cooldown. Coach Lydiard always ensured any runners he was working with started and ended their sessions with warmup and cooldown.

A solid warmup should be considered the first part of your run. It warms up your muscles and gets your ready for your main run. Usually this takes about 10-15 minutes and you should jog then gradually increase your pace naturally as your body gets ready. There also is a more formal warmup done prior to an interval session for example that involves 10-15 minutes of jogging, 3-6 100m stride outs then a few minutes jog.

The warmup should never be eliminated, rushed or cut short as it gently allows all your systems to kick in prior to moving into the workout and reduces the chance of injury.

A good cooldown should always be done after a faster workout. And if that workout is anaerobic in nature it should be at least 15 minutes and as long as 30 minutes jogging. It aids in recovery and stimulates blood flow to metabolize acidity and tissue damage incurred during the workout. Never skip the cooldown as this will increase the chances of illness and injury. One way to think of this is the cooldown begins the process of getting your body ready for your next workout.

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As you can see here in this picture from Pre’s log, even he always included a good warmup and cooldown in his workouts.

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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Lydiard Phase 5: Taper

An optimum period of time to train for a full or half marathon is 18 – 24 weeks. Sunday June 9 would be the last start day for Chicago Marathon training (October 13) for an 18-week program.

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 fifth phase is called Taper and typically is 1-3 weeks in length. The prior 4 phases have allowed you to develop aerobic and anaerobic capacities, your recovery systems, muscular and cardiac strength and provided either increased endurance or speed as needed. The work has been done so the Taper phase allows you to fully recover, replenish your vital physical and mental stores and be 100% ready on race day.

Your workload is decreased and is just enough to allow you to maintain your fitness level. Aerobic runs are now Long Jog’s and Jog’s which are slower and shorter. There is one short, quick, up tempo run 3 days prior to your goal race. If you are on a 6-7-day plan there will be one session of 50/50’s.

You will completely stock up your glycogen stores and you will put on a couple pounds during the week preceding the race. You will lighten up as you get a few miles into your race so don’t worry.

Do not be tempted to try out your fitness in an unscheduled race. This is called “picking the flower by the roots”. You will be feeling great, energized and ready but save it for the goal race! Remember all the training you have done to prepare you for your day and the target race. That’s all that matters now.

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)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

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)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Race Pace and Hydration Strategy
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Sunday April 7 is almost here in St. Louis. The weather, at least as of today, calls for 55-75, rain and humidity of 76%. You need to go into Sunday with a plan for your pacing and hydration.
So, take the advice from the master. In 1974 Bill Rodgers ran his 3rd Boston Marathon where he finished 14th but he really struggled from 18 onward. He was still learning how to marathon. Many don’t realize it took him a few years to figure it out and once he did, well the rest is marathon history.

It was warm day in April 1974. To quote him: “I didn’t drink any water at all until after the 10-mile mark. I learned the hard way it’s very important to take water before you start the race and in the first miles of the marathon. If you don’t take any in the first 5-6 miles you will dehydrate. I found that that taking water every few miles are essential for warm weather half or full marathons”.

So, make sure on Saturday you are taking in water mixed with electrolytes and salt such a Nuun or Ucan mix. Use common sense and don’t overdo it. On race morning take more water, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Then during the first few miles take it in at each opportunity. Trust your thirst, if you feel it drink it. During the second half of the race it is a good idea to take in water with electrolytes so you get more salt. It sounds like common sense, but in the chaos and excitement of the first few miles its easy to forget to hydrate.

On pacing Bill said “To me the first few miles are the most critical of a marathon. Some people say the race doesn’t start until 20. The real truth is that the first few miles are the most important ones. Many make the mistake of going out too hard or not taking enough water are the ones who are not going to do their best or perhaps even finish”.

You need to have a pacing strategy that takes into consideration the weather, course and your target time based on your training. Just because it’s warm, don’t abandon your target. Just manage your pace well. It’s well known amongst experienced marathoners that if you think you can “bank” seconds or minutes in the first half, it will come back to haunt you many times over in the back half. I have a friend who has run a 2:14 marathon. He’s tried it both ways and the 10 seconds per mile under his target pace in the first few miles cost him several minutes over pace in the last few miles. I’ve learned after 5 marathons that running even or negative splits sets one up for the best outcome, if you have completed your training plan faithfully. When I ran my 2:21 my goal was 5:25 per mile. I ran the first 10 at 5:30 per mile and ran slightly negative for the second 13.1, trusted in my Lydiard training and finished strong. I didn’t use it all up in the first 13.1. So be smart, trust in the hard-long training you have completed, create your race plan and stick to it! Good luck and would enjoy hearing from you about how your race went.

If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours! We’ll be happy to take you through the concepts for each phase for your next training cycle.

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Time Trials

Many of our Lydiard Method training runners are moving into Phase 4 which is called “Integration”. This phase comes after having built a strong base having completed the prior phases called Aerobic, Hill Strengthening and Anaerobic. The Integration phase is the bridge between anaerobic and peaking. Workouts within this phase are designed to simulate race conditions.

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One of the key workouts within Integration are Time Trials. This run is a great time to practice pacing skills, simulate race conditions, get used to racing flats if worn and try different fueling strategies. Time trials are actually done at up to 90% of racing effort. These are best done by actually entering races to fully experience the entire process from pre-race through to cool-down. Be sure your warmup and cooldown appropriately for time trials and under no circumstances should one sprint at the end as this increases the likelihood of injury. Save it for the real target race! Also, one important hint, do not start out too hard in a time trial, work your way into it. And keep at 90% or below effort. (Graphic ©Lydiard Foundation).

With GO! races 4 weeks out now, the timing is right to jump in a couple races as a part of your training. Do not “race” them and be sure you understand what is important to get out of the workout. Time trials are the closest simulation to actual race situations that you will encounter. If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours!

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram