TRAINING: The Missing Peak

One technique I use for myself and my runners to gauge both short-term and long-term improvements as well as assessing how well our peaking is working is “VDOT Development Chart”.

Generally, the chart will show you starting each season at a slightly lower performance level than the previous year but building to a higher peak as you hit the summer (that’s what’s supposed to happen if the Lydiard program is applied correctly).

While injuries mean that my graph is not as linear as it should be (overall trend is upwards but the graph is “too flat”), in general this holds true. This year, with the injuries hitting just as the peak was about to manifest, it is easy to spot the “missing peak”:


Notice how my progress from the 5k in 2007 has been limited, although consistent, due to the constant step-backs. Had the program been executed as planned you should have seen a jump of 2-3 VDOTs (my required performance level was 58 to hit 1:19:59, so I would have needed to increase my previous best level by only one and my early season race performances by only two). It’s safe to conclude that the program would have worked had it run its course.

Below you will see the progression curve of one of my runners which is much more in line with the level of improvement you will see if the athlete stays injury free (although, you’ll notice the earliest race is three years prior to all following).



Paul O'Connell said…
Hey Rene, How does the VDOT value get calculated from time/distance of a race? Paul
Jimmy mac said…
Hi Rene,have you a link to the Lydiard system that you refer to.I want to try and structure my running a bit,keep up the blog,great stuff
Renny said…
Hi Paul,

I use this calculator:

But there are more on the internet and many books have VDOT reference tables. You enter your distance and race in the dropdowns and it'll return an estimated VDOT.

Jimmy: the link to the Lydiard system is Enjoy and let me know if you have questions, we'll start distributing the programs with support from pretty soon and the price for a year's use will be similar as we'll be an affiliate program.

I bought my own for just 50 dollars for a year's access which is well worth it!

Otherwise I recommend "Running with Lydiard" and "Run to the Top" which both has Lydiard schedules in it (but not with as much detail). Healthy Intelligent Training takes you through how to build it.
Jimmymac said…
Thanks,while we are injured we can read lol.