One of my runners has fully embraced the Lydiard philosophy. He used to practice it a number of years ago but never took it to the extremes he has this time and it’s fair to say his improvement in training has been beyond all expectations.
Part of his secret is that he forces himself to use Lydiard’s “morning jog” six days per week. He argues that it does exactly what Arthur purported it would: keeps him from getting too stiff and allows him to do most of his other aerobic running at really good quality.
My work schedule is so strange and irregular that it has been impossible form to implement this and with the body still being in “rebuilding mode” after the 2011 injuries, I have also not felt like risking it. Yet, yesterday’s 27 km run to Clara Vale and back, which had gone marvellously, had left my legs quite stiff. The yoga on Saturday did not help either as my core took a hammering. It’s good pain, but pain nevertheless, so I found myself with some spare time and an unusual morning freshness, so put in 20 minutes of super-easy jogging up Kevin’s Way. This approach really only works if you can jog with absolute restraint. It has to be so slow that its embarrassing. This way you keep impact forces to a minimum and all you are doing is getting blood flow to the legs.
I felt a bit of a soreness in my left shin/ankle but since this was something new and it seemed to pass after a few minutes, it did not worry me too much. When I went for my run later in the day, I was running better and with less constraint. I had been doing 5:30-5:40 min/km for the jog and I could feel muscle tension with every step. In the evening, I still had to stay well clear off target pace, as there’s no point pushing the legs when they are not sufficiently recovered, but my pace was a good 20-45 seconds faster per kilometre than in the morning.
Now for the final part of this little test, I must see if I am up for a strong 93 minute run tomorrow. Ideally, I’ll manage at least 19 km, so the day will show a lot about the extent of my current recuperative powers. Either way, if I continue this way I will run in excess of 4000km this year compared to the 2160 km last year and the roughly 3000km in the two year’s prior. My fingers remain firmly crossed.