If you are interested in Lydiard’s approach, you will find the best presentation of it in his book Running to the Top. However, even the most ardent Lydiard disciples among today’s top coaches concede that his method was not perfect and has been improved in small ways by his disciples (mainly through the incorporation of nonlinear elements such as base-phase speed work).
Therefore, I suggest that you start your journey into Lydiardian periodization through one of his more noteworthy followers, such as Jack Daniels, author of DanielsRunning Formula. And if you do start with a fairly traditional Lydiardian approach to periodization, be open to mixing in more nonlinear elements based on how your body responds to it. If you are more attracted to nonlinear periodization, you have many reliable guides to choose from.
Among my favorite resources on nonlinear periodization are Pete Pfitzinger’s Road Racing for Serious Runners and Brad Hudson’s Run Faster. Again, use such resources as initial way-pointers, not final solutions, and modify your approach to periodization based on what you learn in applying the approach you favor. For that matter, recognize that the likes of Pfitzinger and Hudson are also influenced by Lydiard, so their programs and those of traditionalists like Daniels are not as different as night and day. They have many common features. In both, the overall load increases and key workouts become more race specific as the training cycle unfolds. The real difference is how highintensity training is integrated. It is possible to blend the Lydiard and nonlinear approaches to highintensity running in all kinds of ways, and there is no wrong way to blend them. All that matters is that you periodize your training in the way that works best for you, and if you start with an approach that suits your preferences, learn from its results, and apply what you learn, you will get there eventually.
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