© Copyright – 2012 – Athletics Illustrated
Last January, in an interview with Nobby Hashizume to announce an interactive online training program, I asked, “do you want to run or coach your very best”? At that time Nobby Hashizume and Lorraine Moller, co-founders of the Lydiard Foundation had just put the wraps (after working for hundreds of hours) on their training program dubbed “Master Run Coach”. It is the only program like it in the world. It is geared to provide athletes and coaches of all abilities training programs to fit any situation, to the tune of providing nearly 1500 different variations. The program was originally created by famed Olympic coach and physiologist Dr. Dick Brown. Hashizume said, “Our plan was to create and provide true-to-Lydiard schedules online that would be idiot-proof. We did this so that they could be widely available to everyone who may want to develop into a better runner or coach whether they are recreational or competing at the elite level”.
At that time I wrote, “the endurance coaching behemoth, Arthur Lydiard, or rather his training method and his vast legacy is now accessible to everyone. The famous method that has – and continues to – churn out stunning athletic performances across the globe using a platform based on developing a large aerobic foundation first, is now made available through a very easy-to-use and interactive virtual training partner named Master Run Coach”. The program has a new name: “Running Wizard” and is available at www.go2lydiard.com.
On the branding change
I asked Hashizume about the branding change he said, “There was a need to update the website to make it more stream-lined for “usage” as well as providing an “up-to-date” look. Things are a lot more user-friendly, and a lot more “instruction-free”, meaning, it pretty much automatically leads you to the right training plan instead of the user choosing it”.
Nobuya ‘Nobby’ Hashizume is a co-founder of the Lydiard Foundation and former coach with Hitachi Corporation in Japan. Lorraine Moller is a four time Olympian with a bronze medal in the marathon distance and has many other marathon wins to her credit. Her career spanned 28 years and she has since coached for six more.
A soft launch happened (Beta) in December 2010. After working out a few typical start-up kinks, Running Wizard is now available to everyone.
The successful program is now part of a very well known race in the U.S., the Lilac Bloomsday Race in Spokane, Washington. You can prepare for this race the Lydiard Way as part of the registration program. Bloomsday had over 50,000 entries for the 2012 race. “We are working on a few more events at this time”, says Moller.
Staying true to Arthur Lydiard
“The plan itself is all the same. It is the foundation of Lydiard training. It now has more features like choice of Saturday, Sunday or Monday long run as well as Beginner’s Plans (less than 60-minutes for the long run)”, shared Hashizume, when asked about changes to the program.
Fees for the program range from as low as $39.95. “Beginner’s Marathon Plan will be slightly more expensive because it goes 17-39 weeks instead of 12-24 weeks. Beginner’s Plan will be cheaper because it is more simple. We are also working on the yearly plan (2 plans with interim plans)”, said Hashizume.
I asked if the program deviates from Arthur Lydiard’s and Hashizume said that is is absolutely true to Lydiard in all ways. He would know, as it is Lydiard who asked for Moller and Hashizume to carry on with the method after his death. “It is more Lydiard than anything. I’ve been in close touch with Garth Gilmour (Lydiard’s co-author of several books) to understand more about beginner plans. With very good confidence I can say this is as Lydiard as can be. We have introduced science to it, thanks to Dick Brown’s mathematical formula. Where Lydiard would have said; “Run 30-45 minutes at 1/4 effort,” we calculated exactly (with a range for daily condition and personal preference) how long and how fast. It is possible to pin-point. What individual differences and daily condition, along with the provided “range” of duration and pace, we covered it with Recovery Indicators to make sure the user proceeds with the workout in a fully recovered state. There’s no point of following an impressive training program if your body can’t observe full benefit from it.
Asked if they have had much feedback yet, Hashizume replied, “Interestingly, some users expressed a concern about a lack of long runs. They are so used to hearing that they should do several 20-milers as a per-requisite for marathon preparation. However, our users had been posting PRs right and left. In fact, I just received an e-mail today that this guy ran a 25-minute PR in his marathon using Running Wizard”.
“The long runs are conservative because they are time based rather than distance based. There is nothing to stop people doing more successfully as long as they stay within the parameters of the Recovery Indicators”, shared Moller.
He went on to list off several others who also attained personal bests including a 56-year-old woman who ran her first marathon last October and qualified for Boston while doing so. She also improved her 10k by two minutes, three weeks before that marathon. There was this guy in Germany who broke three-hours in the marathon for the first time with a 20-minute personal best, along with a 45-second PR in the 10k with the 18 week program.
“One runner came to me as a 4 hour marathoner and ran 2:59 after a year on Lydiard” says Moller. “Lydiard works. We made it easily accessible to everybody; the program puts together the most suitable Lydiard plan for everyone and anyone”, said Hashizume.
To run or coach your very best, visit the interactive online program at their Running Wizard website at www.go2lydiard.com.