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Champions Are Everywhere: The Schedules
Champions Are Everywhere: The Schedules
Champions Are Everywhere: The Schedules
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Champions Are Everywhere: The Schedules

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The Philosophy, Psychology and Physiology of the Lydiard Training System combine to form the most proven and successful endurance training approach in the world.

Since New Zealander Arthur Lydiard's local club athletes won two gold medals and one bronze in the 1960 Rome Olympics, there have been numerous validations of the gene

Дата выпуска19 дек. 2021 г.
Champions Are Everywhere: The Schedules
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Keith James Livingstone

Dr Keith Livingstone is a former elite runner and chiropractor. He wrote the popular book Healthy Intelligent Training in 2008, which was published by Meyer & Meyer Sports Publishers.

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    Champions Are Everywhere - Keith James Livingstone


    New Zealand’s late, legendary athletics coach, Arthur Lydiard, was named ‘Coach of the Twentieth Century’ by Runner’s World magazine. Arthur died in Houston in 2004, aged 87, while touring North America on a speaking tour.

    From humble beginnings fostered initially only by a desire to get himself fit for playing club rugby in the late 1940s, he gradually put together an endurance training system that he tested on himself, which resulted in him becoming a New Zealand marathon champion and Commonwealth / Empire Games representative at an age when most men of the era assumed they were ‘past it’ for such pursuits. Over time, he acquired several enthusiastic pupils from his local neigh-bourhood, and by the mid-1950’s he had his system ‘ready to go’.

    So successful was Arthur with his training of ordinary local kids, that he coined the phrase Champions are Everywhere- they just have to be trained correctly!

    While Arthur was quite rightly named the ‘Running Coach of the Century’ by Runner’s World magazine for his astounding successes on the international stage, what many people who read that magazine may not have realized was that Arthur was the first patron of the first jogging club in the world. His reach was very much wider and deeper than at the pointy end of world-class athletics. Typically, Arthur enthusiastically started to share his principles with older people suffering from the harmful effects of the sedentary twentieth century lifestyle, and he got them actively jogging around Auckland’s beautiful, hilly Cornwall Park, until the gatherings became so large a club was formed in 1962.

    He was patron for over 42 years, from the inception of the Auckland Joggers Club that year, until his death in 2004. The current patron is now his life- long friend and pupil, Barry Magee, who is still actively coaching at age 86, very much in the footsteps of his former mentor and pal.

    There is a funny story that needs to be told here, involving a remarkable chain of events leading to the world-wide jogging boom and the eventual establishment of the global running brand Nike, founded by Arthur’s great US Olympic coaching friend, Bill Bowerman.

    One of Arthur’s keenest converts in the early 1960s was an older man named Andy Stedman, a man well into his 70’s who had suffered three heart attacks before taking up jogging under Arthur’s guidance. (He’s the wiry man to the left of this picture, in a shot taken in Cornwall Park in the earliest days of the club).

    It so happened that Bowerman, who was the head athletics coach of the world-class Oregon University track team, was in Auckland at the time, visiting with Arthur and his squad to see how this previously unheard-of coach went about his day-to-day coaching. He had brought his best athletes with him for a national series of races against the top Kiwis.

    One day, Arthur invited Bill along to see what he was doing with all his older pupils. Bill went with Arthur to join in for a ‘jog’ with the group of grey- and white-haired older men, and some of their grandkids. Bill apparently had just turned a very fit and trim 50, and thought he was in ‘good shape’ for a man his age.

    Sure enough, after a couple of miles around the picturesque hilly sheep pastures of Cornwall Park, there was a yawning gap between Bowerman and the ‘aging’ runners; he was several hundred metres ‘out the back door’. The only old man who took pity on him was Andy Stedman, who jogged back through the pack to encourage him to the finish. Bowerman was so ‘blown away’ by this experience that he took it back with him to the USA, and started people ‘running for their lives’, like Arthur was doing.

    That’s where the use of aerobic exercise to rehabilitate people with heart disease took origin, with the Honolulu Marathon Clinic being set up in 1974 to rehabilitate cardiac patients to the level where they could complete the full marathon, and within the same decade, people like Dr Kenneth Cooper had coined the term ‘aerobics’ for this gentle form of exercise that nearly everyone could partake in. Mass participation ‘Fun Runs’ became a ‘thing’ by the mid 1970s in the USA and Australia, but possibly the biggest mass- participation event in the world for several years around then was Auckland’s ground-breaking ‘Round the Bays’ event, first run in 1972, and organized by the Auckland Joggers Club.

    By 2012, the Auckland Joggers’ Club’s ‘Round the Bays’ event had a field of over 72,000 people, in a city of just over one million people!

    (Lydiard Foundation Image)

    The colourful Bowerman went on to invent the original ‘Waffle’ running shoe soles by melting black shoe rubber into his wife’s waffle-baking iron, and this small running shoe enterprise eventually grew into the giant Nike Corporation, making the savvy Bowerman a very wealthy man, while for many years remaining very close to Arthur, who was, by his own admission, never a money man.

    When I grew up in the running culture of the 1970s, it was accepted routinely that large volumes of steady running mileage could routinely turn pack-runners into championship contenders, and middle-aged men into excellent marathoners! Our local marathon star Kevin Ryan was famous for the phrase You gotta do the work!

    Here he is at right, winning the 1979 New Zealand ten-mile road racing championship. Such was the depth in New Zealand at that stage, that Paul Ballinger, in the green vest, was a distant second. Ballinger later won the 1982 Fukuoka marathon in 2hrs.10min.15s, a national record at the time.

    There were several men well over the age of 40 who could break the 2-hour 20 minute ‘barrier’ for the marathon distance; not all of them are well- remembered now, but two of the best veteran runners around in the 1970s were the late Lloyd Walker, and Keith Pearce from Manurewa Club in south Auckland; the same club that nurtured a young John Walker.

    Both were typical of a bunch of ‘hard old buggers’ who could leave good runners half their age well behind in the longer road races that were popular then. Lloyd Walker ran 2hrs 16 mins 51s in the Hamilton marathon when he was 42, and Keith Pearce ran a number of marathons in the very low 2hour 20minutes zone. Neither athlete was able to beat either of ‘Arthur’s Boys’ Barry Magee or Jeff Julian in races as veteran competitors as far as I know; Jeff Julian was still winning road races outright in Auckland in his 40s, and Barry Magee was still running very well!

    The Lydiard method enabled a runner to be at his or her best on the day that mattered most, often able to run as either a ‘stayer’ or as a ‘sprinter’. The system created tough, calloused athletes who were able to win off any pace.

    For instance, the ruthless Murray Halberg won the Empire Games 3-mile title in Perth in 1962 with a 53.8 second last 440 yards (402.3 metres!), which was just over a second slower than his 440 yards’ race time! Yet, four years earlier, in the Cardiff Empire Games of 1958, Halberg applied a totally different ‘tactic’: he stranded the entire field by striking hard three laps out, which he repeated again in winning the Rome Olympic Games 5000m title in 1960. Halberg also ran times of 3:38.8 for 1500m and 3:57.5 for the mile, on cinders, in 1958. Any modern-era middle distance athlete will know just how good those times still are.

    Most of Lydiard’s original

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