Monday, 21 March 2011

Aerobic Training

My approach to training for my first marathon in Vienna has been heavily influenced by the Lydiard Method but I havent been following a Lydiard program directly. When i first read up on the lydiard method It was shortly after Xmas so there wasnt time to implement a full program besdies i also felt that with a first marathon i didnt really need the race tunning and speed maximisation training that a track runner does. I figured that i would get the most 'bang for my buck' by concentrating on his Aerobic base building phase.

During the week I have tried to arange my training around a pattern of an easier or shorter run one day, followed by a longer run the next . On the weekends i would have a tempo or race pace run on saturday and either a race or a long slow Run on the Sunday. Whenever possible i have tried to run at what i call my Aerobic Training Effort.

For me i feel that this means my Heart rate sites at around 140bpm and i can maintain a breathing rate of 4 steps to inhale 4 to exhale. Ive since read that other ratios may be better, ill look into those after the marathon. This doesnt mean that i run with one eye on the HR monitor, rather i just run at the effort that feels right, and look at the garmin report when im done, some days it was a bit faster somedays a bit slower.

 Either way, i think the effects speak for themselves. The graph shows the average pace i was able to maintain during my Aerobic training runs in the middle 2 weeks of each month at various heart rates around my aerobic training effort.

I realise that the sample size at some of the bpm levels is pretty small. That the average pace at each bpm has a reasonable margin of error. But still the graph confirms what i know to be true myself bassed on the paces that im running during training.

This improvment has been achieved with little traditional speed work. I had 3 races 10k, 15k, and HM during this time, and once a week if i dont have a race i perform some sort of longer tempo intervals or a marathon pace run, but no traditional interval training. No speed work.

There is one thing i notice about the graph, but perhapes im being mislead by the effects of a small sample size, but it appears as though the trend for each month is flatening out.  I wonder if that then isnt the sign that training emphasis shouldnt slowly be shifted to strength and lactate threshold training as per Lydiards original programs.

My April will be consumed with tapering for Vienna and the inevitable Recovery afterwards, but i for one will be interested to see how the trend continues when i pick up my training again proper in may.


  1. That's a very impressive graph! Looking good for Vienna.

    My coach is a great believer in the Lydiard method, and I think the main reason he took me on is to spread the word. My improvement has certainly surpassed my wildest dreams and I can vouch for the effectiveness of Lydiard training.

  2. Thank you Thomas, It may be possible to come up with alternative training plans/methodologies to achieve a similar or even better improvement in a mid-pack runner, but the beauty of the lydiard methodology is its simplicity and its proven results.

  3. Paul, that is great data on the graph. I had to do a double take on the times though. I thought that was min/mi and then noticed it was min/km!! Great improvement over the last three months. I tell people about HR training all the time but not too many people have ever taken the time to put it into their training. See you on Daily Mile!

    Ryan A.

  4. Yes im all metric all the time. I first selected the HR bassed on Aerobic threshold, then the first few runs i did watch the garmin quite closely to try and stick to that HR untill i started to develop a feel for the effort level required to run around that HR... Now i run bassed mostly on effort and use current HR more as a control mechanism. I think ultimately the result is the same.

    I do have to admit i have been pretty surprised with just how quickly my pace at the same HR did improve over that period.

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