December 13, 2004 6:12 AM Subscribe
Legendary running coach Arthur Lydiard died this weekend at age 87. Q and A with Lydiard here. Obit via Boomberg here. NYTimes obit here. Lydiard had been travelling through the US on a final lecture tour. Among distance runners Lydiard is a hero. Two of his athletes won gold medals for New Zealand at the 1960 Olympics, and Peter Snell went on to dominate the middle distance running at the 1964 Games, taking home two gold medals, the only man since 1920 to win both the 800m and the 1500m. Lydiard coached Mexican, Japanese and Finnish runners to Gold medal performances, and his philosophy of training has influenced countless other runners. Finland thought that he was important enough to the success of their runner's to award him the White Cross (eq. of a knighthood), making him the only non-Finn to be given the award. Lydiard's approach was high-mileage, aerobic conditioning. Even his middle distance runners trained 100 miles/week. He felt that too many athletes were training for speed first and endurance second. One of his lectures, explaining some of the science behind his theories, is here.
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