The Lydiard Method FAQ

What is the Lydiard Method?

Our long distance training programs will once again be using the Lydiard Method, one of most utilized training system for endurance sports worldwide by both recreational runners and champions. The Lydiard Method is a Pyramid-Style training that focuses on building a high level of basic fitness on which the rest of the pyramid can be balanced.

What is Lydiard Training

Lydiard training is based on five critical principles:

Conditioning – At the start of any Lydiard training cycle, there is a long phase of aerobic running to build endurance and lay the base for a strong performance on race day.

Response Regulated Adaptation – Trying to run at training paces that are not aligned to your current fitness level is not a recipe for success. Lydiard plans adjust your effort levels based on how you are responding to training stimulus to optimize your fitness improvement.

Feeling Based Training – Learning to accurately interpret the language of your physiology allows you, the runner, to stretch the training envelope while avoiding the perils of overtraining.

Sequential Development – Unlike many running plans that seek to develop multiple facets of running fitness at the same time, Lydiard training is based on a philosophy of developing the building blocks needed for a good race day performance individually over a longer training cycle to allow optimal fitness development.

Peaking – The later phases of Lydiard training are designed to guide and sharpen the runner to a point where they are in peak condition on race day and in an excellent position to run the best race possible.

The Lydiard Training Pyramid

A typical Lydiard plan includes five distinct training phases. While it is a longer training cycle than what you may be used to, the length of the cycle allows the safe development of running fitness as each phase builds on the previous one. The individual runs are not significantly different from what you might find in another training approach. It is the overall structure and flow of the plan that sets Lydiard apart.

Aerobic Base Building – a period of aerobic runs (based on overall time, not mileage) at a variety of paces to develop stamina and a base of conditioning.

Hills – Develops the leg power and flexibility that will be needed to support faster running while continuing to develop the aerobic base.

Anaerobic Development – Adds faster running (tempos and intervals) to prepare the runner to be able to handle race pace.

Integration – Race distance-specific tuning and sharpening including shorter distance time trials.

Taper – Final preparation for race day.  

How do I register?

This page has our program details and registration.

What is the training like? How many days a week do I run?

Participants will choose the distance and location that they will train. They will then go through a series of questions to determine their pace, distances and specific training that they will follow. The questions will include how many days a week do you run and starting run duration

For how many days a week, there are options for 4, 5, 6 or 7. This is one of the highly personal questions that will add value to your program. If you’re wondering what is best, start with 4 -5 - or a number you think you can maintain throughout the season - we can always adjust throughout the season (add or take away days).

We’re recommending Half Marathon and 25k participants please pick a time of 60 minutes for your starting run.

We’re recommending Marathoners please pick a time of 90 minutes for your starting run.

When asked for a recent race time, please use a 5k that you raced (ran hard) in the past 6 months. This will be close to your actual VO2 Max. If you do not have a 5k race time, please run a timed mile sometime before you register and use that mile time. This mile should be nearly all out running. Again, this will be close to if not at your current VO2 Max.

Start where you are. There is no benefit to your training in trying to manipulate the system for faster pace times. Trust the process. We’ll help get you there.

What's the cost of registration?

You can register for one season for $129.95. Or, we now offer a year round price of $220.

What races are you training for?

Participants can chose whichever spring or fall event they like! We often target the following events:

Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, Kalamazoo Marathon, The River Bank Run, Ann Arbor Marathon, Bayshore Marathon

The Grand Rapids Marathon, The Detroit Free Press Marathon

Can I train for more than one event?

In order to properly peak, you are encouraged you train for one specific event. However, we can work pretty much any other races of your choosing into a training schedule.

What do participants receive with Lydiard Training?

  • A unique training schedule based on their ability and goal event
  • Access to a fantastic amount of information on training though the training site
  • An online log to track workouts and communicate with their coaches and team
  • Receipt of a daily email explaining their runs for the day and the next day

What are benefits for participants beyond the Lydiard Training?

  • 10% off regular-price products in store during the program
  • Participant Item
  • Lydiard certified coach on-location
  • Pace teams lead by team leaders
  • Supported routes
  • Free informational clinics through the program

Is my race registration included in the price?

No. You must register for and pay for your own race. This lets you pick the race of your choosing.

Can a schedule be modified?

Yes. Using the online log a coach or participant can modify or adjust the schedule.

What are the reasons to train with our group?

The biggest reason is the social camaraderie throughout the training journey. Other important reasons include the Lydiard certified coach on-site, being held accountable throughout the training season, and fun activities along the way.

With all the personal schedules, how do the group runs work?

The group runs will be on Saturdays for long runs and Tuesdays or Wednesdays for workouts (hills, tempo, intervals) depending on your location. All schedules will have these components aligned to these days. You will run with people running a similar pace as a team.