From the age of five or six, youngsters can learn to run considerable distances in training – but the vital element of their training is enjoyment, getting fun out of building a level of fitness which will last them throughout life.
Too many children and teenagers, however, are subjected to coaching methods which are too demanding, too rigid, and lead to disenchantment with one of the finest forms of recreation – an activity which is within the reach of everyone. For this reason, internationally-famous middle and distance coach Arthur Lydiard, in cooperation with his co-author, Garth Gilmour, has refined his world record-breaking, Olympic medal-winning formula into “The Running Game”, a book of instruction, education, and guidance for children and teenagers and their coaches.
Lydiard discusses the philosophy, the physiology and the mechanical techniques of running for fun and success. He explains the principles of training in clear, simple language; discusses the use and value of vitamins and minerals coupled with a healthy diet to provide those basic needs; tells you how pupil and coach can work together for pleasure and profit (in the sense of achievement); and sets out special schedules to guide the training of all age groups up to 18 years.
These methods have been tested on young athletes in all sports for more than three decades and, most recently, on a large group of youngsters who live near Lydiard’s home in Beachland, Auckland, New Zealand, and went on to dominate school and junior running as efficiently as did his first world-beating running stars, Murray Halberg, Peter Snell, Barry Magee, Bill Baillie, Jeff Julian and many others.
"Train, don't strain", says Lydiard, "and you can set a running pattern as a youngster that will last you your lifetime".