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Arthur Lydiard: Master Coach

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Length: 264 pages4 hours

Summary

Arthur Lydiard is the most influential and successful running coach of the twentieth century. In 1960 he burst into prominence at the Rome Olympics when two of his protégés, Peter Snell and Murray Halberg, won Olympic gold medals on the same day. He had turned unpromising athletes into Olympic champions, and he said he could do it again and again, if only his methods, which involved building stamina and fitness through endurance running, were followed. In the next few years thousands of people heeded his word. The jogging movement was born. Meanwhile, Snell went on to break a bucketful of world records, and exceeded his Rome success by winning two gold medals at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. But at home, Lydiard’s abrasive personality upset athletics officials and he fell out of favour. New Zealand’s loss became the world’s gain. Lydiard created a team of world-beating runners in Finland, then went on to coach in Mexico, Venezuela and in dozens of other countries around the world. Every year he lectures in the United States, and even this year, at the age of 86, he is returning there for another lecture tour. Garth Gilmour tells the full story of Lydiard’s amazing career, much of it in the coach’s own words. It is a story that no keen sports follower will want to be without.

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