Strange choice of picture by Running Times for their recent article on Olympic champion Peter Snell, which was really more propaganda for the Lydiard method, aka build a huge aerobic base – bash your brains out trying to hit 100 miles a week – before you do anything else.
The picture shows Snell winning the 800m at Rome in 1960. A triumph for quantity first? Well kind of.
But the story behind the picture tells a different story. Snell ran 1.46.3. But hang on, right there in second place is Roger Moens of Belgium – he ran 1.46.5. So only two-hundreths of a second in it. Snell, 22, running in his first Olympics. Trained by Lydiatd with 100-mile weeks and 22-mile long runs. Moens, 30 years old – that is 8 (EIGHT) years older, ran his first Olympics in 1952. He broke the world 800-metre record in 1955 (when Snell was 17). Snell took that record – but it took him until 1962 to do it.
So we have the new kid on the block, aged 22, beating a 30-year-old. And here’s the kicker – Moens’ training was virtually the exact opposite of Snell’s. His was a quality first, or quality not quantity approach. He was trained by Woldemar Gerschler, one of the fathers of interval training.
So, all credit to Snell, but really, NOT a good example to support the article’s premise.