Winning the Lydiard way with top coach Barry Magee

Barry Magee
Barry Magee: second from right

Training Schedule:
Barry's training for Legend.doc (19.3kb pdf)

Some have sneered that the Lydiard Way is obsolete or outdated in the year of 2009 - but, for 40 years, Barry Magee has been using it to help hundreds of runners of all ages in New Zealand and around the world to fulfill some of their potential. He has had some great results.

More significantly, half the world has adopted Lydiard's revolutionary principles over a wide range of team and individual sports to condition and peak their sportsmen and women . That includes the great Kenyans and Ethiopeans. They've added Lydiard's skills to their own to become even greater world-beaters.

It is just as relevant today as it ever was 20 - 50ys ago in the great days of Snell, Halberg, Magee, Davies, Baillie, Dixon, Walker, Quax, Moller, Audain and many others.

So, introducing Barry Magee to these pages for comment, reminiscent, coaching tips and an overview of his training successes, let's consider his credentials totrain and to challenge to today's athletes to aspire to the levels of fame he and other Lydiard disciples have achieved.

Barry was one of five Lydiard athletes who went to the Rome Olympics and came away with three medals, his marathon bronze and the Halberg and Snell track golds. He was the first New Zealander to win an Olympic marathon medal.

In 1961, he was the world's fastest 10,000m runner for the year and shared in the extraordinary non-milers' team - with Halberg, Snell and Barry Philpott - which cracked the world 4xmile record. In his 10,000m World Games race, he beat the Olympic bronze medalist and smashed Zatopek's Helsinki stadium record.

That wasn't all, Barry won 18 national titles - 7 seniors and 11 masters - and he says some of the masters were tougher than the seniors.

He was the first New Zealander to win an international marathon, at Fukuoka, and the first (in 1960) to break 2.20 in an Asian marathon.

At the 1961 Coliseum Relays in the US, he beat the American intercollegiate 5000m champion in a stadium record time, then went on to White City in London, where he beat the British and German 5000m champions over three miles.

As a masters runner, he had a lot of fun in the 49-54 age races with a 15.37 5000m, a 2:29.38 marathon and victory in the New Zealand M50 cross-country, beating three former Olympians and the previous year's world champion. He also did something he had never done before - he outsprinted Bill Baillie in a 1500m 55 - 60 age group race.

When he was 54, he followed a three-hour morning run by running 4.48 in the Wesley Club's Beehive mile.

The challenge is: Beat that.
And among his coaching milestones are:

In the late 60s, Evan Maguire ran the 4th fastest 10,000m in history with 28.15. In the 70/80s, Kevin Ryan was world class in marathons all over the world. In the 90s, Kerry Rodger ran great races in NZ with a 13.26 5000 and 28.25 10,000 and he still holds the NZ Resident record for 3000m with 7.45.

So - what is happening with those he helps today in training the Lydiard Way.

Barry Magee's Achievements 2014

Let's look at a few results around the country for 2014.

Sam Wreford


Huntly Half

66.47 (PB)



Gold Cost Half

65:58 (PB)



Christchurch Marathon

2:16:28 (PB)

In 2013 Sam also won the Rotorua & Auckland Marathon. He holds the record for The Legend Marathon of 2:23:11.

Jono Jackson


Auckland 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, Cross Country & Road Champion




NZ Mountain Running Champs


Jono was runner up in The Legend Marathon in 2011 & 2012


Bryan McCorkindale
(aged 61)


Sri Chinmoy 24 hours

223km (PB)

Sean Eustace


NZ M18 3000m




NZ M18 1500m




South Island Cross Country U18




Canterbury Cross Country U18




NZ Cross Country U18




Australian Cross Country U18


Cameron Avery


South Island Cross Country M18




Canterbury Cross Country M18




NZ Cross Country M18




Australian Cross Country M18


Matt Prest


NZ Cross Country M18




Canterbury Cross Country M18


Jerry Brawner
(aged 59 - USA)


Grand Masters division - Gary Tillman Memorial 5k
(Best performance in last 5 years). Reduced 5km PB by 2 min in the last year.


Uddipan Brown
(aged 55)


Sri Chinmoy 47 miler (75km)
(New York)


Let's look at a few results around the country for 2009.
  1. LARA PHILLIPS - 1st in New Plymouth Marathon, 1st in Rotorua Marathon, 1st in NZ Mountain Running Championships.
  2. SAM WREFORD - 1st in Canterbury 10,000m Championship, 1st in Canterbury Road Championships, 2nd In Buller Marathon.
  3. MARGOT GIBSON - 1st in NZ W16 1500m Championship, 1st in NZ Secs School Junior X/C Championship.
  4. OLIVIA BURNE - 1st in NZ Secs School Se X/C Championship -Senior, 2nd in NZ W19 1500mts Championship, 1st in North Island Secs 800 & 1500 mts Championships.
  5. MAGNESS WHYTE - 1st in NZ Secs X/C Championship - year 9, 1st in Auckland Secs X/C & Road Champs.
  6. JONO JACKSON - 1st Huntly 1/2 marathon M19, 1st Auckland 10,000 mts championship M19.

Also results like Auckland Road Championships with 3 x 1sts and 4 x 2nds; Auckland Secs Road Champs with 3 x 1sts and, in 1 race, 1st-2nd-3rd . Two girls, Margot Gibson and Georgie Grgec, named in the NZ Secs team to race in the World Secs X/C Championships in Slovakia in 2010 .

STOP PRESS: At the 2009 national road championships in Dunedin on Septemner 5, Jono Jackson won the M19, Sam Wreford was second senior man home, Sally Wilkins and Ashleigh Williams were second and third in the W16, two other Barry Magee placed 4th and 5th and they all went home to Auckland or Christchurch with a team gold medal.

Barry writes: There were many other fine performances here and around the world . One Canadian in the M50 National X/C has medaled 3 yrs in a row with gold - silver - bronze .

Many others too numerous to mention have benefited from the Lydiard Way. One American man had a PB of 2.58 marathon that he had run when he was 30 yrs old. He was 48 when I started him on the right stuff and, at 50, he did a lifetime PB of 2.57. He is not a champion but he feels like one. The training changed his life.

Lydiard has left us a legacy of success with his training methods. All we have to do is believe and obey the principles that he taught. I know it works because it worked for me and for thousands of others. Perhaps over the coming months I can share some of his secrets of success that work with my runners and bring the results that they do.

Barry's training for Legend.doc (19.3kb pdf)

Watch this website for more from Barry Magee, the Coach's coach.

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