This is in line with Prof. Yuri Verkhoshansky's anti-periodization theme with the Block Training System.
When an athlete is tired, we have to change his training, depending on the period of preparation. Our behavior must be different if we are during GENERAL PERIOD or during SPECIFIC PERIOD. During General Period we must take care of our INTERNAL LOAD. This means that the most important thing is the level of the ANSWER of every athlete to the training proposal, not the objective result of his training. For example, if I plan for an athlete 10 x 1000m in 3:00 with 200m jogging in 1:30 of recovery, and I suppose that this training is at 90% of his effort, but there are reason (cold, wind, personal problems in his job, beginning of a sickness, etc...) that don't allow him to run in 3:00 but in 3:10 with the same level of personal effort, the athlete must do his training running 3:10, because his internal load is the same. During General Period we must work for increasing the qualities of the athlete : strength, resistance, cohordination, rapidity. In this period, the athlete must work very hard, also if feels tired.
About 2-3 months before the main goal of the season (for example, for athletes sure to go to World Championships in Osaka, starting from beginning of June), we change our philosophy of training, starting with the SPECIAL PERIOD (lasting about 4-5 weeks) followed by the SPECIFIC PERIOD (lasting about 6-7 weeks). The difference between the two periods is that during the SPECIAL we begin to put in training exercises, speed and distances connected with the event that we want to prepare, during the SPECIFIC we go to prepare the event in more targetted way. During these two periods, we must look for the EXTERNAL LOAD. This means that we must respect the EXACT SPEED THAT WE WANT TO PREPARE. For building a performance, external load is mathematic. For example, if I want to prepare my athlete for running 5000m in 12:45 (it means 2:33 every km), we must use a lot of intervals at a speed of 15.3 every 100m, or between 14.5 and 16.0, for specialising biomechanic and methabolism of the athlete in optimizing this type of speed. We can use essentially distance connected with the event, not shorter than 400m (56.0 >`` 58.0) and not longer than 2000 (5:05 %%< 5:20), for global volumes not inferior of 1.5 time of the full distance (7.5 km) and not superior of the double (10 km). In this period, if the athlete, for some reason, is not able to run the specific speed, it's better than he can reduce his training for 1-2 days, in order to become able to use the correct quality. During SPECIFIC TRAINING THE ABILITY TO RESPECT THE SPEED IS VERY IMPORTANT : if the athlete is not able, it means that is not able to run fast as we planned.
Aerobic power is the aerobic base of intensity, useful for every particular event. In my opinion, it's wrong to speak of "SPEED" as something of objective, the same to speak of "AEROBIC POWER". It's obvious that speed for a specialist of 800m or for a Marathon runner are two different thing. For me, every speed 10% faster then the speed of the event is FULL SPEED. For example, for an 800m runner (1:44), having a speed of 13.0 every 100m, 10% of the time is 1.3, so speed 10% faster is 13.0 - 1.3 = 11.7. We don't need faster speed in training, under bioenergetic point of view. May be that we use, sometime, faster speed (for example, repetitions of 60m at full speed), but this is for mechanical reasons, and is not the most important part of training. THE PHILOSOPHY IS TO EXTEND THE ABILITY TO LAST AT THE SPEED OF THE RACE, so we have to train using, mainly, speeds between 95% and 105% of the speed of the race, of course with different distances. In this case, we can use these types of training :
a) SPEED (biomechanical goals) : from 60m to 150m, full speed (very few repetitions)
b) HIGH SPEED ENDURANCE : distances from 100 to 400m, speed at 105% (in the case of 1:44, it means for example 4 sets of 5 x 100m in 12.2, rec. 1:30 between tests, 5:00 between sets, or 2 sets of 5 x 200m in 24.4, rec. 2:00 among tests and 5:00 among sets, or 2 sets of 3 x 300m in 36.5, rec. 2:00 / 5:00, or 2 couples of 400m in 49.0, rec. 3:00 among test, 6:00 among sets)
c) SPECIFIC SPEED ENDURANCE : distances from 300 to 600m at the speed of the race (for example, 3 sets of 3 x 300m in 39.0, rec. 1:00 among test, 4:00 between sets, or 5 x 400m in 52.0 rec. 3:00, or 4 x 500 in 1:05 rec. 4:00, or 3 x 600 in 1:18 rec. 6:00)
d) LOW SPEED ENDURANCE : distances from 600 and 800m, at a speed of 95% (in this case, 13.85 every 100m), for example 600 / 800 / 800 / 600m rec. 6:00, in 1:23 and 1:51
e) SPECIFIC AEROBIC POWER : distances from 800 to 1000, total volume 3 - 4 times the distance of the race double of the distance of the race, at 90% of speed (in this case, 13.0 + 1.3 = 14.3), for example 4 x 1000 in 2:23 rec. 6:00
f) BASIC AEROBIC POWER : distances from 1000 to 2000m at 80% of the speed of the race (in this case, 13.0 + 2.6 = 15.6) for a global volume of 5-7 times the distance of the race (for example, 1600 / 1400 / 1200 / 1000, rec. 4:00, in 4:10, 3:38, 3:06, 2:35)
g) GENERAL AEROBIC POWER : distances from 2000m to 6000m, at a speed of 70/75% (about 16.5 verey 100m, 66.0 per lap). For example, 2 x 3000 in 8:15 rec. 5:00, or 5000m in 13:45.