Old Sub4, thank you for everything you've written. I'm trying to prepare next year's plan based on your advice, and I just have a question about one of the workouts.
Basic outline - 3 workouts and a long run per week (plus drills, mileage, plyos, etc). Got that.
Workout 1 is what we might call VO2 max intervals that eventually are replaced by speed endurance days. So, cutdown 5*800 all fall and winter, then eventually this gets replaced by race specific stuff at 800 pace like 3x500, but only in the sharpening phase. Got that.
Workout 2 is year-round tempos until the peaking phase. In the fall it might be 6 miles at 6 min pace, but by March-April we're down to 3 miles at 4:50. Got that.
I don't really understand how the third workout of the week evolves. In the fall it is a power workout (short hills, max effort, full recovery), and in the sharpening phase it looks like a pure speed day (4x400 at sub 50), but what is the logic of the ladder workouts in the strength phase? I would understand the evolution of the workout if it went from power to speed...but the "at pace" stuff in the strengthening phase confuses me a little.
At one point you gave a sample Strength phase week and listed the workout: "Sat am pace work. 1600-1200-800-400, 1200-800-400. 400s would end up under 60...".
Can you tell us more about that ladder workout? What kind of paces, how it progresses throughout the phase, etc. Also, what is the purpose? Tempo works on AT, long intervals work on LT, hills and weight work on power, plyos and drills develop neuromuscular coordination, speed endurance (in the spring) works on lactic acid tolerance, etc. What does the ladder session do? Also, does a Saturday workout replace it?