I’d be honest with you, Coe & Martin’s book has been in my bookshelf for quite some time and I have used it as reference many times but I actually haven’t read the whole thing from front to back yet (I’m a Jap, and am a slow reader…what do you expect!?). Now my understanding of what you just described of Coe’s training approach (increase both volume and intensity) is in reference with volume and intensity of “race specific training”. For example, in Lydiard’s original track schedule (from Run to the Top), he prescribes, say, starting with 15X200 at ¼ effort to 12X400 at ¼ effort to 20X200 at ½ effort to 15X400 at ½ effort (not specifically these numbers but just showing the pattern) and that’s why I like the original track schedule best. It does follow that Coe pattern. Now whether Coe actually did a block of “aerobic conditioning” or not, I’m not sure. He may have but then again, he may not have. Either way, he was, as far as I’m concerned, close to physical freak. He had very very high aerobic capacity to begin with that he may not have needed to build it up…I would not know. What I do know is that if I take someone who’s 18-years-old and beginning to compete, I would NOT have him follow such Coe approach. Here I’m talking very general term.
Four weeks to develop maximum anaerobic cap: yes, when I was writing that, I thought someone might come back and bite me. I have not seen the actual study; I don’t know if there’s any. The point, however, is that doing too much anaerobic type training, i.e.; intervals or repetitions, can have a deteriorating effect on your overall fitness level. It pulls pH level of your blood, affects central nervous system (with lowering of blood pH level). Assuming all those scary bedtime stories are true, why continue with such training year-around? I will ask some of my friends who are exercise physiologists and see if such research actually exists or if such theory is actually correct.
I guess you could say that I’ve been busy studying the Lydiard method (with my slow English reading skills), that I have not had time to expand other methods. I need to revisit (or visit for the first time?) Coe and Martin book. But I could take a short cut and actually talk to him??? As a matter of fact, I just spoke with Dr. Martin and he gave me some very interesting information: Get this, guys; 200m splits of Yuri Borzakowski’s 800m gold medal performance at Athens Olympic Games:
25.5—26.7—26.2—26.0 (200m splits)
52.2—52.3 (400m splits)
“It couldn’t have been more even than this,” Dr. Martin said. “The key to running successful 800m is to stay aerobic as long as possible; that means ‘How can we NOT get into too much anaerobic in the first lap’…and up to 600m mark and slow down least.” As Dick Brown always says, “It’s not who is the fastest in the last 200m of middle distance race; but who is the LEAST anaerobic?” He’s in the middle of a move to a new office and said his info on Dave Wottle’s splits from 72 Olympics in a box somewhere. When he gets to it and sends it to me, I’ll share it with you.
Now I’m happy that I made my point from someone you would think more reliable than a stinkin’ Jap who runs in that racing flat crap! I love it when I'm right! Of course this is when my wife would have this sudden gush of air through her nose with a smirk on her face...(I’m just kidding here)
Oh, one more thing; you do need to prepare for the next phase each time. So run hilly courses during conditioning (as they did); you do do some short windsprints during hill circuit (as they did). There should NEVER be any “sudden” switch to the new next phase and they never had. If he never mentioned in his book (the man was a confusing SOB, wasn’t he?), they never practiced “sudden switch.”