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As I read through this massive thread, my overwhelming feeling was that running is science AND art. Too often we fixate on science. We shall always debate Lydiardism, Horwell 5-paceism, Coe 4-zoneism, Canova intensity zones, Cabral system, etc etc etc. Certain scientific theories will be advanced in the future, and others will fall by the wayside. If there ever comes a time when we finally have THE ANSWER, running will cease to thrive, and this thread will certainly lose it's raison d'etre.
Often, certain things that the greats did become folklore, and are completely blown out of proportion. Coe did not do 6x800m in 1:50, ending with 1:46 100x in his life. All experienced runners remember their very few and far between ultra-special sessions. But this is never the norm, and in fact, this ultra-specialness might constitute overtraining in an intensity sense.
Science is a tool. What we are left with is individualism, and here is where the art of training and coaching plays it's major role. Do you as a coach know your athlete? Do you as an athlete know yourself? This is the major challenge, much more so than 102% VO2 max on a 1500m interval on a particular session in a 9-day microcycle etc etc etc. Science is the canvas. The runner is the paint.
Sorry for the philosophizing, but this is my second post here, and I must start with a broad statement of principle!!! :)
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