I want to remember that Kenyans have a very high mileage BEFORE BEGINNING THEIR OFFICIAL ACTIVITY. They run (no more so much today, because there are more schools and also in Kenya some car for bringing guys to school...) from when are 4-5 years old a lot of miles, that build their aerobic resistance. For example, speaking about Kwalia, he went to a school (from 6 to 16 years) 8 km far from his house, coming back in the late morning for eating at home. SO, EVERY DAY WERE ABOUT 32 KM !
Therefore, his clear that they don't need more long basic training, but specific workouts. However, they use very long run at slow pace for regenerating their energies and "washing" their muscles from lactate, running in very elastic way, like american sprinters.
An example : when I trained Kenneth Kimwetich (1'43"03 on 800m and 2'13"56 on 1000m, able running in about 46" and probably 3'45" but not faster 1500m), the day after specific workouts (I use 3-4 times a SPECIAL BLOCK during the main season, for preparing specific high intensity endurance : f.e., 6 x 1000m in 2'33" / 2'36" with 4 min recovery in the morning, 500 (1'03") / 400 (49") / 300 (35") / 200 (22"5)with 6-7 min recovery in the afternoon) he used to go running in the forrest disappearing for about 3 hours. When I asked him where he were going, he answering "To run 3 hours", at a pace of 6' per km, that for us is very difficult to use because we become bored.
So, I explained him (and also to the other athletes, like David Lelei (3'31" in 1500m) and Christopher Koskei himself (winner of steeple in Seville and older brother of Cherono) that, following our methodology, could be better to run only 1 hr for regenerating. But, when they went with my suggestions, the day after were not able to run well ; instead, after their 3 hours, they were able to do every type of lactic work. So, I decided that they could use what preferred for recovering hard training.
You must think that running in a wonderful ambience like a forrest is something extremely pleasant, and of sure has nothing to do with running among cars on a road like in Italy, for example. In the forrest, everybody ENJOY RUNNING.
So, it's not a discrepancy to hear Konchellah saying that HE WANTS TO GO FOR LONG RUN (regeneration), BUT DOESN'T LIKE LONG FAST RUN !
Another thing that you must know is that the groups of training are mixed. For ex., in Iten the old group in 1999 was with Kimwetich (1'43"), Lelei (3'31"), Koskei (8'05" in steeple), Moses Kigen (3'32"), Moiben (2:10 in Marathon), Jackson Koech (62' HM) and some other young. During the first period of preparation, they ran together long run (only difference, the duration, from 15 km for Kimwetich to 30 km for Moiben) and fartlek (classic 1 min fast / 1 min slow, where slow is really jogging). This fact is one of the reasons because their preparation never was very good, and only thru the races they were able to reach a high level of shape.
On of the reasons of current improvements of our athletes is that now Bungei, Mutua, Yiampoy, Shaheen, Kwalia, Kemboi, Nyamu, John Korir, Paul Kosgei, Robert Rono and all the young guys winners of medals in Youth Championships (Esho and Kiplangat, Choge, Ronald Kipchumba and Justus Kiprono) learnt to use more individual and targetted training during winter season, so are able to improve their qualities during a period in the past dedicated to rest or jogging without any specific goal.