I've been following this thread with some amusement. No one will agree on anything so it's kind of pointless!
But anyway, for my post...
I started running about 9 years ago. My first experiences with training ended up with hitting the track and having injury set backs. I decided that I wanted to get fast over distance (think 1/2 to marathon) and read everything I could. I tried different coaches and tried to understand their technique. What I found was that the majority of coaches out there always started a program without developing an aerobic base. Not only did the coaches do this, even the books by so called great coaches did this! It was always, "you should be running x number of miles to start this program".
Arthur Lydiard was the first to realize that developing an aerobic base is the first step in becoming competitive. This first step is training TO BE ABLE TO TRAIN FOR RACE SPECIFICITY. Most locally competitive runners could develop this only and perform well. Lydiard training took me to another level. But it was not the end all. I then found a coach that developed me even further. I can tell you work outs that I did but it wouldn't matter. I found it to be interval but not speed, think of the Hadd / Cabral thread. I got faster over distance but I just couldn't do it day in and day out. It wasn't a program that a working Joe like myself could maintain. The Lydiard program is.
What KOOP seems to be saying is in regards to the race specific phase. As Renato Canova has discussed in other threads, most top athletes have developed their aerobic bases to a very high point. He then gets very specific in raising that limit based on the individual, for a specific race, at a very technical level.
I think it is a disservice to the sport to say that Arthur Lydiard was not a great coach, and did not have a great method. The fact that these debates go on and on show that he did have some merit, his training is still incorporated all over the world.
But also we need to recognize that Lydiard's program is not the end all, and we should welcome changes in methodology, that bring improvement to our sport.
So, Kadhafi Out of Power, can you write a program that could take a sedentary individual and get them to run at a high level? Can you write a plan that would make some of these letsrun poster children champions?