They deleted that one from John Rupp but i will try to answer: (so racer1 excuse me if i reply to you)
Thanks for your ask.
I don´t know if you are an american. I used not to loce to tal too much about the other, My job that´s mind and care my own business. But since we are here in this Forum that´s an american forum that´s natural that the main dominant idea would be the american training concepts.
I want to respect the americans, but in te meantime i need to be sincerely and if you ask me i need to express my personal opinion. Your doubts i think they got to do about the typical american concepts.
First i sumarise some american running concepts that i consider wrong concepts (running myths):
1/to think that only high mileage volumes that gets your shape condition to the top - the famous 100 miles.
2/to think that lactate training management do have a very confined pace - the famouts AnT pace
3/to think that plyos and weights and streng are the "must" of distant running events.
4/to think that we need to train hard all the time - no pain, no gain.
5/to think that we may do aerobic training almost exclusively for large periods and a taper for soem weeks and that the performance that happens by miracle.
6/the 2hours classic long run every week with no criteria - from 800m to the marathon
7/TO THINK THAT WE MAY USE SHORT REPS IN LONG DISTANCE REPS.
Thus in the item 7/ here we are in your question.
During the winter, Rui are doing "interval training in the german school/friburg school", that did source in the Waldemar Greshler/Reindell studies in the last 40s, and 50´s. I think that most people actullay they mention "Intervals" but they did loose the source. It will take an entire book to tell you what´s interval training. But to confine or to resume that in a simple sentence i will say that "in the interval training what´s crucial or first priority that´s not the pace, but THE INTERVAL pause, their duration in a INCOMPLETE PAUSE. That means that each time that you do the next one set, if the interval that´s well calculate according the uncomplete interval strategy, that creates "an artificial" effort condition a kind of effort crescendum (accumulate effort). That mans that after a short total distance, let´s say as example 12X400m by that uncomplete interval pause (sometimes active interval, as Rui do)after a few reps (ex: let´s say after the 4th set- thus 1 mile or 1.6Kilos)you are running in such an inconfort and lactic acid accumulation (debit)that with a quite complete pause you will be able to that occurs in your body just after 15sets (thus after 6 kilos). In that interval trauining a experient coach with the interval training/Friburg school he is able to determine for a set averege pace what interval will need the runner. And that´s the reason why the portuguese runners we do individualized and diffrent intervals for each runner, even the twins brother´s Castros with Pb´s very similar one to each other they did diffrent intervals for the same workout. Mamede did 400s with 45sec pause; Lopes 1 minute or more; Domingos Castro 50sec; Rui Silva starts his carrer with 1min and actullay he did progress to 45sec intervals 100m ahed on track. That´s training individualisation - that´s not just the average pace that´s determinant - also the intervals.
That is applied for short sets (15sec to 2min) or 100m to 500m-600m-700m sets). That´s curious that people says thats anaerobic but despite that´s faster than race pace - that´s 70-80-90-95% pace according the set distance (for a runner that do 400m in 55, he do sets in 64 average pace, thus the interval that can be uncpmplete/no full recover needed.
Now, in the case of long reps the logic that´s diferent. If you are running for long periods (2:30 to 8min) that´s sets from 1000m to mile, 2000m to 3000m, ther are 3 reasons why the interval that´s longer
1/because the running duration is bigger/loger than short sets
2/because the pace according the set total distance that´s faster in averege range according the set distance
3/last but not least - becuse here that´s not INTERVAL TRAINING CONCEPT but more a "tempo" pace concept. So, the interval that´s irrelevant than in short reps, and here we need that the runner do a complete recover - in the long reps the target goal or the first priority that´s race pace, and not to work under incomplete interval - to train in interval training
4/We studied that in those long sets in Race pace - an interval shorter than 2:30 and longer than 4min that´s enough in the majority of cases to recover.
The case of the 10-12min intervals in Rui Silva sets that sets reps are not relate with typical long reps/race pace. That are more seen as a CONTROL TEST - that means ALL OUT, close to competitions, and that ones are quite lactic, because very fast/maximum pace. Thus the need to do longer intervals. In the Rui case 10-12min. But to say the truth that CONTROL TESTS are done with great care, following a large recover period.
I hope that you understand now why the workouts in the america style - ex:3-4Xmile all out for 5000m runners with 1 min rest close to the peak competitions - that´s an absurde to me, a real non-sense. If you the target that´s lactic acid management - i would undrestand, but in AnT paces not race pace. Close to the competitions we may do workouts with longer interval pauses and not shorter. What´s behind that american concept i don´t understand. It willn´t be a surprise that most of the american runners weren´t able to peak as they might peak if they insist to use that ultra short intervals in long reps in race pace.
Resumimg, in Winter (earlier sason) in sthe hort intervals –the interval (uncomplete) that´s first priority and the pace (ususal faster than race pace) that´s only second priority, in longer reps the pace that´s first prority and the interval (quite complete) that´s second priority., and in Control Tests the pace that´s firest priority and the interval that´s irrelevant, but needs to be larger enough (full receover) , because the pace that´s so fast (close to maximum pace capacity).
Close to competitions (late periods) ther´s are also short sets – but that ones don´t fall in the same classification than in the winter (earlier periods) – now the short reps are a different target – they are pure speed pace , thus the reason that you can see a workout as such a 4X(500m+400+300+200) with long recover. That´s not interval training. That´s speed – maximum pace with full recover.
I hope that with my poor english i made me undrestand. Any doubts ? Ask me.