The key isn't just lots of miles (though that helps) but lots of easy, *very relaxed* miles, which nurture and regenerate rather than degrade. Look at Ed in those videos of his jogging runs. He has incredible bounce for any runner, not to say one who has done the huge slow mileage he has. He has done a fantastic job in retaining his middle-distance form even when jogging. He looks like a miler doing a warmup jog, not a grinder shuffling to his next mileage goal.
I vary the terrain, and the distance constantly, though I am now far more consistent in my day-to-day mileage. I also do lots of pickups, plyos, stretching, weights, strides, short hills and a 10x100 on the track every 7-14 days. My legs are no longer "hammered flat", so I feel my stride has loosened and opened up up considerable in four months of this. The prospect of competing even at 400/800 next summer excites me now.
Sometimes I'll throw in a tempo mile at the end of a run. I haven't raced yet, just building a very large base. But have done a few track sessions that are extremely encouraging. Certainly for 10K-marathon this training I would think this can be done with little additional speed work, indefinitely. At least you'll beat the legions of old guys who are too beat-up to make the starting line.
Remember that Ed is NOT training like most marathoners. He is running MUCH slower in terms of his training pace than almost all comparable performers, with MUCH higher mileage.
I had six cardio-conversions for A-fib between 2006-2011. None since I slowed my training pace, while still doing the mileage and alactic speed training. I also have eliminated grains and eat low-carb. If you want to run long in every sense, you have become a fat-burner. Every other marker of heath has improved also.
This definitely has me rethinking my retirement years training.
What about the studies that indicating going long and the associated heart inflammation can lead to damage or heart attacks? Seems that is more apt to happen in less fit marathons as I recall. Here is one such article:
Kind of think Ed is dispelling this, or is quite the exception?
Ah, there's an ultra guy in Savannah - Andrew Snope - who apparently trained himself to be a fat burner.
When you race after these far slower training runs, are you able to step up the pace considerably like Ed? Seems the running mechanics from so much slow running would be quite different from running a marathon at a far faster pace.
From my own experience, years ago I found something interesting. Doing 30 mpw with lots of speedwork and doing 60 mpw with less speedwork yielded similar times for the 5k. A bit slower at 60 mpw but the distance work was easier than the intervals. But I do like do intervals, guess it's the challenge of always wanting to work harder and to be able to see it.
Getting older, though, I don't want it to end until the end is near.
Are you running the same hours every day or does it vary?