I never wanted to be an autograph seeker; I'd rather develop personal relationship/friendship with people. But I have in the past simply went up and asked for pictures or autograph: Said Auita and Carl Lewis. Definitely, Zatopek would have been one of them! I don't give a damn about this "compare times" crap. What a man! And, for what I've heard, very receptive as well. The late Ron Daws' wife, Mary, went and chatted with Dana years ago (because Emil was Ron's hero). She just went up and banged the door basically and had a great time visiting her.
To stear the topic at least slightly to the original quiestion; I had some e-mail exchange with some coaches and athletes lately. My thought in general is that Americans just LOVE repeats. As Arthur always said, if there's an event such as 20X400m, Americans would sweap the medals. Funny to put it this way, coming from Japanese about Americans, but Americans are such a hard-working bunch. They literally work their butt off till they puke on the track. But is it really the way to go? I've heard so many stories, and seen it myself, that impressive training log does not necessarily translate to impressive performance. When some world-beating athlete demonstrates impressive workout, that is simply because he/she is capable of performing such workout well within him-/herself. And for that, they must have done, if not born with it, fair amount of base work.
I think one of great contributions Dr. Daniels made is that he's made final stage of peaking training accessible to the mass. With his charts and explicit training plan, we can figure out intensity and effort of workout without having a coach watching you (in general). Lydiard's training is certainly much more toward "train by how you feel" approach. But Lydiard's contribution is more apparent on his base-building approach. Easy jogging of long mileage alone will not going to make you a great athlete but without it you will not make it there either. With that, I think Lydiard's contribution is bridging the gap between ordinary individuals and the physically talented, the naturally gifted, or the geographically advantaged (altitude).
I know this is sort of coming to an end of the thread especially people might be losing interest when it becomes more or less chatting board among specific individuals (Kim S, HRE and myself???). But I hope we can keep this going a bit longer to stir up some "thinking" among runners and coaches of today.