Auckand has it all.
When my parents lived in the village of Waitakere (North of Waiatarua)the only way out was uphill the only way back : downhill !!!!!.
I must be running a long run everyday then. I better stop before I overtrain myself....
I love all these nice black and white categories people tend to put things in but the body doesn't exactly work like that. If I run 1x600m at 5k pace am I really training Vo2max? If I run 2 minutes at "lactate threshold velocity" am I really training the "lactate threshold"? All these arbitrary numbers and "zones" don't really mean a thing to your body. Here's a training shorthand:
1. What is Vo2max and why is it reached? You are maximizing the ability of the body to use oxygen. So how do you train this? Reach a point in which your oxygen consumption is maximalized. This could be with intervals (400s, 800s, miles, doesn't really matter), hills (repeats up a half mile hill is possibly the BEST workout for this purpose), or short race (2mi/5k). In fact if you look at a few of "yesterday's" runners they probably did less track work but more races. That's the concept behind "racing yourself into shape". Best way to train to race is to...RACE.
2. What is lactate threshold why is it reached? Your body doesn't recognize set points. It progressively responds to a stimulus. You're always producing energy aerobically and anaerobically. The faster you run the more "anaerobic" the energy demands become. The longer you run the more "anaerobic" the energy demands become. Muscle fibers fatigue and thus more are needed. The purpose behind "lactate threshold training" is to stress your aerobic energy pathways to the max. Does this have to be at a set pace over a set distance? Nope. Does this have to be at a set % of something? Nope. Run hard without feeling that tightness or weakness in your legs that comes with intense anaerobic training and you've found the correct effort. It doesn't have to be a set pace. You could easily call an hour run at "marathon effort" an equal "lactate threshold" benefit as you could the arbitrary 20 minute tempo. The basic "out and back" run is possibly the best "tempo" run ever devised. Go run for 30 minutes. Come back along the same course at a faster pace. Or go for 45 or 60 minutes, it doesn't matter.
3. Too many times we as runners are so polluted with facts and figures that we forget what we're actually training for. We're not training to raise our Vo2maxes or lactate thresholds. We're training to race fast on Saturday. Once you figure that out you'll be controlling your own training instead of your training controlling you.
Just my little monthly rant.