Terrific posts! Do you coach at the collegiate level or are you an ex phys guy? Former or current athlete? Just curious.
I will certainly put your knowledge to work on my hs team. We have won State many times off of mileage, long repeats (6-8min), and a bit of turnover work; however, your theory that 3-4min pieces work better intrigues me.
Personally, in my forties I'm finding I need long periods (6 months or so) at aerobic and upper-end aerobic running(100/wk with a few strides thrown in once per week. Wish I had approached my younger training days this way.
What are your thoughts on these purely aerobic periods? Is it too long? I've got an invite to Motorola marathon in Feb but am running club Nats in Sacremento in Dec. Would I destroy aerobic enzymes by doing VO2 work before Nats? I've been planning on racing that XC event and a few road races (before Motorola) off of purely aerobic work. Do we actually need anything other than aerobic work for a marathon? I just did 16 on the track (yes, switching directions occasionally) at exact marathon pace (yeah, thank you Kevin Beck for that insane idea!) and plan to do 18-19 of the same in Dec and maybe 20-22 in Jan. That planned marathon pace work for 2 16 milers seemed to help a great deal for Chicago two years ago. It just seems to me that VO2 intervals just don't pertain to the marathon. Am I wrong?
Questons, questions....enjoy Rome. Do you work there?