i think that van Aaken method is a “modern one method” in many aspects but mainly because:
1/in a period that people ws doing "interval training" and anaerobic runs mainly - he acts as a counter culture at that past ages, and he did an emphasis in that AEROBIC OUTPUT that´s the key to all training distance, that means easy "stedy state" aerobic runs, and that volume more than the intensity that´s the major improving factor.
Only a little anaerobic stuff in te total averege that´s enough.
2/van Aaken he did realise that so many times the runners train faster/intenser more than they should.
3/Renato Canova the “master” did made that statements:
A/…The different speed are connected between, but for every speed you can find the direct support only from the speed immediately slower (for endurance), and from the speed immediately faster (for speed)
B/…So, every speed is a different mean of training. The difference between the old and the modern system, is that in the old we considered only 3 big groups of speed : AEROBIC very slow, developing volume at low intensity, LONG RUN at AnT level, developing endurance at medium intensity, and SPEED ENDURANCE, running short intervals very fast.
Now, we can see that the connection among so far speeds are very little, and is difficult to improve : there is no connection between running 400m in 55.0 and the marathon, but there is also no connection between running 2 hours at 4:00 or 3:45 per km, and 1500m in 3:35...
Thus, following that logic that “modern training” uses for specifics paces closer/relate to race pace – in my opinion van Aaken may be consider the first of “modern training”, since he prescribes that specifics workouts rarely that may be done in paces much faster than race pace. Of course that he used sprint strides, of course that from times to times he used faster than race pace or speed endurance power as a training format. But what is intersting is that he disagrees with most of the coaches of that time that did prescribe workouts tremendously faster than race pace.
One detail I want to make it clear I that van Aaken method usues specific workouts relate to runner talent and runner targets, because that are so many people that wrongly thinks that van Aaken method is just LSD – long slow distance. That´s wrong, that´s a van Aaken wrong myth – as you will see later in the Harald Norport Schedule van Aaken uses specific workouts often.
Now, late bloomer regarding your post comments, I agree with you. Since max.VO2 is relate to weight van Aaken considers the weight relate to tall (weight indice) a very important item from the training and also from the shape condition. DIET. One of their sentences that´s “train daily, train long and don´t eat like a pig” In certain cases he prescribes faster that´s right. I will come to this issue, because s you know, he says that´s not by running and training and the exerecise that we get the weight down, but mainly by eating less food. One other interesting issue that´s SLEEP. Contrary to what´s usual opinion he says that people sleeps more than they should ! and that 5 hopurs sleep a day that´s enough in most of the cases even with people that trains lots of volume. That´s very controversial, but I would love your opinion to all that original van Aaken ideas.