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RE: 2 kinds of runners. Which are you?
The main goal of interval training of the extensive kind (ie: in the form of great number of sets with short and active recovery) is to improve the aerobic condition and the aerobic power, and at its ultimate, to improve what we call strength endurance — which has an anaerobic component to it, but is predominantly aerobic. This was the original scope behind the original term - interval training - as well as the correct modern interpretation.
Running that is more anaerobic in nature, or speed-based, or biomechanical in nature can, of course, also be done through interval training, but to achieve this you must increase the running pace and lengthen the recovery interval. And by so doing, it is no longer interval training in the true sense of the term, because the recovery is no longer incomplete in nature; as it should be in the correct characterisation of interval training.
Most of the critic of the interval training is based in the misunderstand that the only version of the interval training type it’s the very fast and the anaerobic type. It´s wrong interpretation and it starts in the 60s and lasts for decades. I don´t need to name the well known and famous coaches that did persist in that mistake and wrong interpretation all life long. It´s written in books about their training methods and their followers and disciples they still continue to spread that wrong interpretation. See the main reason they say every kind of the interval training workout it shall be avoid during the build-up phase 1. They say the intervals it´s anaerobic training.
This is the mistake of many; among them some who were, and are, considered top-class coaches. This single fundamental fact has been misunderstood for decades. In every version of the intermittent training workout they do they want to solve a problem by increasing the running pace, but to do so they must (also) lengthen the recovery period ... and in so doing they create a bigger problem.
The main reason that is always given for avoiding interval training during the base-training, build-up period is all down to a basic misunderstanding of the fundamental meaning of interval training. Or at least a misunderstanding of the form of interval training that is extremely effective in improving the aerobic condition.
The question states, is aerobic base training dead? No. However aerobic base training may include some interval training workouts — used correctly but sparingly — as aerobic training, and in the optimal form designed to improve the aerobic condition. May be you do. May be you don´t. It´s your choice. But it´s not right to criticize those who do it by the wrong argument and the misunderstand.
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