I think that you actually - you know almost the same that I know from Rui Silva – or even more !
Anyhow I think you are doing a great job, not merely because you study a Portuguese runner, but because I think that an interesting direction to understand and have a technical knowledge of middle/long distance training that´s to study and analyse top class runners schedules. To try to codified “what´s deep inside a schedule structure”. But this means to stop in an individual schedule and analyse that deeply, not simply to change from a someone runner´s schedule to another as we change a t-shirt. And that doesn´t mean that as a runner that eventually you are, or a self coach – you do mere copies of a Rui Silva schedule for your training plan. That will be very wrong. I say “get influenced” but don´t copy. Try to understand what´s the schedule “structure” and adapt that to your own individual talent and needs. Like that you are building your own “standards” and the final result of that design will be original standards. Now, you are a winner !
As a matter of fact I clear up some your doubts that are wrong ideas. Let me resume that.
1/That Rui Silva do a build-up phase out of specifics.
Wrong. He starts specifics since the beginning (build-up phase), but workout´s that improves as long as season periodisation that gets closer to peak competitions. Thershold workouts early, intnse workouts later.
This is a my own idea – that more than ten after 10 days without running on a effort level zone – you are missing something. Anyhow, in a 3-4 to 5months complete periodisation cycle Rui Silva coach thinks that ther´s no time to spend with aerobics exclusively. Since from the start we need “mix-up” aerobic runs with intense paces (specific speed endurance).
2/ that Rui Silva do runs out of specifics in Lt pace.
Wrong, he tries to recover and rest in between that specifics. He does 1-2 Lt sessions weekly (one each 10 days).
3/That by doing 40min AM and 40min PM, that´s a minimalist mileage.
Wrong. Let me add a few more about that subject. Rui do 30min warmup and 10min cooldown (and not the opposite as you say) <<…(on workout days, one of the 40 min runs is broken into 10 min warm-up and 30 min cool-down)…>> and you come close to weekly mileage numbers/figures very correct.
About mileage. Actual I´m reading and analysing past training concepts – and I discovered that wasn´t so old like that, but modern and adequate lots of times. I´m reading Ernest van Aaken concepts. Ernst Van Aaken that´s a past German coach called the “father of long slow distance”.http://www.dr-van-aaken.com/
Among several pupils Harald Norporth a 13.20.49 in 1973 (the WR record at that time that´s 13:13) and a silver Olympic 5000m medal, a 1500m European champ and also 12 nominations in Track and Field top ten annual rankings.
Norporth runner he never loosed for the American Steve Prefontaine. That come famous the Prefontaine-Norporth duels. Both runners did the same tragic destiny – they both die youngs in violent crash car accidents. Also dramatic that Van Aaken while on a nihht training, had been hit by a truck and as result lost both his legs and later on he die also due to that crash long term effects.
Ernst Van Aaken he become famous in America in the 70´s as being be the “father of long slow runs”, he did prescribes the need to run long mileage volumes - slowly, daily, and long, He did figure out that top class runners they may do weekly mileage according his main event competition distance.
For 800m events– 10 kilos by day average thus 80 kilos (50miles) by week average
For 1500m events– 15 kilos by day, thus 105 kilos (65 miles) by week average
For 5000m events – 20 kilos by day average, thus 140 kilos (87 miles) by week average
For 10000m events – 25kilos by day average, thus 175 kilos (109miles) by week average
Marathon event – 40km by day, thus 210 Kilos (130miles) by week average
(Those who do interest in Van Aaken ideas you may read an interesting interview by Tom Sturak with Dr. Ernest van Aaken in Runner´s World, volume Ten, January 1975 – page10 to page 13.)
As you see even “mileage aerobic radicals” as Van Aaken they will agree with Rui Silva 80miles+ weekly mileage for the 1500m events ! Ok, there are other options other attitudes, what´s wrong that to think American style “radical extremes” that´s “what we need that´s a minimalist mileage but try hard plyos and strength” or the other extreme “if we don´t do 100miles a week we will never succeed in long events”. One more time – each individual case that´s a unique case. You must discover what´s fitable in your case.
4/That Rui do a fix frequence of 3 or more quality/specifics workouts weekly.
Wrong. That depends of what we consider specifics. If we consider specifics as only the track reps and Lt run – that´s what Rui Silva´s coach he considers that I did define by “magic 1-2-3 – 1= closer to race – medium to long sets; 2= faster than race – medium to short sets and 3=intense but slower than race pace – continuous runs), I may say to you that Rui do 2 to 3 that workouts in a weekly structure, but that will be more accurate to think that he do 3 that specifics in a 10 days micro-cycle. Now add hills, steps, runs on the beach out of that scheme – that he do accasionally, when he fells recevered. Mainly we can say that it takes 2 to 3 days in between that quality workouts.
That´s also very curious workouts frequency. As far as I know American runners they do mainly 3 workouts weekly frequency.
In the past, but not long ago, we did an inquiry to hundreds of top class runners, Portuguese and foreign runners and we get the same conclusion – those who do/did just 2 hard workouts weekly, or to say 3 in ten days cycle (that´s a workout followed by 2 days in between) they feel more comfortable, than those who do that 3 times a week. The ones that tried workouts in that typical Tuesday and next one in Thursday and a third one in Saturday or Sunday – they weren´t able to carry on 3 efforts for too much long. Contrary, those who did 2 workouts a week (as Rui Silva) they keep on improving and they don´t feel tiredness, they have enough time to recover from hard workouts.
I´m not saying that in very specific short tem periods they don´t do 3 or more workouts weekly, but soon they come back to less stressful 2 weekly average range specifics.
Two years ago I talked with a ancient Russian 10000m Olympic runner and earlier USSR recordist, that later on he did an important role as a middle/long distance national coach, and actually he is a Moldavian citizen.
I ask him because I used to think that past USSR and Matveiev and , Professor. A. Mader training school with agreement with past GDR - East German physiologists – they studied that question deeply: training frequency according recover need. Also I need to remember that Mader he run away from GDR regime to the West on early 70s – and he is considered the “father of lactate anaerobic threshold management” in 1974 he did first pappers on that subject,
and also particularly for the simulation of the energy metabolism under different conditions of work to develop.
The answer of that man was this one “We studied that very accurately and deeply. He conclude that 2 workouts a week that´s enough and it fits in more than 90%-95% among all types of runners. From Kunze 5000m and 1000m, to Eugeny Arzanov (800m) to Herner Schildauer (5000m-10000m) to recent Borza (Bor
Andrey Kuznetsov (5000m-10000m Soviet records and marathon and master runner)http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Track/8378/russian/andrey.htm
or recent 800m winner Yury Borzniakovkyhttp://www.elite-athletics.hu/yuriy/
they all do 2 hard workouts weekly mainly –or if you want 3 workouts in a 10 days period.