some answers from RC about Kemboi:
"Regarding Nicholas, his basic work was based on long run till 1 hr 30:00 and short sprint climbing. During that period Nicholas ran 2 HM, the first one in 62:07 in february or beginning of march, the second in Lisbon where he finished in 60:31. But after this, he went for easy training for two months, and in Hengelo (1st of June) he ran only 28:19, lapped by Bekele, Gebre and Sihine. So, when he went to Switzerland, I needed to rebuild also general endurance, also if I spent for this goal only one month. This period was of sure very important, but for running 26:30 the specific period was most fundamental.
But is not possible to say that one period is more important than another. Without basic period, is not possible to go for specific period of quality. But without specific period is not possible to reach your best. It's like building a house : is more important the first floor or the tenth floor in a house of 15 floors ? One cannot exist without the other. So, if is not possible to develop intensity without basic training, is not possible to develop performances without intensity."
From another post:
"Anyway, I continue speaking about NICHOLAS KEMBOI. He was already n. 4 and n. 7 in two different editions of World Cross Country Junior Ch. (2001 - 2002), so was not an unknown athlete. I'm his coach from september of 2001. Soon after WCCCH 2002, he was injured in a muscle, and lost 4 months of the past season. When came back, was not able to do any speed workouts, because yet felt pain in the leg. So, I decided to move him to longer distances, as he has the possibilities to become a very top marathon runner in the future (he's really born at the end of 1983). In march of this year, he was able running HM in Lisbon in 60:31, without any specific training, demonstrating his attitudes for long run. Then, was for about 40 days in Portugal for some road race, and went to Hengelo (10000m) without track preparation. His 28'19" was not so bad. After 2 weeks in Kenya, he came with me in Switzerland (Davos) from the beginning of July. I preferred to develop a good base of volume, running about 250 km per week during the first 2 weeks, with very slow training on track, but using short sprints uphill (60-80m about) for improving his capacity in recruiting the most part of his muscular fibres. He went running in Sotteville (13'42", 5th position) on 8/07, then in Algier (19/07), yet 13'42". Only after this race I decided to put some work of speed in his training. In short time, I discovered his speed, and was a surprise also for me. After a work with 4 sets of 600/500/400/300/200m (2 min rec. and 5 min among sets) in 1'33" / 1'16" / 60" / 44" / 28", he was able running the last 200m (free) in 23"7 ! So, speaking with him, I understood that he was not fast BECAUSE WAS SURE TO BE SLOW. He decided to try, changing his mentality. So, he went to Heusden (2/08) running in 13'14"43 after pacing (3rd position), then in San Sebastian (10/08) yet in 13'14"32 n. 2 with many mistakes during last lap, then in Zurich (15/8) almost won running in 13'01"14 with a good final. So, we decided to train hard 3 weeks for running 10000 in Bruxelles. I was sure about 26'45", but 26'30" surprised me also. In any case, during the last period his improvement was terrible, because every thing was really easy. For ex., on 23/8 he did a work with 3000m (2' rec) 6 x 60m sprint climbing (2' rec) x 4 times, more a final 1000 fast. His times were (in St. Moritz from 31/7, at 1800m of altitude) 8'23", 8'24", 8'17", 8'23" and 2'30"5 with last lap in 54"6 and last 200 in 24"8 (Kwalia took 5" during last lap). Kemboi may be the new Gebre, able running from 1500m to marathon. Not drug, but big talent and big motivation, and also big intelligence, because there are other athletes coming to Europe at the same level, but not able to improve because "too much kenyans" yet...."