Something we often hear around Boston Marathon time is that young Kenyan runners grow up jogging 10-12 miles to school every day. Those kids grow up to be tremendous distance runners. It is logical then to make the connection between those two statements. Think about it . . . you don't have to learn to run faster to race faster in distance racing. The quickest, speediest runners don't win endurance races. Stamina is the limitation, not speed. It is with that in mind that we are transitioning from speed based training to endurance based training.
We have had a number of very good runners who have used high mileage as their benchmark for achieving success in distance racing. Generally though the long miles were run at a moderately fast pace which I believe may have been somewhat counterproductive. The key to maximum fitness, in my opinion, is lots of slow running. The best race results will come from an appropriate mix of slow and fast running. The training methods of legendary Coach Arthur Lydiard establishes that mixture as 80/20%. I am not totally abandoning the Jack Daniels method of training but I have definitely seen the light when it comes to the methods of Lydiard who looked for the runner "who can run for two to three hours and come back looking as fit as he did when he went out."
Tomorrow we have Plymouth North visiting us. My group will be doing its running today on our course. More on this at 2:30. See you there . . .