"1.The athlete's basic abilities and development.
2.Basic speed or the ability to sprint.
4.Ability to maintain a fast steady pace.
5.Ability to vary speed in a race.
6.The most suitable distance for a finishing kick.
7.Ability to exercise control during a race.
8.Consideration of opposing runner's abilities.
9.Ability to observe,assess and exploit any strengths and weaknesses in the opposition.
10.Ability to relate one's own weaknesses and strengths to the opposition.
11.Ability to judge pace.
My first thought on the above is that it takes an intelligent and well-conditioned runner to understand and implement several of the above elements.But,that's all part of achieving optimal running performances.
Another thing,you were born with a certain amount of speed,or lack of it.As I used to say to my students,the reason you are running distance instead of the sprints is because you don't have the natural speed. I could have you guys do wind sprints and speed drills all day and you would still not be able to race the 100 or 200.
The beauty of distance running is that you can become faster by doing the work,intelligent work, as Cerutty called it.I should add here that I'm not referring to endless sets of 400 meter intervals on the track.That's foolish work. You want to know yourself as a distance runner and implement some of the elements Lydiard is referring to? Then build up your aerobic base as far as you can, do it over varying courses,distances and terrains.Do fartlek runs, also, run the same courses each week as you build up your maximum aerobic threshold.You do this for a long time and you will know yourself as a runner,you will become highly conditioned,you will be able to switch gears as you run and race.
The beauty of distance training,contrary to what the nouveau running theorists will tell you, is its simplicity.