A friend forwarded a question by a someone in regards to training for a marathon. Below is my response to that inquiry. Since this person has an interest in Arthur Lydiard my answer came from a Lydiard point of view. Distance training is inundated with too much conflicting info. As I have said before, there are fundamentals to training in all sports, and that includes distance running. In a nutshell? We train progressively harder as the organism strengthens and can tolerate more stress.
It says you are in Arthur's Legacy Runner's Group--don't you follow his training regimen? Arthur is very clear about a set timetable of training that becomes progressively more challenging---you first build your aerobic base through mileage, then there is a hill phase which is the beginning of strength building, then comes a specific phase where you do speed work, followed by a sharpening phase before you begin your racing season. I would strongly advise that you buy Arthur Lydiard's book Running to the Top--buy the revised and updated version published by Meyer and Meyer in 1995--It is VERY important that you buy this version as opposed to the other ones published decades ago.I'm sure you can get this book real cheap used on Amazon.com. It's a tower of Babel out there when it comes to marathon training advice--Lydiard is the man. The incorrect and premature introduction of speedwork in your training program will ruin any hopes of your getting near 2:50. Many athletes don't want to admit this but as you get near 50 yrs. of age, you can't do speed like you did when you were in your 20's. Again, Running to the Top by Arthur Lydiard published by Meyer and Meyer. Another thing, pick yourself up a copy of Distance Training for Masters by Arthur and collaborator Garth Gilmour, also published by Meyer and Meyer--I'm sure it too can be bought on Amazon used for a low price. Finally, set your mind on Arthur's program and forget the others. Too many runners are in a constant state of seeking info instead of settling on one specific program.
The last sentence says it all, runners and other athletes are famous for taking in 'new' training information hoping to get an edge, never really settling on one single program. As Cerutty said, this practice displays a certain degree of immaturity.