"Until you know how to peak at certain events you don't know anything about training," a quote by Arthur Lydiard from Running Magazine(British,Feb. '87).
Those who choose to adhere to a training schedule in preparation for a specific racing season will recognize how true the above statement is. So many people say they are training to get ready to race but will basically just do some mileage for awhile and then start their interval work that continues up to and through their racing season. These people are locked into the flawed belief that you have to run fast to race fast.If you are familiar with the fundamental principles of distance training you will realize that this statement is only partially true. I say this because there is a certain time in your training in which you do "speed work" that precedes a period of time where you can race at an optimal level.You may recall from a prior post entitled, Lessons From Lydiard, that training should introduce increasingly more stressful workouts as your body is able to handle them.This all leads to a point where your conditioning reaches a peak and you are ready to race.Since we are human beings and not machines,it is logical to assume that we can race well for only a certain amount of time before we get what is sometimes called "diminishing returns." To learn how to peak properly takes time, and the willingness to take the time to study and "listen" to your body.Unfortunately,many who say they want to train in order to get in their best possible racing condition, are unwilling to do this,choosing to simply run intervals pretty much all year.If you are willing to put in the time and effort,why not do it right?