We needed a logical reason on why we shouldn‘t have gone harder, how to space out those efforts, and what we are getting as a response to that training as opposed to “train harder, train more, and just be tougher.” -Terence Mahon, coach of Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall. -roadsmillslap
MY COMMENT: Mahon is referring to guys like Todd Williams, himself, Brad Hudson, and Alberto Salazar, suggesting a more structured approach with recovery was missing. I was part of that era and recall reading everything I could get my hands on about guys like Shorter, Rodgers, and Beardsley. He's probably correct- runners don't appreciate the benefits of proper recovery and some need to be restrained.
That being said, missing a few easy days is NOT the primary reason why American distance running faltered in the 90s. Mahon goes on-
In the U.S., we have no system. We have a collegiate system which does very well and everyone knows that around the world, but it is a terrible, terrible system once the kid graduates. And it’s all because we have college coaches who are paid to coach college and the professional demands are different and that’s where I think we’ve gotten lost.
Bingo. Fortunately we have turned the corner now and are beginning to see some very positive results on an international level.