I have studied training for long distance running since 1992.
For any runner who is training to compete at their best there are probably three kinds of training:
1) The training the runner actually does.
2) The training they would like to do.
3) The training that would be the best for that particular person. The athlete may or may not ever discover what this is.
I believe it is imperative that the runner tries different kinds of training over a period of time (possibly many months or a year or two), assesses the results from race performances, then keeps the good bits and experiments again with bits they are not happy with. Only by doing this can the athlete hope to discover the ‘best way for them to train’.
When studying other runner’s training always bear in mind that the trainiing a runner does is usually very heavily dependant on where they live and not necessarily on what would really be the best for them.
E.g. If they live in a hilly area they will run a lot of hills; if they live 5 or 10 miles from work you can bet they will do a lot of 5 and 10 mile runs; if they live in Belgium or Holland they won’t do much hill work; if they live in the far north of the UK they will do a lot of treadmill training; if they have lot of time on their hands they will train more than once a day instead of long, tough single sessions. I think you will get the point now.
Also don’t be seduced by high mileage figures unles they are done on single training sessions per day. It is relatively ‘easy’ running over 100 miles a week when you are doing two or more sessions a day. Far harder doing it on one tough session a day with one really long run per week.