I was reading an article by Loraine Moller which highlighted a great story about Arthur Lydiard about his golden boys at the ’64 Olympics in Toyko.
'They were at the training track, with their rivals looking on, they ran an impressive interval session of 20 quarters. The next day one of these opponents, a talented interval-trained Canadian in his first Olympics, showed up at the track with his coach and proceeded to run the same session. Lydiard’s boys cheered him on as he ran each interval faster than the last. When it was all done a reporter asked Lydiard what he thought of the kid’s workout. ‘I think it was the last nail in his coffin.’ Lydiard replied.
‘But your boys ran the same session yesterday.’
‘Yes, but my boys needed it.’
Perfectly peaked, Lydiard’s protégé, Peter Snell, won two gold medals. His Teammate, John Davies, won a bronze. The Canadian who has eclipsed the Kiwis’ training run with his own failed to advance to the finals in his event – as Lydiard has predicted.”
I like this story as it highlights that there is never a one size fits all approach to anything be it in sport, business or life in general. Lydaird's coaching style and methods were developed by trial and error on himself and then as he developed as a coach his training plans were tailored to the individual's needs.