But everyone has different motivations and running well is the combination of being in shape not only physically but mentally. Sometimes the correct training is what appears to be incorrect physically but works well for the individual athlete's mind. Being in great physical shape is worthless if the mind isn't ready to follow.
But after reading the Fittish article on Yuki Kawauchi a few days ago, I understood and somewhat related to the reasoning why he does what he does. He doesn't want to follow the normal Spartan way of distance running where you hide out in the woods for months on end only to pop out a couple of times a year. If he did, he wouldn't enjoy it and would be racing much more slowly.
He brings back a little bit of that old Japanese Samurai Bushido and I'm definitely a bigger fan after reading the article.