The thing about running is that we all are at a different level. If I train the same amount that my friend trains, I would not get the same benefit he does because I am different from him.
It's important to realize that there is no one workout that fits all. You may benefit from a workout, but the effects differs between individuals. Everyone is different. We have different mindsets, different bodies, different muscles types (red/white balance), different experiences... and because of that, everyone has a unique 'reaction' to the training. Depending on the intensity and kind of workout, it can maximally benefit you, or minimally benefit you.
In order to figure out what's right for you and your pursuit of your goals, you need to figure out who you are. Once you figure out who you are, figure out where you are, and where you want to be. It's good to know where the journey is going to take place and how long the journey would be, and ultimately, if the journey would be worth it.
Your goals may be similar to another person, but change it up as you walk on towards it. Add a little, take a little, and see the difference it makes. Learn from as many different places as you can, but when applying it to yourself, it's really important to work slowly and steadily, changing the plan as you go forward.
I really want to get faster, so I've been thinking about what I'm going to do with my life. I want to start all over again, working from the bottom up. I've decided that I would like to get back into running 5k races as a top runner. This would mean that my average mile time would be under 5 minutes. I dread going that fast, but I believe that having a firm and fast foundation would carry on into my long distance runs. Thus far, I've been planning on doing both 5k's and marathons, and then a couple ultras here and there. My training would be half short distances and half long distance training, so that I would be able to get a lot under my belt. I don't know how exactly is it going to work, but then again, that's part of the fun.