Would you say that your level of fitness would not be where it is without the previous high mileage training?
I have no doubt. I never would have made it where I have been or where I am now without that training in the past. Back when I was originally doing the kind of training I am now doing, I was doing all I could to run significantly slower times. That fitness gained through that higher level of training has been much easier to maintain than to obtain in the first place, though it still takes quite a bit of work of course.
If so, would you say that the remainng 60-80 mpw would consist of 'quality miles' (more track, hill, fartlek, lt type work) versus the 7-14 miles runs that might exist soley for the sake of building fitness? Just curious.
Actually, what I have been doing recently greatly resembles what I was doing over a decade ago in terms of percentages of overall volume for different kinds of workouts. I'm sure there are some differences but I don't think they are all that great. What has probably changed more significantly would be the intensities of the various workouts. Having learned what I did while at higher levels of training, my easy days are easier and my hard days are harder than they used to be. That said, this change alone wouldn't have gotten me to where I am without that additional training. It's a benefit but there's no way that would have made the huge difference between where I was then and where I am now.