I didn't realise that about mourinho mate. That must be after his chelsea days then because they used to do a lot of long distance, jog sprint jog sprint stuff. That's how most of the top clubs do it as thats what the sports science people say is best for developing fitness. But like you say, if Mou does it, then I'm happy for my team to do it too. Can't argue with results.
He did it at Chelsea too. Some quotes
"Have you ever seen a pianist run around his piano before sitting down to unleash a masterpiece? In our methodology we don't send them on laps around the pitch either. " - Mourinho
"Training's completely different now. It used to be a lot of running and work without the ball. Now it's all with the ball, which any player loves." - Lampard
I couldn't say for sure he's never sent any players on a long run, but all the players I've seen talking about him seem to say what Lampard said above. I've seen a couple of documentaries about him and his methods. He actually likes 90 minute training sessions, which are shorter than others, but he likes them more intense, closer to the intensity of a real game, and always with the ball and very disciplined.
I don't know for sure whether it's better in terms of early season starts, but I don't think it's something to worry about either.
That does alleviate my concerns somewhat as Chelsea never looked like a tired team. It was concerning me quite a bit that we would fall back into starting the season looking sluggish, unfit and off the pace like we used to, but this would suggest that shouldn't be a worry.
Also, found these from Carra today which would suggest you are bang on the money.
"We are Liverpool and we have always tried to play that way in training, but there has been a slight difference to the normal pre-season. Everyone has their own way they want to do things.
"Normally you have your football work and your running, this time it is all incorporated in one, so you have the football all the time. We joke that it's what you call disguised running.
"All the elements have been blended into one thing rather than separated out, so we're working really hard physically, but any footballer will tell you its better when you're with the ball.
"It's fantastic to have a manager who has these ideas about wanting to pass the ball."