I understand now. I understand this concept that morphed from the 10 Hours a Week thingee into the Long Course Training Manual espoused by Endurance Nation. No, this is not a commercial, and I am not a member of Endurance Nation. Rather, I am a student, and a teacher with a lifetime of learning and understanding ahead of me.
Many of the ideas at Endurance Nation have their roots in 10 Hours. First and foremost: balance. If you overload your life with triathlon, if it consumes you, then assuredly you are making sacrifices in other areas of your life. Pray that the cost is not too high.
Second: quality. Volume is OK. You need some volume, especially if you are doing the longer distances, such as a half Ironman or full Ironman. During the shorter time frames, you can maximize the quality by tweaking the intensity, making yourself stronger. A lot of time is spent in Zones 3 and a smaller percentage in Zone 4, depending on the race distance of course.
Finally, as a self coached athlete, you have to work to achieve your goals. If you don't want to do the work, then you are just wasting your time making goals in the first place.
What I have been doing for the past month is a superset of 10 Hours. My weekly hours were right at 9 for a while, then the past couple of weeks they have jumped to 13. In a few weeks, they will jump to 16 and stay there pretty steady until its time for IM Arizona. The funny thing is, with the exception of race simulations, I'll never ride the full 112 miles in training, nor will I run a marathon (in training). I will be counting on the frequency and the volume/intensity to prepare me for race day.
Thus the beauty of the Long Course Training Manual's basic week. There aren't many training plans out there that have three days of running in a row, nor two days in a row of long(ish) biking. There's an idea in endurance training where we split our long run or long bike into two days, one in the evening and again the following morning. That's the basic idea here. The steady overload of the muscles over back to back sessions stimulates the body in the same way as a single workout. Only, it takes much less time. More time means more balance.
Will this work for me? meh... No risk. No reward.
I've devoted a lot of time over the last three years to getting better at triathlon. I've not regretted a single minute, but somewhere inside me, there was once a guy that wanted to be the chief technology officer for a company, and a guy that wanted to work on improving himself and his relationships. That guy needs to be brought back into balance.
I closed the e-book down and shut the top on the notebook. The hard drive whirred as it went into hibernation. I gathered Dee Dee from the couch, and we head off to bed. Thanks to her training schedule, I am now a morning person, and 4:15 AM comes mighty early.
A smile crosses my lips. There are challenges ahead. I'm feeling pretty confident.