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Just do loads of low intensity miles and keep a bit of threshold/vo2 work in there to keep you sane. Something like that. Right?
I’d say ‘No!’
Why? Because YOU are not a full time athlete and you are already, likely, well-trained for the training-time you have available.
Aerobic training is good and does several great things including increasing your ability to use fat as an energy source for endurance exercise. It boosts your top-end speed and makes operating at lower speeds more efficient.
The thing is, if you train 14 hours a week and then still train 14 hours a week in the winter but with a different mix of intensities (specifically an INcrease in lower intensities) THEN your TOTAL training LOAD will decrease.
Base training works for those of us with more time because more overall load can be added by even more durations – albeit at lower intensities.
I’m talking here about applicability to Olympic-distance triathletes and 10k runners…and shorter distances. Maybe Half-marathoners too.
The kind of racing that most of us will be doing will be best served by threshold-boosting 2×20′ sessions and shorter 4/5 minute intervals boosting LTHR and VO2.
Clearly this may be going too far to convince everyone.
So, instead, try a shortened 4 week winter base building phase, coinciding with recovery and rest from the previous year as well as, perhaps, a buffer against coming holiday-excesses.
Am I going to follow my own advice? Well probably not this year as I have LOTS of longer events in mind for 2016 and I’ve neglected my base a bit over recent years.