Yes the hours you put in add up.
How they add up matters greatly in how successful you’ll end up being.
Athletes and coaches will argue till the end of time how much volume is needed. I have seen (and tried) both ends of the spectrum and they both work.
However if I can extract more out off less, then that is the path I’m going to follow.
Please do not read ‘less’ as not doing the work. In fact, less can be harder.
An athlete who is focused on extracting the most physiological and mental benefits from the time they have will win (always) over the athlete who 90+% of the time is going through the motions on a 20+ hour training week.
Now someone will ask. What about if you’re focused on extracting the most benefits from a 20+ hour training week?
If your life circumstances allow for that volume and your body can handle that volume consistently (that takes time and most athletes are too impatient to wait because of the heroic nature of big volumes) then sure.
You have a good chance of doing well.
The reality is for most age groupers, that they don’t have the time it’s not just the time in the pool, on the bike, in the run shoes or at the gym that count. It’s the time to prepare and put in best practice recovery methods too.
It’s all part of the successful mix.
So the focus has to revert to: how can I extract the most physiological benefits for the time I have.
That means that EVERY stroke, EVERY pedal revolution, EVERY step has to have a purpose.
They need to be effective and efficient.
Form under duress
Roll that over and over in your mind.
That is the key to long course triathlon success.