A lot of Pro triathletes will talk about their training volume during big weeks. We're typically proud of the hours we've put in following these weeks and like to brag and make it seem as though we train such high volume year-round. I posted the details of my Ironman training block in my buildup to Rev 3 in my August post here.
However, what a given athlete does for one given week or even one month out of the year is far from a summation of how they train for the entire year. You have to look at the whole body of work and what they do during those down months which they typically won't write much about. In this post I will compliment my Ironman training summary by posting the opposite end of the spectrum, my offseason training summary.
First off, for a proper comparison let's recap the training totals that I logged for the month of August in preparation for my first 140.6
31 days of August training totals
Swim-91k (3k/day average)
Bike-1617 miles (52/day average)
Run-312 miles (10/day average)
Hours-165 (5.3/day average)
Now fast forward to the 55 day span of October 17-December 11, here are the training totals I logged.
October 17-December 11
Run-6 miles (.11 miles/day average)
Hours- <1 (<1 minute/day average)
That's right, in 55 days I wasn't in the pool once, didn't sit on a bike once, just did three runs totaling six miles. Now I will admit that my numbers are a little misleading, but just a little. I was doing about 5 hours/week of cross training (non swim-bike-run workouts) during this time. But still, it was very minimal and probably the longest break I've taken from training in a long time.
So the next time a pro triathlete tells you that they train 40+ hours/week, that doesn't necessarily mean that they train beyond normal human levels for the entire year, or even most of the year. It could be that you are not being told the full story.