We hear this phrase a lot, I prefer the phrase "Training content" Vs Quantity but that's just me. Many people saw and shared Catharine Pendrels instagram post on the subject. A couple standout points "In training, more isn’t always more " and "But more important to consider than hours, is the composition of your training. "
I believe most coaches, trainers, self coached athletes would generally agree but what that means may look a little different. I just wanted to give a case study of an athlete and give some insight into how I look at training content and its effect on performance.
Reasonably fit with a fair amount of lifetime hours in the sport. In early November had a mFTP of 245, a TTE (time to exhaustion) of 33 minutes, and a 20 minute power of 254. Not the fittest this athlete has been but also not entirely untrained.
The past 11 weeks has been a very focused blend of specific on the bike workouts (53 hours) Focused Strength (10 hours) Aerobic cross training 36 hours. 99 hours total or 9 hours average. Not world class volume at all but the content has really help drive the improvement below.
TTE- Almost doubled
Mftp - + 8%
CP 20 - + 15%
Now for the content LOTS of Endurance, and Tempo/SST work. Also consider this is only the 53 hours of on the bike. The X-training would bring up the total % of the Zones 1-3. And the others down a bit.
Two simple reports but tells a lot about the content and makeup of an athletes training vs their improvements.
This is just one athlete, and by no means am I saying THIS is the only way it should look, simply showing a way of looking at that training composition. But I will say if your 90% in recovery zone maybe there's some room for improvement.