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Since having children and turning 40, Ive found that time and recovery are more critical than ever. I made the decision to give up competitive racing the summer I hit 40. For the last 5 years I've adopted the "intensity" over "volume" approach to save time and maintain high end fitness.
My controlled lactate threshold tests show that I still produce the same watts at threshold as I did back in my 30s when I was racing--except I'm lighter now! Back then I trained 10-15 hours a week. I now train 5-7 hours a week. I just do a lot more work at threshold and Vo2--lots of intervals most of the year. I would NEVER go back to flogging big weeks the way I did during my racing days. Intensity keeps things fresh and focused, and when it's time to do a 3-4 hour, you actually enjoy it, because you earned it with all those efforts. If you're going to Leadville, well, you better log the miles, but if you want to save time, stay strong, and still mix it up occasionally in a local race or with friends, prioritizing intensity is a great approach.

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