Its now a little more than two years that i've been doing this "experiment." During that time i've cut my average training volume from 3 hours a week down to two hours a week. Presently, i've pretty much settled into a pattern which i feel is geared to maintain a particular base-level of fitness, or get back up to that base level following a major effort (that requires significant recovery). I'm pretty sure i'm not going to get significantly more fit than I am at that base level, unless i were willing to add more training time.
But this works for me. I like to have a major effort scheduled every 8-10 weeks, which is roughly the time it takes for me to recover from my last big effort and shift the training focus to whatever the next mission is going to require. For the last little while i've been trying to find my baseline for adventure racing which is tough because it requires 3 core disciplines. I'm keenly aware that my ability in each of the disciplines is significantly below where it would be were i to have a greater focus on just one or two. So be it.
At this point my training consists of a 20 minute speed workout, a 40 minute tempo workout, and a longer 1 hour workout where i try to hold Z3 or greater effort. I do one workout in each discipline - biking, paddling, and running. I also do one super-set of strength training for 'pulling' muscle groups (back and biceps) and one for 'pushing muscles (chest, shoulders, tris) a week - this additional time adds up to about six minutes a week, which i don't count towards the two hours.
I'll keep this pattern and try to squeeze every bit of fitness i can out of it until the national championships for adventure racing which takes place in five weeks time. After that i'll shift gears to running - running twice a week and biking once - and drop the paddling all together. This is in preparation for an attempt to walk the Arrowhead 135 in late January with Tom Fisher. After that i'll keep up the running for a hopeful attempt at doing the Border Route trail in under 24 hours this spring with Grant Mehring. Who knows what the rest of 2012 will hold - but likely there will be a return to competitive adventure racing at some point.... Primal Quest?!
One of these days I'll do another ironman. Then i'll write the book.