Would triathlon training help aerobic base for XC racing?
OK, quick background. I followed a "training bible" plan fairly closely last year. Totaled about 350 hours. I live in MI and getting long base miles through the winter is tough for me to do. (I'm a wimp) Therefore I did a lot of longish rides indoors (2-3 hours). This seemed to improved my racing from previous years as typically I just did some running and some random spin classes through the winter. I raced expert/elite SS class and usually finished mid-pack. Which I was happy with as it was my first year racing with the fast guys.
So my girlfriend talked me into doing some triathlons next year and we would like to train up to a half ironman distance. Most of this training is HR zone 2 type stuff. Last year I was doing 7-9 hours per week spinning indoors. This year I'm planing on doing about 5-6 hours of spinning, but adding 5-6 hours of swimming and running to the mix. For now I'm really enjoying the mix of training. Then as the weather breaks I will get more bike time to start getting ready for a few spring races.
So, in general do you guys think that losing some cycling hours but gaining more total hours with some swimming and running will help, hurt or keep XC race results about the same? Or should I try to keep cycling hours the same or more than last year? Obviously there are a ton of variables here, so just looking for some general thoughts or pointers from people who do XC racing and triathlons.