Just read this interesting little coaching article on VeloNews. The first letter to the coach is the one in reference, and it preaches the exact opposite of what I normally do.
That's not to say it's wrong, just weird to hear people advocating that type of training.
At the same time, it's directed toward a different type of athlete - aimed more at the cyclist, and in particular, those with limited time. You can suffer through some short bike races with less fitness, and race yourself into shape. It's the "short-sale" way to get fit. When you race enough, it almost makes sense to do this rather than do hard workouts on no base, and then try to race.
The whole tone of the article uses a lot of the same words I used in my previous two posts, just in the exact opposite manner.
All I know is that in running and triathlon you stand to benefit from a solid base. More running, as demonstrated by everyone of us this year, does provide increased fitness.