I hate routine, but if I did not plan out a weekly workout schedule I would probably just end up climbing in the gym every day and riding my bike around the easy trails of FNBP. This hasn't really worked out well for my racing ability, so it's time to step up to the plate and really train.
I bought this book a month ago and love it. I actually read "The Cyclist's Training Bible" first and then realized that they had a mountain bike specific one as well. The two are very similar.
I love this book because it guides me step by step through creating an annual training plan structured around when my key races are and then allows me to use a set of rules to set up a plan for each week. It allows me to be flexible according to how I am feeling, but have structure at the same time. It also helps me to chart my progress along the way.
I have never been a fan of using those one-size-fits-all training plans. They never seem to work. If I miss a workout because I am too tired, I feel guilty. Sometimes I give into that guilt end up overtraining. But, until know I didn't really know how to set up my own training plan.
So my training plan runs April through August. My priority race right now is the Soggy Bottom 100, which is on August 1st. The plan takes me through a series of periods where I create a base of endurance and speed, and then build on that by adding muscular endurance and force workouts.
In addition to hard workout weeks, the plan emphasizes weeks of recovery and rest. I have never had a problem finding time to rest. My general rule is, if I feel too tired to workout, I probably need to rest. If my legs are still sore a few days after a workout, I should push back my next hard workout a few days. I always felt like I was just being lazy when doing this, but it turns out I was actually getting this part right.
Hmm, we should work this recovery week into our work schedule. Wouldn't that be nice if we could rest our brains every 4 weeks as well. Three weeks on, one week off. Imagine how productive we could be if we knew we had a week off every month? We could avoid burnout and lack of motivation. Americans would never buy it. Maybe I should move to France?
I digress. Training. Right. Here we go.