Been reading around through various threads, a lot of great info about training. I've just got a few personal questions that I'd like some help with, if any help can be given.
(a little background info...)
About 3 years ago now, on my first bike, I did a few local races (longest was a 30mi road race, placed 3rd in age group (15 at the time)). For training, two friends of mine and a guy who used to race, (who was friends with one of my friends dad) we basically just did the 30mi course a couple times a week and then on days we weren't doing that we would go out on solo rides to put some miles on. We didn't do any intervals or anything like that. We did however on group rides do pacelines and all of that, so the three of us (my friends and I) got a feel for it and we all did well in the races because of it. That was the last year I seriously rode/raced my bike.
Now, 3ish years later, I'm getting back into it. I took the two years off following that season to focus on swimming. I am/was a competitive swimmer and at the time I was trying to get recruited for college (that's another story). So I didn't want to chance getting injured or something and ruining a season when it was the time to really show potential college coaches what I could do. This year, after deciding that there was more to college than swimming (I swam for a branch campus of Penn State this year) and that the league I was swimming in was a joke, I decided to get back into cycling.
I bought an '08 CAAD9 and I have been putting the miles on it since I have gotten home (got home last Wednesday). Basically so far I have just been taking the bike out for about 15-20 miles a day trying to get my cycling legs back. So far so good, as every ride my legs are less tired.
My question is, should I continue on with just these moderate paced (with some sprints up hills), 15-18mph rides for a couple more weeks, or should I get into one of the various plans people have recommended? I got the recent Bicycling magazine as there were a few articles in it with basic training plans, which I can scan out later tonight so you guys can see them. They seem to be pretty similar to what a lot of people on here recommend.
My biggest dilemma is that next week on Monday, I'm getting my wisdom teeth out. Hopefully I'm not sidelined for too long. I'm hoping that I won't lose what little I have built-up this week and have to restart after the teeth thing is healed up.
I'm not sure if/how many races I'll be able to do this summer, due to coaching a local swim team, so this might just end up being a training summer, but in the fall another kid who rides is putting a cycling club together so we will be able to do some collegiate races.
So the sparknotes of this long post are, should I continue to get my legs back by doing more moderate intensity/distance rides, or should I jump into a training schedule asap.