Last year was my first complete season, and I feel that I progressed rather well for not having any training plan other than riding and doing group rides, and some racing.
1. What amount of annual hours should I aim for? Last season, I rode roughly 7-10 hours per week, but absolutely no specific training routines. It was made up of:
Tue: 1.5 Hard group ride
Wed: Hard crit - 40mins
Thur: 1.5 Hard group ride
Sat: off or sometimes easy spin
Sun: 75% of the time was a fairly hard, 2 hour group ride in the mountains.
Friel in the Bible mentions(IIRC) riders with less than 5 years of total riding should just ride and not follow a structured plan. What do you guys think?
2. Traditional plan vs. low volume/high intensity ( Time Crunched Plan ). What do you guys suggest, if I do structure a training plan for this year, I should follow? I'm worried about burning out after 10 hours per week ( I experienced it twice last year ) while at the same time want to get the most improvements from the time I can train.
I've gone back and calculated my hours of training (per the Bible - riding + weight training) and this is what I came up with. I'm kind of surprised at the numbers - I thought they would've been higher:
Cycling time from 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 226hours
Weight training time from 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 104hours
Running time from 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 20hours
Total training time 10/18/2009-10/18/2010 - 350hours
Now, Friel mentions not increasing your total annual training time by more than 15%. By following his suggestion, that would bring me to 402.5hours.
Going back on last year, I really didn't do any structured training plans/workouts. It was mainly group rides, crits, and solo rides ( recovery rides were probably 50% of my solo rides).
Friel mentions, just as a base line for cat5 racers, annual hours of 200-350 annual hours of training. Now, I'm not sure if I should go by my last years hours, and increase by 15%, or use his baseline this year since I assume the intensity will be greater, as well as more structured.
What do you guys think?
Thanks for any help!!