Hello all, recent lurker here and I've learned a lot from reading posts way back. I've not seen much about structured training for clydes, and I apologize if I've missed it.
I'm 43, 315 lbs., have been riding seriously now since about April of this year. I began by riding a Trek 7.2FX to work a couple days a week (17 miles each way), I stepped up to road tires and wheels on my Trek, and then I purchased and am now riding an Orbea Onix road bike which I absolutely love. I'm still riding my 34 mile round trip work commute a couple days a week and then usually a good mountain bike ride (15 miles) and a 30-ish mile road ride on the weekends. I also do a group fitness workout 3 days a week for an hour each day, running stairs, lunges, hill running, pushups, dips, etc. I've lost about 60 pounds in the last 9 months or so, and my fitness level has improved a ton.
I am ready to improve my cycling, and I'm wondering if any of you have used a specific training program suited to a Clyde. Right now, I just get out and ride and really enjoy it, bike paths only. How should I go about specifically training to improve my speed, climbing, endurance? Should I just keep riding varied rides, or is a more structured program right for me?
I'm planning to ride the MS150 in June of 2010, and I want to make sure I'm ready for that.
All my racer buddies who really do well swear by heart rate based training programs like those of Joe Friel's. He's got a couple of books that are specific to various sports. There are other people out there who coach in similar ways.
I've got his mountain biking book. I swear, some day, I'm going to get started on a real training program. I can never do it. I like to ride for the fun of it. I just can't seem to give up my "junk miles".
In the meantime, I've found that group road rides are a good way to push myself. Lots of fun, and learning how to ride in a group is proving to be almost as beneficial to my overall speed as outright improved fitness would be.