Yesterday was - for the most part for me anyway - the transition from skiing to biking. I cleaned out my locker on the mountain and except for spring break with my daughter in Utah, I'm done. So today I started in earnest on building the base - again for another year. Although many in warmer climates may stay with a cycling program all year and have little or no need to rebuild the base every season, I live where winter really comes with a vengeance.
So this is the critical part of the training program and sets the tone for the rest of the season. If I get this right than within a few months I will be injury free, riding strong and really having a good time. Today it was 30 miles on one of my favorite training routes - no huge climbs, but a few smaller ones to keep it interesting. Today, no HRM, no GPS, no speedometer - the only thing I paid attention to was cadence and pedal stroke. I have not idea how fast I rode, I didn't even bother to check the start or finish time. It felt good to get out and start building up the miles again. Although I have also started my weekday AM training rides, these are short (15 to 18 miles) and full of intervals - but they do little for the endurance and mental training that the base miles do. I am not a believer in LSD miles, so my base miles are done more at a cadence of 80-90 with constant pedal pressure and stroke, if I had to guess my HR is a steady Z3 with a little Z4 on the hills.
Are you building your base now or are you already into hard core cycling?