Hi...I have been using CTS Classic this year and am really pleased with the program. The price is fantastic for the content of the program that you get. Your training program in the Classic package is computer generated, without coaching tweaks and direct interaction. They offer more expensive packages which involve an assigned coach, training program tweaks, and direct interaction though if that is what you need.
The Classic program is perfect at this point for me. It is tailored to build your fitness up towards a specific goal event, based upon target dates that you enter via questionnaire when you build your monthly training schedule. Thereafter about every two weeks you get prompted to do an End of Period program review through which you can add/lower the number of training days, add/lower the number of training hours, and/or add/lower the intensity of training workouts. You also are prompted to do fitness tests every six weeks to update your heart rate targets. When you complete a goal event, you are also prompted to update for a new one. I have been using the dates of the rallies that I ride since I don't race, and it works out just fine.
There is a Coaching Community forum that you can use to ask specific questions about your training approach, workouts, goals, results, nutrition, equipment, you name it. The coaches will respond with guidance, and the other CTS athletes are always pretty good to chime in with their experiences and suggestions as well. At first I thought that it was a little weird posting workout questions in the open forum until I realized that it is really no different than the posts that I was making here. Except with CTS you will be getting direction from one of their coaches and from athletes who are very familiar and experienced with their training routines and results.
I have gotten a lot of encouragement and support from the CTS community and have found it to be one of the best reasons to use their coaching program. I posted some ride results related to my first big goal event charity ride and even received a nice email from Chris Carmichael. I think it says a lot about the quality and caliber of CTS when a lowly fitness rider can get that kind of guidance, encouragement and support for only $36 a month.
My last goal event date was for a self-supported century that I planned to ride last Sunday to correspond with the completion of the Tour. I had been tweaking my ride schedule leading up to it to add hours to get me ready. I smoked the ride and couldn't be more pleased with the preparation suggestions that I got going in from the Coaching Community in terms of what to expect, how to train, what to eat, how to ride, etc. So it is really easy to end up getting a pretty tailored training program each month, with plenty of coaching interaction via the forum, and all for about the price of a tank of gas.
If you go to www.theultimateride.net
there is a prompt at the bottom of the page to do a 30-day trial of CTS. They will charge you $4.95 to set up your CTS account, but then you can go through their Classic package questionnaire and receive a training program to try out. It is a great way to get a look at the program from the inside, use it for a month and decide whether it will work for you. That is how I did it, so that I could take a look around a bit before making up my mind. After that, you sign up based upon a six month commitment and are charged your monthly coaching package fee. So for only $5, it was a great way to evaluate the service before deciding on whether it is worth a longer term commitment.
I have made some huge progress since I started using CTS. I wouldn't be anywhere near as far along on my own. The best part for me too is that I have done all of it without injury or wasting time on efforts that really won't end up doing me any good. It is like anything else in life though. You get what you put into it. If you need somebody *****ing at you to stay on your training routine, CTS may not be the best approach unless you are willing to use one of the more expensive program packages. If you use the tools that they give you, and stick with your training routines, it works very well. I haven't seen anybody who can come close to giving what they do for the price. I have found that as long as I am willing to put in the effort, especially in terms of intensities, I get plenty of workout to drive the kind of performance that I have been hoping to see.
Opinions vary though. My advice would be to try it and see how it works for you. I was skeptical at first, but in all honesty that is how it has worked out so far for me. Hope this helps.