Hi guys, this is my 3rd year of riding. I'm sure Chris Carmichael has nothing to worry about, but this year I'm trying to take a more structured approach. I don't race but would like to be able to hang with the fast group on the club run and ride strongly over 50-100 miles. I read up on the basics and was sold on the idea of building base endurance over the winter and then developing power in the spring.
Here's how its gone so far:
Nov/Dec - fairly patchy due to work and flu, maybe 3-4 hrs a week on average
Jan/Feb/March - consistent 4x1.5hrs spinning each week and a 3-4hr weekend ride every other weekend. During all of these sessions I've been trying to keep my heartrate fairly constant at around 70%.
Today, I did my first club run, which was a 35 mile loop plus 15 miles to get to the start point and back. As I'm not experienced with group riding, I started with the "17" group, there's also a faster "19" group and later in the year there will be a "21" group. I found the first 3/4 of the ride to be a very easy pace, then in the last 1/4 it became a bit of a free for all as the last 6 or so miles included a long straight drag with a slight upward gradient. I was able to stay with the stronger riders in the group, who broke away, but certainly felt that my body's not yet used to pulling out sustained high intensity efforts due to all these long slow miles that I've been doing.
So my question is, where should I take this next? I'd like to start doing more high intensity work, but have I done enough base miles? I'm weighing up the following options and would appreciate any suggestions from those of you who have a bit more of a clue about training that me!!! Thanks in advance for your help.
a) Keep doing the long slow miles for another month and then start on the intervals etc in mid April.
b) Mix things up a bit, maybe 2 x slow rides + 2 x high intensity workouts in the week + weekend ride
c) Do pure speed work in the week and try to ensure that I do a 4+ hour ride every weekend.