I am looking for some suggestions on how to alter my training to put me back on track. The last couple of months have been very discouraging for me, my fitness seems to be dropping significantly. Last year I was near the top of our group on the weekly training rides. This year I am at the back of the "A" group on a good day. Over the winter I decided to put some structure to my traing so I began following Joe Friel's program based on 250 hours a year training, about what I've done the last couple of years. I started off good and my first few races were encouraging. As the Spring progressed I found myself losing ground and generally feeling out of synch. I've been very involved with work and family issues the last few months so I can explain most of the drop. Things will settle down in a few weeks and I want to get going on rebuilding and see if I can salvage this year if possible but definitely be ready for next year.
I can really only devote about 4-6 hours a week to training. I want to be able to improve my time-trialing specifically as well as remain a decent group rider while also being competitive in the few crits I do. I am a 41yr old cat 5 but I would like to move up to 4 next year by doing some crits.
I've read "Maximum Performance For Cyclists" by Michael Ross and I like what he says about maximizing training time through higher intensity workouts with several days off between. That seems like it might fit my training constraints. It's a little different approach than Friel's method.
Has anyone followed this type of training plan or something similar? What kind of results did you get? Any other suggestions on ways to build my strengh and power output with limited training time?