Hey late...I have been using the CTS Classic package for going on 3 years. I've never been a Clyde but a middle-aged accountant probably comes pretty close. I started out with basically no fitness level but had a bike and still rode around my neighborhood a bit. I got a 30-day free trial for CTS and decided to give it a shot. I found out pretty quickly that while CTS trains all levels of athletes, they tailored this Classic package in a lot of ways to cater to the fitness rider.
The Classic package is basically a computer-generated heart rate-based training approach that keys off of your answers to an initial questionnaire and to your entry fitness level. It tailors your workouts according to your chosen event date, according to which it will ramp and tailor your training program. The goal of the package is to design and structure your workouts such that your performance level will peak right at this date. Once the date passes, you enter another one - one that is at least 30 days out - and the program will begin the process all over again. So while the Classic package is not that great for somebody who races every week, it isn't bad at all for somebody who might just want to get in shape for a charity ride a couple of times a year, or even just to be looking good naked for their vacation week in Maui.
You control all of the variables that define your workout. You decide how many days a week you want to ride, which days you want to have as your long ride days, where to slot in your rest days, and how many hours a week you want to build into your workouts. When you start, and from time to time as you progress, you conduct field test rides - basically back to back 3 mile time trials - and use the heart rate information from them to input into your CTS training program. This input then sets the intensity and routines that the Classic package will use to generate your actual training schedule. Each day you ride or rest according to your schedule, you will input your heart rate and any ride results into your Classic online training diary, and the package will continue to tweak and ramp your schedule, workouts and intensity from there according to your results. There are also end of the week and end of period training questionnaires which will ask you questions about what is working and what is not. This process is what allows you to tweak your schedule as you progress, and keep it structured properly in terms of what you are expecting and can handle. Lastly, you can also initiate one of these training quesitonnaires and make changes on the fly between periods if you see the need. So the process is a lot more interactive than you might otherwise think from a computerized training model.
Having said all of that, I can say that this package works pretty well for folks exactly like us. It gives daily structure and definition, while at the same time applying a hell of a lot of physiological method to the process. The results are typically pretty spectacular even for folks starting out. (My first few months of training, most of my rides were 30-45 minutes.) I wanted a training program that would keep me on track, with access to experts who could readily answer my training questions, and which would provide enough method to allow me to progress with plenty of rewards but all while avoiding injuries. CTS did exactly that for me. My first year's goal event was a 24 mile time trial, second was a century, and last year was to look good naked for my vacation in Maui.
I dropped the package this winter to cross train on my own and save some money, and quite frankly to see how it felt to workout without CTS for a change. I miss the routine of having a daily schedule, the camaraderie with the other CTS athletes on their member forum, and the interaction with the Classic coaches when I have a this-or-that question or run into a training issue. Come spring, I will jump back on the Classic package and train with it for next season.
If I raced or had multiple goal events every month, I would definitely have to move up to a more thorough and dedicated coaching package. For my purposes though, the Classic package is fine. It is interactive over the CTS website, so that I can switch my schedule around, dial it up a notch when I am off for a few days, or dial it back when I have been under the weather, etc. They caution you not to do this too much but it is nice to have the flexibility when you really do need to tweak your schedule.
And one thing that has never disappointed me was my progress. Because wow, if you do the training and follow the intended workouts all the way up to your goal event date, when that day arrives you will be ready to kick some serious butt and be in your best physical condition for whatever you have planned.
On top of all that, I learned how to ride in the Texas heat, how to ride in the Texas cold and how to fit in all kinds of cross-training, nutrition and lifestyle improvements as well. Not a bad deal at all for the price if you are asking me.
I say give it a shot and see what you think. You can cancel after 30 days of it doesn't feel right for you. Don't be surprised if it does though.
Hope this helps.