I started road riding in July of this year and my training approach has been to ride whenever I can and rest when I'm really sore. I have not really changed my poor diet except I usually have a glass of choc. milk after my rides (I've heard this is a good recovery drink and I like it). Also, I'm not really 'training' for any event, just want to get better on the bike.
I've made good progress with my unstructured approach, dropping about 30 pounds (210 down to 180) and I've gotten a lot stronger/faster on the bike. I've riden about 3000 miles since July and do a lot of climbing now.
However, my improvement has slowed the last couple months (as expected) and I'd like to get more serious about my cycling in 2010. My goal is to get strong enough in 2010 to ride with some of the groups that I see blowing by me on the weekends. I'd also like to get down to about 172-175 lbs.
My wife (she's awesome) got me new computer for x-mas and let me buy a Powertap wheel (should be in next week). I've used a powertap before and I think it will be helpful to train smarter and track my progress.
I'm 41 years old and live in TX, so can pretty much ride year around. I can usually do 1-2 long rides on the weekends and 2-3 shorter rides during the week.
Sorry for the long background, but what I'm really looking for are some structured training programs that fit my background and goals. Can anyone point me to a good book or web site that would help me put together a training program? I also need some guidance on nutrition (not really for weight loss at this point, but to help my performance and recovery).