Originally Posted by Staarkhand
The bible is a great book but is geared towards racers. Specifically it involves picking key events to peak for and building your whole training for the season around it.
You'll still learn a lot from reading it, but I believe the only advice he gives to true beginners is 'go ride for 2 years and then read this book again'.
I'm pretty new, and don't race. I also have this book, and have use it to plan my workouts. It's really just a periodization template, which is pretty basic is you have any background here. But, you just have to know your event dates, yearly hrs, and weaknesses to plan a whole year of training. Very user-friendly.
The problem for newbs is that they haven't ridden enough to know their weaknesses, and have no events.
I'm using this book to plan my training, and getting fantastic results. As new to cycling as I am, I would probably get a lot better from just riding almost every day, which I didn't do last year. So I do like it for the fact that having a schedule keeps me disciplined, and I am exceeding my expectations as far as my improvements go. I don't think it can really hurt you to use a book like this when you are new, but just don't overestimate how many hrs you'll ride every week. And you probably will.
Another thing having some riding under your belt does is it lets you know what type of rides you like, and lets you clear up basic fit and equipment issues before you're actually trying to maintain a schedule.
So, you can get the book and try to follow its advice for a cat 5. It has an option for only 200 hrs a year; he highest the weekly hrs get here is 6. Even the newbest newb should be able to do this one. But, you also get results, and possibly more (the Bible has you doing only 3 days a week at some points...I'd advise a newb to shoot for about an hour a day, at least 5 days a week at moderate intensity, to start), if you just make it a point to do something like an hour ride on almost every day of the week. Don't plan off days. They'll probably happen on their own, if you're just feeling lousy or something else intervenes. If you just don't feel like going out once in a while? Whatever. Don't.
If someone here chimes in and tells him not overtrain himself on less than an hour a day on average and moderate intensity, I will scream. At that point, he would really need to be evaluated by an endocrinologist.