So since I cannot afford things like formal coaching, I have to rely on what I can pull together from various sources. The result is a mish-mash of stuff that I glom together into a semi-coherent whole.
Cyclist’s Training Bible
Joe Friel’s The Cyclist’s Training Bible forms the core of my program. I use his book for the structure (time/phases), a ton of the workouts, and cardio information. It’s a great book and it covers just about every aspect of training that you can imagine — where it falls short is in weight training, and power meter work. That said, I’m still on my second or third copy of the book now as I’ve destroyed previous editions with scribbled notes, dog-earing, and breaking the spine.
Weight Training for Cyclists
For me, Weight Training for Cyclists, fills in a lot of the gaps that Friel leaves in his book. Where Friel’s program is 8-12 weeks followed by a “strength maintenance” mode for the rest of the season, this book has a long, multi-phase setup that lasts months. Your ideal program may vary — personally, I’ve found that once I’m into the meat of the season, I need to be in “maintain” mode where I’m doing minimal gym work or I get burned out too quickly. This book, though, is well-detailed and work
Training and Racing with a Power Meter
This year is my first formal year of training in quite some time — in 2014, I was just getting my legs back under me, so Training and Racing with a Power Meter didn’t really apply. I’ll be incorporating more of this book into this year’s training, but it won’t provide the primary core. What I’ll be taking from it is the idea of tracking fatigue levels.
The book uses a pretty clever system of rolling averages when it comes to effort levels and gives you short-term and long-term fatigue loads as a result of some simple calculations. I’ll be incorporating more and more of that work this year.
With the birth of my second son, Sam, and the increased mass of my first, Edwin, my back has gotten worse and worse — particularly my lower back. Foundation training is going to have to be a key component of this year’s training. The book makes tons of sense, is well written without resorting to overly-technical terms, and the illustrations and photos do a great job of spelling out what’s expected of you. The workouts will be 3x per week, as part of getting my spine/hips/glutes/hamstrings ready to support my activities. I’m enthusiastic about this.