One thing I forgot to note was this year’s totals for my indoor trainer workouts. So here they are, beside 2009’s numbers to provide a comparison:
In 2009, I started training hard on January 1, and my goal for 2010 was to see if I could start later in the year and avoid overtraining. So I delayed six more weeks, until mid-February, and then trained consistently every other day. By mid-March, the weather had turned nice enough that I could put away the trainer and ride outdoors one day a week to continue my training.
That means that this year I reduced my number of indoor workouts by half, and decreased the number of hours spent on the trainer by a third. Judging by the fact that my first three outdoor rides this year were 70, 65, and 75 miles, I’m pretty confident that I haven’t suffered from the reduced training load!
I also added some progressive intensity during those workouts, beginning with the familiar aerobic workouts I used last year, then working up to longer, more intense sessions. I picked up five new Spinervals workout videos; although one was a very useful short recovery session, the other four were harder and longer than anything I used last year, which explains why my average workout length increased by 11 minutes.
So I think I’ve found a formula that works for me. Take six weeks starting in early February and work out every other day. For the first two weeks, do 45-minute aerobic conditioning workouts. Spend the last four weeks alternating between hard, long, anaerobic strength training sessions and long but easy recovery sessions that focus on form, technique, and aerobic conditioning. Judging by this year's first road rides, that seems to work pretty well for me.