I've been felling stronger and stronger on my bike these days.
Last Saturday I rode the SDBC "B" ride again. Unlike the first time I went out, where it took me 3 or 4 days to recover, I felt great the next day. So much so that I went out for a ride on Sunday as well.
To date I've been riding an hour or so on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then doing whatever felt good on the weekends. Now that I'm able to ride 6 to 8 hours per week, while continuing to get stronger it's time to start organizing my training a little more.
Even though people like my mom have been pushing me to get back into racing, I'm not ready to get too intense with the training just yet. Last season I put together a training program that went through 3 four week base phases, a couple four week build phases, and then some alternating peak, race and build phases. By the time you get to the build phases you're doing some pretty intense high heart rate interval training. I'm no where near that sort of physical capability right now. I'm also not planning to go racing this year, so I'm going to focus on repeated base phases that incorporate some increased intensity as I feel ready for it. These will strengthen my aerobic capacity and put me in a good position to achieve my goal of doing a century ride towards the end of the year.
For those who are looking for an organized cycling training plan, the program I've found that works best for me is Joe Friel's Cyclist Training Bible. It's not the sort of program where the author tells you exactly what to do every day and you just following along like a lemming. Joe's book requires you to read and understand the concepts of the program and then combine them with your personal weaknesses, season goals and available training hours to create something that is specific to you as an individual.