When mum arrived last week she was weighed down with a lot of gifts from the family and also some books that I had ordered for myself. One of these is the Chris Carmichael's Time Crunched Cyclist that I have been devouring almost as enthusiastically as I have done the chocolates that we ate last night.
Chris Carmichael is Lance Armstrong's personal coach (a fact that is pointed out to us on almost every page of the book) and has made a lot of money from his training business and many books that he has published. This is the first of his that I have read and so far I think it is pretty good. Instead of taking the training plans and techniques that work for professionals and those with about 15 hours a week to train and reducing the volume to a lower level, he has build a new system based on the principal that you only train 6-8 hours a week. This seems to be a really good idea and given that he accepts that there are drawbacks, I am optimistic that it will actually work.
You train in 11-12 week cycles with 4-6 weeks rest between them meaning that if I start next week, I should be able to improve my performance during the winter mountain bike races, have a breather for a month or so and then get into good shape again for the road racing season in April. In fact it is even better than that because I will be able to take another break in July when the races stop for a holiday month and then go again for the second half of the season through August and September.
Now all I have to do is the training.