I've been reading a fair amount on the following forum where a very different form of training seems to be the norm. Most riders on the forum support this kind of training and there are some persuasive testimonies. Basically it is about cutting all L2 to be able to do more high L3/L4 as those zones bring the best improvements in FTP. Then when FTP has been worked on for a couple of months and start to plateau L5 is introduced.
What is you take on it?
"But be aware that real "base" is not about doing 20- 30 hours a week with a significant amount of JRA(just riding around... at endurance power level). If you do more then 15 hours a week, and have a job, you will not be able to train threshold properly. You probably know this but have gotten sucked into building "false base" as it has been hammered into the psyche of cyclists for many many years. High mileage weeks will hinder threshold gains and ultimately reduce your fitness and ability to get stronger. It will also not build mitochondria(O2 power houses) once you are in half decent shape ...and you are in good shape!
I train GOOD Cat 1 riders that only do 10-14 hours a week..EVER...but they work hard at threshold all year long and ramp it up with VO2 work in March.
Once a week in the winter hit a tough group ride and work threshold and some VO2 max in a non structured way.
Then a few weeks before your first important races do structured 4-6 minute VO2 max intervals (20-30 minutes a day) once or maybe twice a week if not doing a hard group ride.
If you have a job or go to school then reduce winter time on the bike to 10-14 hour per week(seriously) and do three days a week of threshold work. Sound nuts...nope...not if you are training correctly. Reduce JRA(endurance power level training) to one day a week for 2-3 hours max. Take one day off the bike each week and one recovery day(at least). Take a recovery week once every 4-6 weeks....really really easy week of 5-7 days that includes two days off the bike, two recovery rides and one day with a little intensity but reduced such as 10 minutes at threshold and some tempo.
Before rest weeks.. peak the block out with more time at threshold and NOT simply more time....keep the hours down and train HARD.
Sprint one day a week year round.
Three 20 minute intervals at 95% of your functional threshold power per workout is a super workout and does WAY MORE than JRA for 3-6 hours! As the season nears do some of your threshold work at 100-105% of your threshold power."
"IN THE OFF SEASON I LIKE THIS....
3 days of hard training followed by one day of recovery riding for 30-60 minutes and then one day OFF....then a hard group ride on day 6 of 2-4 hours or a pretty hard ride with a couple friends for 2-3 hours.
Day 7 is off or very easy recovery ride or an easy moderate length endurance ride at most.
Day 1 would usually be a double day with Sprints in the am and threshold work in the pm. I recommend sprints year round...but not "hog wild" in the winter.
Day 2 would be more threshold work but either less time or less intensity(ie: 92% FTP instead of 95%).
Day 3 would usually be tempo focus(85% FTP) but if feeling good then add one 20 minute threshold interval before the tempo work.
In time you should be able to hold tempo for 90 minutes non stop.
You can throw in some high endurance intensity training(sub tempo) here if you like.
Day 4...30 minutes on the trainer watching TV at a power less than 200 watts...HR 110. Then I would go for a brisk walk at some time in the day.
Day 5...off and a walk
Day 5.group ride or ride with friend...pretty hard...and really hard in the Spring with structure(yes timed) VO2 max pulls.
Day 7 OFF or recovery ride....maybe an moderate endurance length endurance ride if feeling really good.
Recovery rides need to be REALLY REALLY easy with no hills and no pressure on the legs. HR like 110. Power less than 200 watts. Time...60 minutes is more than enough.
Macrocycles should be 4 to 7 weeks in length(including a recovery week)....with progression in load from week to week before a recover week....then start up again but with a lower load than the last week or two of the previous cycle. Longer cycles are better IF IF IF you can make progression. You do longer cycles with less build up from week to week...you trick you body into progressive gains."