Another blogger actually read my prior posts regarding recovery based training (Part 1 and Part 2) and had some important concerns and questions. You can read our full exchange here.
That conversation made me realize that I had not updated my progress on this training plan. So I decided to take a look at how things went in 2012.
Times and Distances:
2010 - I rode 1926 Kilometers in 9 RUSA events (starting in April). All but one event was "200k" . The other was 300k. My average time for a 200k was 11:58 . The fastest time was 11:12 ridden in September. I rode at least one 200k event a month since April 2010.
2011- I rode 3739 Kilometers in RUSA events. From April to December (the same time covered by 2010) - I rode 3135 Kilometers in twelve events. That included one 300k, two 400k and one 600k. My average 200k time was 10:45. The fastest time was 9:20 ridden in November. I rode at least one 200k event, or longer, every month.
2012 - I rode 6644 Kilometers in RUSA events. From April to December (the same time covered by 2010) - I rode 5493 Kilometers in 22 events. That included one 300k, one 400k, one 600k and one 1200K. My average 200k time was 9:54 (excluding two times which were not ridden under normal circumstances). The fastest time was an 8:29 ridden in November. I rode at least one 200k event, or longer, every month.
In 2010, overexertion after one ride lead to the need for medical attention. I also experienced a few light colds. My fully recovered, resting heart rate was 47 bpm.
In 2011, no sick days, not even for colds. My fully recovered rested heart rate was 45 bpm.
In 2012, I did again no sick days. My fully recovered rested heart rate was 45 bpm.
Clearly, I rode more, longer and faster in 2012 than in 2011 and in 2010. The results of 2012 are again consistent with an increase in training. I doubled the longest distance I rode and increased my average completion time for 200k by over two hours from 2010. It is also clear that I built on the mileage and training from 2011.
In 2012, I again rode more distance at a higher average speed with no sign of overtraining. No feeling of burn out, no persistent dead legs, no recurring sick days. In 2012, I was again able to increase both volume and intensity and do so over the course of the year.
In 2012 I did train specifically for the 1200K, but that training was guided by the recovery theory I have been following. Train hard when rested. Take it easy until you have measurably recovered. It seems to still be working.
Update: Since posting this, some web searching uncovered a few pages from folks who are and have been using recovery based training. It seems that swimming is the primary sport. It been very interesting to see the overlap between my ideas and theirs.