After reading a couple of recent posts here and in other places in addition to doing some personal searching online on coaching, it occurred to me that most forums have threads on just about everything under the sun except on how to do something right: train to get better!
People that know how to use a power meter or a HR monitor to properly train assume everyone else knows how to use them too. They also assume that if they read a book on it they will know as much or everything there is to know on how to do it. However, there is no place to really go and ask the simple and detailed questions we all wished we asked. For example, there is a book about how to train with a power meter, but the book doesn't tell you how to use the different software that are available (free and otherwise) to derive all the numbers they tell you are important to know. Even when you do, they don't also tell you how to use those numbers to come up with a plan to improve them. Of course, part of it is because they are written by people that do coaching for a living, so they won't tell you for the cost of the book how to do their job.
Here is your opportunity to ask the questions here that others more informed could come in and help with. Ask how to interpret numbers, what do they mean, how to use them to make a training plan, how does that training plan help you, what training plan do you use and why, what other plans have you tried, etc.
Help and be helped. Be a pioneer in breaking the tradition of pointing to the search function. Some bits of this info may be here and there, but I think many would find it helpful to put it in one place where we all can see it and benefit from.
Of course, this is not meant to be the ultimate training bible. We were talking in general terms on how to improve one's speed, endurance, power, etc. You shouldn't need a trainer/coach for that, but you can also have far more than just "go harder if you want to get better". One advice or plan is not going to fit everyone either, and I think most will understand that here. However, some simple plans that may or may not involve power meters, HR monitors, or simply perceived effort can be extremely helpful for many. I personally don't race nor do I have even the slightest or most remote desire to race ever. I do most of my riding solo with the occasional local group. I do 2-4 events yearly that are challenging for me in terms of terrain and distance compared to where/how I normally ride. I complete them, but at this point the challenge is no longer completion but rather improvement. I don't want to be in the top 20 people out of 3000+ participants either, but I would like to do much better within reason. For that, I wouldn't mind structuring my riding for a few weeks before the events. I don't want to turn the entire time I ride into a training session turning cycling into work, with would suck the fun out of riding altogether for me at least. But, that shouldn't limit me or others to train from time to time to get better for me and not for a "race".
**Posted it here as the training forum gets hardly any traffic**