At 43 years old I am starting to feel some of my former speed slip away, and I would like a more structured plan to reverse this trend. Training is complicated for me due to my profession as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Most plans are built around traditional M-F 9-5 hours, whereas I work 24 hour shifts followed by 72 hours off (0700-0700), which also means that I often work on weekends. Further complicating this I also work on a busy engine company and I am often exhausted from lack of sleep on the day following my shift. I am hoping I can find someway to accommodate my non-traditional schedule and also allow for skipping or reducing training when I have barely slept the night before.
I am not new to cycling, I have been road, MTB and CX riding for 15 years, and despite my unfocused riding I am still among the faster cyclists in my area. And although I have not raced since I had kids 10 years ago I would like to try racing again, although now just MTB and CX, as being competitive in road racing seems to require an obscene amount of training hours that are not compatible with my job and family life. At the present moment I don’t have any specific goals, but that may change as 2021 rolls in.
Most training plans are too rigid for my chaotic work schedule as well as maintaining a healthy home/life balance. For example 4+ hour weekend rides are often as often prescribed in traditional plans, whereas those rides are usually a better fit on a weekday for me. In the past I have abandoned many plans out of frustration of missing too many planned workouts due to life and work obligations.
So the question is; what training plan is right for me? And can It be tailored around my schedule?