Whatever it is you are targeting, whether, it be a cycle event or a triathlon event, a structured training plan can help you be successful.
Advice from a personal coach might be the most effective way of training. Many retired professional and semi-professional athletes set up their own coaching businesses, some of them working online, so you do not have to meet face-to-face, which is more time-efficient if they live at the other end of the country. Some professional cyclists retire from racing at a relatively-young age so they can use their experiences to coach others. Failing that, you can often find online training plans. Or you can join a local club where there might be a club coach, who can give advice, along with your fellow club-members who might have years of experience.
Training depends on the sport you are training for. Cyclocross has a different season to road racing. The Cyclocross season runs from September to January, whereas the road racing season is from March to September. I have been concentrating on Cyclocross so my road race performances have been poor compared to how they used to be when I was training for the road
season. I’m now starting my structured training for Cyclocross in the middle of the road season so I’m fresh for the start of September which means I’m not doing a full season of road racing. It has certainly paid off as I am top overall in two local series, 2nd overall in Yorkshire and ranked 18th in the UK - oh, and I had some wins in Lincolnshire, too!
If you ‘fail to prepare, you prepare to fail’ is my motto! You need to give yourself adequate time to prepare - it’s impossible to do yourself justice if you wait until the last minute - and you need to be dedicated with the will to succeed. A training plan and all the money spent on coaches is worth nothing if you don’t have the desire to be successful.