Pointers for Racking Up the Miles
Elsewhere I've stressed how important time in the saddle is to effective training. A good way to encourage yourself to spend more time riding is to keep a log of your training miles. You mileage log can be simple:
5-22-2009 630AM: 13 miles, 55 minutes
Your mileage log can be more like a diary:
5-22-2009 630AM: Rode to work this morning the hillier, shorter way. While I rode I thought about the time I caught a three-man peloton from Landry's Bike Shop and kept up with them all the way up the long hill. They sure lost me fast on the downhill side, though! Wow, they were like, gone. Today I took it easy, still recovering from yesterday's unfortunate spill, and made the 13 miles in about 55 minutes. It was sunny and about 60 degrees, very comfortable.
You can use a cycling computer to make your log more scientific:
5-22-2009 630AM: 13 miles, 55 minutes total. Average speed: 14 mph. High speed: 27 mph. Highest vertical climb: 200 feet.
Computers can provide many more parameters to measure training progress and help you decide if you need to change your routine. Computers that also offer GPS are very handy, and help you to avoid accumulating too many inadvertant training miles.
Vary Your Route
To maximize the benefit from your time in the saddle, change up your route every couple of days. Get a route with a couple of good sized hills, a nice and easy relatively flat route, maybe a longer route and a shorter route. You can use the hilly route for interval training, the flat route for recovery rides, the longer route to get in some extra miles, and the shorter route when you just don't have enough time for a longer ride. Varying your route also makes your training more interesting than biking the same old roads every single day.
Good luck with your training! Ride well.