If you are familiar w/ Rocky 4 (one of the best movies ever BTW) then you know how great the contrast is between how Rocky and Ivan Drago trained for the fight.
Technology and time: I train with very little technology and a pretty flexible plan. I simply don't have the time (if I want to be successful at my most important job of being a daddy and husband) to be gone a whole day training or even travel south to train or race like some of my competition. I have a heart rate monitor but haven't worn it in 3 years, have never worn it outside, and only ever used it on the trainer a few times. I don't have a power meter or even a computer on any of my bikes.
My science: What I do do is keep track of my activities in a little notebook. I write down the duration of each ride and rate each ride on a perceived exertion scale. I may also include a note or two about how I felt during and even after the ride. This allows me to look back and see what does and does not work for ME.
The off season: In the off season and even through the spring, I play a lot of hockey, run/showshoe a little, and joy ride. When the snow flies, I ride a bike with 7 extra pound of wheel weight...no power meter necessary.
Leading up to the season: The only structure I have all year is around rest periods from Feb until racing starts. I do this to assure that I stay fresh and get stronger. I typically do a weekend +2 weeks "on" (ride more and ride harder) and then take the 5 following week days off. Weekends are precious and this maximizes riding while minimizing the impact to my family and job. BTW, I am in this phase now.
The season: In the race season, I race a lot and recover. Period. Recovery is sometimes spent at the playground, most of the time commuting, and when I am lucky on the trail with friends.
What got me thinking about doing a post on how I train was a great blog entry linked below that the fastest current North American endurance racer, Jeff Schalk, who happens to ride on the Trek Coop team too. I love Eddy Merckx's quote=)http://trekmountain.typepad.com/king/trek-racing-co-op/