Am I correct in my thinking that I should set my improvement rate based on the ramp rate I can manage, and adjust down when I reach my maximum available hours?
e.g. I set it to ‘Slow’, eventually I need to do 5+ hours a week to improve but don’t have any more available time. Should I know set it to ‘Maintenance’ until my goal event?
Yes that’s the way I work it. You’ll need to do the target number of hours for the improvement rate you specified. So if your training load is high, you need to do more hours to achieve that or more intensity for the required improvement.
Last winter I tried to match the improvement rate on the XSS alone, but as I was doing only 6 hours a week, I would have to do a lot of intensity all the time. Suffice to say, I burned myself out. Better to reduce the improvement rate instead as you say.