I've learned a ton over the years of being on ST. You'll realize there are a handful of posters who actually know what they're talking about. The only one that comes to mind right now is desert dude.
There is good advice on here, but I agree with the above. I started reading in 2010, and in 2013 when I decided I needed a coach, he was one of the three people I was going to contact (I ended up using a local coach before reaching out). His athletes are always improving.
My personal advice is that it's a very difficult sport in terms of "nailing" because of the optimization of training and racing three different sports. I was reading Matthew Berry's fantasy football column this week and he was discussing careers, but had the line in it that said "you need 10000 hours at something before you are an expert." As depressing as that may seem as a novice, it's really true and offers a bright-side that as long as you are consistent you will continue to see improvements for a long time. Because of this, like others said, consistency is what is going to be your friend.