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Thread: Cross workouts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
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    876

    Cross workouts

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    I just signed up for my first cross race (yay!). It's three weeks away and I'm thinking I should probably get on my cross bike and do some workouts. I've put in about 2k miles on my road bike this summer. I've trained more for distance than for speed. What are your favorite cyclocross training workouts? Any recommendations for improving speed in a short amount of time?
    Girl meets bike. Bike leads girl to a life of grime: http://mudandmanoloscycling.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Intervals - lots and lots of intervals.

    And skills practice. On the bike, off the bike - repeat ad infinitum!

    Seriously, though, intervals are what will increase your speed the most in a short amount of time. My favorite workout in the fall is to get together with a small group of friends, and do a "practice" race. We are lucky enough to have a location where we can go and do multiple loops of a "course" at full on race pace. Typically, we'll start with skills in the backyard - cornering, barriers - and then head out a local rail trail doing sprints on the way out (4 total that last about 2-3 minutes each with 30 seconds of recovery in between). After that, we head to the "course", spinning easy to recover. Then, it's 5 to 6 laps that includes a VERY long sand portion (great practice for cross) - each lap takes between 5 and 6 minutes.

    These intervals REALLY help me a lot. I still ride other nights of the week, but this is likely my best workout.

    SheFly

    p.s.
    Remember most of all, 'cross is all about having fun! And my typical mantra is that I can do ANYTHING for only 40 munutes
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    876
    Thanks! It sounds like you have a great setup there.

    I have an easy time doing intervals inside during the winter, but a harder time structuring them when I'm outside, and I live in a very hilly area.

    I was thinking of doing a dirt road circuit near my house. It has a few short, steep hills and I could hit it at a challenging page for 30 minutes or more. Does that sound okay or should I do something with more structure?
    Girl meets bike. Bike leads girl to a life of grime: http://mudandmanoloscycling.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Can you do any sort of intervals on the circuit? For example, all out between telephone poles? From one stop to another (or driveway)? The intensity will really help. If it is hilly, you could drill all the ups, and recover on the way down.

    And 30 mins is likely not quite enough - perhaps 2 loops of the circuit? My typical cross workout is between 1 and 1.5 hours (sometimes 2). I found the following here:

    Training Week (assumes the previous weekend was a race weekend):
    Mon: recovery day – off the bike – focus on SSHNs of Recovery
    Tues: 1hr easy ride w/ 3-5 seated 10 second sprints or easy 15-20min jog. If you haven’t run in a while, you need to ease into the jogging slowly to prevent excessive soreness – do a walk-jog instead 2mins jog, 2mins walk, etc.
    Wed: High Intensity Day: 4x10min LT efforts slightly below race pace. Rest for 5 mins b/t each effort.
    Thurs: Sub Threshold Day – 1.5hr ride w/ 60mins of steady “tempo” pace – you should be above conversational pace but not labored breathing.
    Fri: recovery day – easy 15-20 min jog
    Sat: High Intensity Day – Hard Group Ride or 3x15min LT intervals just below race pace
    Sun: Sub-Threshold Day – 2hr ride w/ 60mins of steady tempo and 30mins of skillwork

    I race both Saturday and Sunday almost all season, so wouldn't do those prescribed workouts necessarily. I also don't run, except in races (hmm - maybe I could be faster if I did some running? ). On the Tues or Thurs night, I would switch a bit and do some skills - dismounts, corners, sand, mud, etc.

    My intensity day is definitely Weds, and the workout here is a good one. This should at least get you going, and a dirt road circuit sounds perfect!

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    876
    Thanks. I'll give this a try. I've been having some nagging calf/hamstring pain this season, so I think that will dictate how hard I can go. I'm excited for my first race and going in with no expectations (esp. with the leg acting up). Good luck with your season!
    Girl meets bike. Bike leads girl to a life of grime: http://mudandmanoloscycling.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Having fun is the best expectation of all! I have been having hamstring issues myself this year, which manifest in really bad lower back pain.

    S-T-R-E-T-C-H! I am really lazy about stretching, but as I am getting older, I am finding that it's something I can't ignore anymore. Stretching the calves and hamstrings has certainly been helping. I'm thinking of throwing in a weekly yoga session on Monday nights through the remainder of the cross season to help with that.

    We had 85 women across 3 categories at one of the first local races just yesterday. Everyone had a good time, so don't worry - just go out and HAVE FUN!

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

 

 

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