About these ads
 
 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.26.14. “Pay it forward”

•November 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Wow. Here we are, one short day away from Thanksgiving. The cyclocross season is careening rapidly towards it’s conclusion!

Up in this neck of the woods, this is the time of the year where most folks start calling it quits, race participation drops dramatically, and those who are planning on a trip to Nationals need to get creative to program in the race-pace intensity they need to be competitive in January.

January? What the hell? This is freakin’ November!

Yeah, yeah, I know… but hey; gotta start thinking about this stuff now.

Photo: Rick Kimpel  CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo: Rick Kimpel CC BY-SA 2.0

Or, you know, not.

If you aren’t going to Nationals, if you aren’t going to be racing much more than a couple more weeks…

Training is kinda simple for you right now.

For the most part, what ‘ya got is what ‘ya got.

No matter how hard you train, it ain’t likely that any big gains are going to be made in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

But…

Even if you do nothing but races from here on out, you probably aren’t going to lose all that much ground relative to the folks who are scratching and clawing to maximize every last shred of form they can find either.

It’s run what ‘ya brung season.

If you are racing through mid-january?

Yowzah.

You’ve still got a solid six weeks until Austin.

The big push towards Nats’ is right around the corner.

So, what does all this have to do with The Workout Of The Day?

It’s a holiday tomorrow.

So chill out.

Enjoy yourself for a couple of days.

Don’t overdo the food thing, but don’t sweat it too much either.

If you’re done racing in a couple of weeks, it ain’t going to kill you.

If you’re racing through mid-January, the break will do you some good.

I’m not saying “don’t ride” the next couple of days, but I am saying “don’t ride if you don’t really want to, or if it’s going to be a pain in the ass.”

Up here in Seattle, we have an annual Thanksgiving ride that raises funds for Northwest Harvest. If you’re in the area, you should think about checking that out tomorrow. It meets here at 9am, and the suggested donation is $5-10.

That, friends, is the workout of the day.

Have some fun, get in a ride today and/or tomorrow if you can, and maybe pay a little bit forward to some folks who could use a helping hand this holiday season.

Peace…

M

 

 

**********

Hey there…

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, and over the years that I’ve been doing it, has become a little bit of a monster.

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and as you may have noticed, I’ve recently started asking for folks to chip in a bit if they feel like what they’re getting her is worth something to them.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m trying to get rich off this here thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose quite as much money doing this as I currently do.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

 

btn_donateCC_LG

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 11.25.14. “This’ll take your mind off things…”

•November 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

I hope ya’all have had a peaceful last 24 hours, and haven’t been adversely affected by the craziness…

(Photo credit -http://www.reuters.com/news/picture/2014/11/25/editors-choice?articleId=USRTR4FI2G)

Not much to say about any of that here, other than it sure will be nice to get on the bike and forget about the world for a while.

So, how about a workout that’s guaranteed to take your mind off current events?

The MB15 – 

Warm up well. (Seriously. Warm up for this one, it’ll help.)

The basic idea here is to do a series of very short efforts with very little rest between them, for a pretty long period of time.

Sound confusing?

Here’s how it breaks down…

Warm up.

Get set…

Go!

15 seconds on

15 seconds off

15 seconds on

15 seconds off

…and so on and so on for the duration of the interval.

How long are you going to do this for?

 – Ten minutes would be great.

Three -four sets, 5 minutes between sets.

How hard do you go during the “on” segments?

- Pretty darn hard.

You’re familiar with the level of effort you put out in your 2×20’s by now, right?

You need to go harder than that.

A fair bit harder would be good.

Ideally, you’ll hit these on periods at right about 150% of your FTP, if that’s a number that means anything to you. If it doesn’t, it’s probably pretty darn close to what you’re dong your 2×20 effort at.

Like I said, “ouch.”

How easy do you go during the “off” segments?

- A lot easier, but you aren’t quite soft pedaling.

Right about 50% of your FTP, or half as hard as your 2×20 level.

Again, ouch.

Want to know the real “Ouch”?

Ultimately, you want to be able to do 6 sets of these, or 3 sets twenty minutes each, or however many it takes to equal the duration of your races.

Seriously, Ouch.

Do what you can.

Have fun,

M

 

 

**********

Hey there…

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, and over the years that I’ve been doing it, has become a little bit of a monster.

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and as you may have noticed, I’ve recently started asking for folks to chip in a bit if they feel like what they’re getting her is worth something to them.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m trying to get rich off this here thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose quite as much money doing this as I currently do.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

 

btn_donateCC_LG

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 11.24.14. “Not doubled. Damn.”

•November 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty damn tired today.

Strange thing about having a crappy day on the bike is that when it happens in a race, sometimes it means you wind up spending more time slogging through the mud than just about everyone else… which was the story of my day, yesterday.

Wasn’t riding well, but just marginally better than all the folks who got doubled, so… bonus lap!

Ouch.

I’m betting that you too earned today’s…

Recovery Spin -

- Get on your bike. Roll out into the street – or into your living room if you’re on the turbo –  and just spin around for an hour.

- Really small gear, no hard efforts – heck, no medium effort.

- Spin. You’re looking to move your legs around in circles, almost like there is no chain on the bike.

- The idea is to get your body moving, flush the systems out, and speed your recovery.

- Just get out on the road and spin aimlessly. At a certain point, your legs suddenly feel better.

- As soon as that happens, turn around, go home, eat, stretch, and put your legs up.

 

Hey! What about the vids from the races this weekend?

Well, there’s a pretty remarkable deficit of footage from Koksijde and Spa on the interwebs today, but there’s this…

…from yesterday.

That’s not much, though, so I started looking for the 1994 Koksijde World Championship – which is one of my favorite races – and go figure. Couldn’t find that either.

…but I did find this…

…which might be even better. What a great race.

Enjoy!

M

 

 

**********

Hey there…

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, and over the years that I’ve been doing it, has become a little bit of a monster.

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and as you may have noticed, I’ve recently started asking for folks to chip in a bit if they feel like what they’re getting her is worth something to them.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m trying to get rich off this here thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose quite as much money doing this as I currently do.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

 

btn_donateCC_LG

The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 11.23.14. “Warming Wave”

•November 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

After doing this whole CX.W.O.T.D thing for a bunch of years now, one thing I’ve noticed is that the questions I get from people tend to come in waves.

The current wave seems to indicate that ya’all are interested in race-day routine and warm ups, So without further ado…

Warm It Up.

First of all, don’t overdo it.

I see way, way too many people spending a ridiculous amount of time on their trainers before the race, and frankly, I think a huge number of racers leave their best effort of the day back in the tent on the Gerbil Wheel before the race.

 

Don’t let this be you.

If you feel like you need to spend more than an hour warming up for your race, frankly you’re doing something wrong.

There’s been a fair bit written about warming up for cycling events, and if you spend any time at all reading through some of the stuff that’s out there, you will no doubt find that the only commonality is that most everyone disagrees.

Until you start reading some of the science, and some of the warm-up protocols suggested by those who have also read the science.

Here’s an interesting study…

with an interesting conclusion…

During endurance events of intermediate duration (4-5 min), performance is enhanced by warm-up irrespective of warm-up intensity

Note, also this little tidbit -

There were no differences in anaerobic power output during the trials, but aerobic power output during the first 1000 m was larger during both EWU (203 W) and HWU (208 W) versus NWU (163 W) trials.

Huh. Go figure.

I pretty much never warm up for road races, unless I Know the first few K are going to be pedal to the metal.

When people ask how I can get away with this (and they do!) I always respond with “that’s what the first lap/loop/5k is for…”

You can’t really get away with this in Cyclocross.

You need to hit that first K, hell that first hundred meters at 100%, with all guns blazing.

Warming up definitely improves your aerobic power output over the first K of a race.

End of story. You need to warm up for Cyclocross.

How much do you need to warm up?

Well, here’s where we get into interesting territory.

The study I linked to above basically showed no difference between the results of warm ups conducted at different levels of intensity and duration. The key was simply to warm up, get the legs turning over.

However you do it, warming up helps.

Nice.

Remember this the next time all hell breaks loose and you can barely get in any kind of a workout before your race. Even a little bit of a warm up helps.

OK, it’s just a study. Heck, it’s just one study.

Frankly, for Cyclocross, I think you need to warm up pretty hard, if for no other reason than that you don’t want the shock of that F-ing start effort to hit your body (and mind!) like a ton of bricks.

What you don’t need to do is warm up for a long time.

After a certain point, all a long warmup does is get you tired. And that ain’t good…

tired?

OK, so what should your warm up look like?

Something like this…

Get on your bike.

Ride at a super easy level for 5 minutes. No pressure on pedals, recovery day light.

5 minutes more at just one notch higher.

2-3 minutes at right around your 20 minute output level.

then

2-3 minutes at one notch/gear easier

30 second race pace effort.

recover for 2 minutes easy…

30 second race pace effort.

recover for 2 minutes…

2 full-gas start efforts, 2 minutes between them.

Spin for 5 minutes.

Go race.

That’s just the actual warm up, though.

You need to figure in course preview time, getting all your stuff schlepped to where it needs to be, registration… the whole package.

Heck, in a perfect world, you would go ride for an hour in the morning several hours before your race!

The whole shebang is what’s important, and in a perfect world, your race day would look something like this:

Wake up.

Eat breakfast.

Ride for an hour.

Snack, take a nap.

Eat lunch (3 hours before race.)

Course preview

(while mechanic preps bikes, team staff handles everything else.)

Snack, electrolyte drink, change into race clothing.

Warm up (that thing we just talked about)

Win Race.

Post-race cool down.

Yeah, right.

Oh well, we try.

Get as close to that as you can, and remember – the science shows that any warm up is better than none!

I’ve managed to do really well in races where the only warm up I got was a 1 or 2 lap preview of the course, and I know I’m not alone!

If you are forced to choose, always pre-ride rather than warm up.

You get a less than perfect course preview, and a less than perfect warm up, but part of each is better than none of one!

Ok, after all that, are you ready for the reality-based warm up?

Quite frankly, this is what I wind up doing most of the time, and almost always if I wind up stuck on the turbo. It’s the -

R.S.W.O. – The Rock Stupid Warm-up and Opener -

First, get everything you need to do before the race done. Sign up, course preview, etc., etc. More questions you probably didn’t even have on the topic of race day routine answered here -

http://crosssports.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/the-workout-of-the-day-for-monday-9-5-10-laborious/

- Get on trainer. Spin for about 5 minutes.

- 2-3 minutes at your 20 minute output level

- Shift into big ring/largest cog combination.

- Ride 30 seconds in this gear, then shift up one cog.

- Ride 30 seconds in this gear, then shift up one cog.

- Repeat until you hit the hardest gear you’ve got, or can handle.

- Ride 30 seconds in that gear, and then shift all the way back down to the Big/big combo.

- Ride 30 seconds in that gear, then immediately shift to hardest gear you can handle.

- Full gas sprint, out of the saddle, for 30 seconds.

Back to big/big combo.

- Spin for two minutes.

Repeat The entire sequence (Usually minus the 2nd “20 minute level” effort.)

Oddly enough, this really simple warm up winds up looking a whole heck of a lot like…

…This…

team sky warmup

Yup.

That’s the actual Team Sky Time Trial warmup, photo is of a reminder sheet that was posted on the side of the team bus.

Go figure.

’nuff said?

 

Have fun,

M

 

* If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about when I say “20 minute level”, check this out…

** The Warm Up routines I describe here are actually pretty hard, and believe it or not, are likely to be too damn hard and too long for non-elite racers. You will need to experiment and figure out what works for you. Don’t be afraid to cut the warm up short, or go easier. You don’t get a prize for winning the warm up!

**********

Hey there…

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, and over the years that I’ve been doing it, has become a little bit of a monster.

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and as you may have noticed, I’ve recently started asking for folks to chip in a bit if they feel like what they’re getting her is worth something to them.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m trying to get rich off this here thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose quite as much money doing this as I currently do.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

 

btn_donateCC_LG

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 11.22.14 “Ignition Gage”

•November 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Holy cow, how about that performance by Gage Hecht!?!?! World Cup Winner, and at Koksijde!!

Wow.

If that doesn’t get you inspired to race your Cross bike, nothing will.

Speaking of racing, if you’re racing today, you’re no doubt already out at the race, or on your way.

Good luck! Have fun, kick butt.

Not racing today, but racing tomorrow?

Excellent.

Jumpstart tomorrow’s performance today by opening up your legs with…

Ignition – 

220px-Ignition_Tube

 

You’re going to do a series of short, hard sprints midway through a 1 – 1 1/2 hour ride. Before you head out the door, give some thought to where you can do that effectively.

A flat, straight, low-traffic section of road is what you’re looking for.

It would be great if it’s about a :45 minute ride away; that would make things nice and simple.

Hop on your bike and roll out the door.

Ride steady, at a moderate pace for  1/2 hour – 45 minutes, eventually winding up at the aforementioned stretch of road.

You’re now going to do a series of Hard out of the saddle sprints.

How hard?

Well, hard to say. You’ll start to get the hang of it pretty quickly, but figure that you’re shooting for an output level that will allow you to crank out all the sprints in the set at about the same level, but not easily.

You aren’t sprinting to failure here, and you aren’t doing a max power test.

Don’t overdo it,  you’re trying to open your legs, not destroy them.

Make sense?

10 sprints, 10 seconds each.

1 minute between each sprint.

After the last sprint, roll back home spinning easily to recover.

Budget at least 15 – 20 minutes for the spin/ride back home.

when you get home, put your feet up and relax.

For some folks, this isn’t quite enough to get their legs open and ready the day before the race – or at least it doesn’t feel like it’s enough – and the importance of “feeling” ready can’t really be overestimated.

If you’re part of this club (and frankly, I am too!) add a 10-minute effort at right about your 2×20 output level before you start the sprint sets.

Warm up, 10 minute effort, 5 minutes spinning, sprint efforts, spin down, go home.

Enjoy!

M

 

**********

Hey there…

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, and over the years that I’ve been doing it, has become a little bit of a monster.

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and as you may have noticed, I’ve recently started asking for folks to chip in a bit if they feel like what they’re getting her is worth something to them.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m trying to get rich off this here thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose quite as much money doing this as I currently do.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

 

btn_donateCC_LG

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 11.21.14. “Spaghetti-O’s? Not delicious, OK? PS – Buy a damn can opener. And a real hat. And get off my lawn. Damn college kids…”

•November 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Gotta’ love Fridays, eh?

So damn close to the weekend, you can almost taste it.

Bike racing… mere hours away… yeeesssss….

Well, ok… maybe not everybody is quite that level of Gollum-speak ga-ga over this whole bike racing thing.

But if you’re reading this?

You’re probably pretty close, eh?

So, racing tomorrow?

Sweet.

Today you get to do some good ‘ole…

 

Can Openers – 

(Geezus… the chick in this vid… just buy a real can opener fer chrissakes… college kids… shakes head…)

 

Warm up for 1/2 hour or so.

Follow with several short attacking efforts, IE 30 seconds at 80% of your max, or pretty damn hard.

Back off and spin for 5 minutes.

Follow with 10-15 minute effort at AT level, or CP30, or “I could talk to you if I had to, but I don’t want to” level.

Spin for several minutes.

Follow with 5-6 full gas start efforts on a straight section of paved road, level or slightly uphill.

You want to begin these from a dead stop, with one foot unclipped.

Do not stop until you get at least 3 perfect starts in a row, and I mean perfect; this is the cross equivalent of practicing free throws.

We all know how important starts are in the race, so make ‘em count.

I don’t quit until I nail 5 in a row, but set your own threshold.

Got em’ dialed? Ripped ‘em?

Cool.

Spin out the legs, then go home and rest.

You’re ready to race.

Not racing tomorrow? Racing Sunday?

You might think about taking today totally off.

Especially if you’re fighting off one of the early season colds that seem to bee dropping ‘em like flies in my neck of the woods.

Or, maybe go for a…

1.5 – 2 Hour Moderate Ride –

Get on your bike.

Go ride for 2 hours.

No hard efforts, but do throw in a couple of moderate ones. By moderate, I mean just that. You can sprint for the town line, but you should be laughing while you do it.

You’re not doing a recovery spin, so you need to put a little bit of gas into the pedals… just don’t go out and kill yourself.

Check out the view, smell the flowers, just do it while you’re putting a little bit of effort into the pedals.

1 notch above a recovery ride.

Have Fun!

M

*********

Howdy…

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, and over the years that I’ve been doing it, has become a little bit of a monster.

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and as you may have noticed, I’ve recently started asking for folks to chip in a bit if they feel like what they’re getting her is worth something to them.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m trying to get rich off this here thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose quite as much money doing this as I currently do.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

btn_donateCC_LG

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 11.20.14. “Kryptonite”

•November 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

My apologies for the lack of a workout yesterday.

I just had one of those days. “Upgraded” my phone to the newest version of the Android OS, and it bricked the damn thing, which led to a ridiculous amount of time spent trying to bring the thing back to life, skipped meals, a daily routine in tatters, and no post on here.

Blech.

Not recommended.

What do I recommend?

Well, it kinda depends.

The workout we did last Thursday is kind of my own personal kryptonite…

Green_Kryptonite_0003

…the workout I know I should do, but always find a reason to not do, and it always comes back to bite me in the ass.

I finished second in a race a couple of weeks ago, and the only damn thing that got me dropped was the fact that I couldn’t follow the guy who won on an uphill drag.

Because I didn’t do the g-damn…

Short Hill Repeats…**

You want to do these on a climb that has you right on the edge of being over-geared.

There are a couple of ways to do this…

- big-ringable, but just at the edge of being a small ring climb.

- small ring, but steep or with variable terrain, or both.

Each effort should take 5 seconds or so, which tells you how long the climb needs to be, eh?

Warm up for approx. 1/2 hour, then roll on up to the base of the climb you have selected.

Begin your intervals with an out of the saddle, full race-pace ATTACK  into the climb.

You’re looking to blast up the climb, full gas the whole way.

It’s perfectly OK to sit down 1/2 -3/4 of way through the effort – especially if you need to do so to maintain traction – but don’t let the intensity drop.

Try to maintain your intensity for the duration of interval, got it?

You’re going to recover for 30 seconds between each rep, and then 2-5 minutes between sets.

5 reps. per set.

Minimum of 5 sets.

If you can do more than that, great… but make sure you’re maintaining something in the ballpark of the level of output you had on your first set.

You aren’t trying to do all these at the same wattage – there’s some pretty good scientific evidence that if you absolutely drill your first intervals at a level that you can’t repeat for the rest of the set, it’s actually  a good thing – but you don’t want to drive yourself into the ground after the wheels have come off.

If you have a power meter, you’re done when the wattage you can maintain throughout the set drops off the edge of the table.

That’ll be pretty obvious when it happens, trust me.

Spin out & warm down after.

So, that’s the thing I should probably be doing today, and that’s why I’m putting it up.

But it might not be what you should be doing.

Your workout today?

Think of the one thing you always manage to find an excuse to not do, the workout you absolutely hate.

Do that.

Sorry kid.

It’s for your own good.

M

** Gotta’ be real here, ok? I didn’t lose just because I didn’t do the damn hill repeats… It had an awful lot to do with the fact that the person who did win was pretty damn good, and absolutely better than me. Credit where credit is due, and try to take motivation while still giving other’s their due, eh?

*********

Howdy…

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, and over the years that I’ve been doing it, has become a little bit of a monster.

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and as you may have noticed, I’ve recently started asking for folks to chip in a bit if they feel like what they’re getting her is worth something to them.

Honestly, it’s not like I’m trying to get rich off this here thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose quite as much money doing this as I currently do.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

btn_donateCC_LG

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers