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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 12.20.14. “Doing Jack(y)”

•December 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Are you ready to put in some hard work this weekend?

If you’re heading down to Austin in a couple of weeks, this is when you’ll want to get in some long, hard miles before you start your final taper and transition to pure speed work leading into the event.

So, with that in mind, have yourself a…


Jacky Day.

This is a good general climbing and endurance workout that will stretch you a fair bit longer than anything you’re ever going to see out on the cross courses.

Heck, this is about as hard and sustained as you’ll ever see in a road race.

In fact, what we’re trying to do is, essentially, simulate a day off the front of a road race.


Select a route that will enable you to hit at least 3 climbs of  5-10 minutes or so each, with flat to rolling terrain in between. If your local climbs aren’t that long, try and do more shorter ones. If hills are longer… well, cool. Just don’t turn this into an all-out climbing day, ok?

Warm up well, at least 20-30 minutes before you hit the first climb.

Climbs should be hard but steady.

Start medium hard (not full gas!) and try and hold it the whole climb.

Drive it over the top, and roll down the descent. Visualize a prime at the bottom of each descent, and a chase pack nipping at your heels. Don’t sit up at the top of the climbs,stay on the gas all the way down and through.

In between climbs, keep it steady.

You want to stay on top of a pretty big gear, at a level that is below threshold, but not that far below.

If you’re a power meter type, with an ftp of 265, you would want to try and average about 200 watts between the climbs and 300 on the climbs.

Not a PM type? Try and go about 90% on the climbs, and just over 50% between the climbs.

Remember, 3 climbs of 10 minutes, or the equivalent. With a warm up of 15-20 minutes, and a cool down of about the same, this would be just about perfect for a 2.5 hour ride.

Got more time? Rest after the 3rd climbing effort, repeat the cycle.

It’s better to keep the intensity up than to go longer. Remember, we aren’t resting between climbs, we’re dieseling along in a big gear.

Visualize yourself driving an all-day breakaway, and you get the idea…

Have fun, and think to yourself, as you’re rolling along…

“What would Jacky do?”



PS… this is a hard workout. Depending on your schedule, and level of fitness, it might be a bit much. Might also toast you for tomorrow, so be warned, ok? This is a last long weekend before you start tapering into Nationals type of effort.
Buckle up!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day For Friday, 12.19.14. “Tequila Tonight”

•December 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

So, hey… very few of you are probably racing this weekend; there just aren’t that many races going down. If you’re reading this, though, that probably means you’re still in training, which means you’re likely going to Nationals, which means you’re still getting after it pretty hard.

All of which means?

You’re going to want to put some serious work in this weekend.

With all the holiday insanity this coming week, odds are training is going to be a bit hampered, so I’m going to suggest banking some hard time tomorrow and the next day. That way, all the eggnog will be “recovery” drink, or at least that’s what you can tell yourself.

So, tomorrow is going to be pretty damn hard.





Make today a lot less so, go for a…

One to Two Hour Moderate Ride –

Get on your bike.

Go ride for an hour or two.

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.

Make sense?

Have fun,



The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, “All headwinds”

•December 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Ever feel like no matter what direction you were going, you were pedaling into a headwind?



Man, some days are just like that.

Not to whine too much, but I’m having one of those today. Blech.

If I were able to ride the bike – which I’m not right now – I’d be looking to do something to blow the pipes out a bit, clear my mind, get centered.

Something short, hard, and fast.

Something like…

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 second 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 the level of output you had on your first set.

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.

Have fun!



The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 12.17.24. “A Little Bird…”

•December 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

A little bird tells me there’s going to be some running necessary at Nationals this year, so…


Get High, Ya’all!


 (knees. get your knees high. what did you think I meant?)

Find a set of stairs to do today’s workout on. You’re going to be doing a set of short intervals, so you don’t need stadium stairs or anything like that. Somewhere in the neighborhood of one single flight of standard office building stairs is perfect.

- get on your bike and warm up for 15 minutes or so.

(we’re going to warm up for any running efforts we do, all season, with some time on the bike.)

- Mosey on over to your stairs/knoll/whatever, and get set. Stretch, have a sip of water, turn up the volume on your Ipod.

- Jog up the stairs. Walk down.

- Repeat x3

Sprint! up stairs, fast, using whatever stride is most comfortable. Walk down.

- Repeat x3

Rest for 1 minute, walking slowly up and down stairs.

- Sprint up stairs, this time using quick, tiny strides, 1 stair step at a time. Jog down.

- Repeat x3

Rest again, same as before.

- Sprint up stairs, this time using long strides, several stair steps at a time. Walk down.

- Repeat x 3

Rest again.

- Sprint up stairs, combining the previous two exercises; long step, followed by 2 short steps. Do 1x.

Walk down.

- Run up stairs, high knees, exaggeratedly so…

Repeat x3

Rest again, 2-5 minutes.

Sprint up stairs, free form, just go as fast as you can. Go until spent.

- Repeat entire damn thing if you’re a freaking animal.

Get back on bike, spin out your legs, go home.

Notes -

- If you can, go really damn hard. If you do this right, it’s a brutal workout.

- If you haven’t been doing much running this season, be careful. Don’t overdo this, and don’t risk screwing everything up for the rest of the season by blowing up a knee or something. Better yet, try this.

Have fun!


The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 12.16.14. “Buckle Up”

•December 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, we’re getting pretty close to crunch time if you’re heading off to Nationals.

The end of the envelope to get some quality work in is just about upon us, so buckle up.

We’re going hard today.

We’re doing…


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…


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 harder than what you’re dong your 2×20 effort at. A fair bit harder.

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,


The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 12.15.14. “Walk it off, Jim!”

•December 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, you made it through another weekend! Congrats! I hope the racing went well for all those who did so, and that all else had themselves a lovely weekend doing whatever it was that they did.

If those things that done got did just happened to involve the aforementioned racing, or – geezus – yesterday’s horror show of a workout, I’m pretty sure that you’ll need a bit of a break today.

So, pull your trainer up in front of the ol’ computer, cue up this vid of Saturday’s Euro racing…


(had to set the vid to start at Jim Aernouts’ barrier mishap. Ouch. OUCH!!)


…and enjoy a nice, relaxing…



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.




The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 12.14.14. “Doppelgangered”

•December 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, it’s a Sunday. Normally that’s a race day, and for many of you I bet that’s the case today.

We’ve reached the time of the year, however, where the races are going the way of the Dodo, yet folks still need to train as if there was racing, ’cause they’re headed off to Nats in January.

Got ‘ya covered.

This one will make you wish you raced, I promise.


The Doppelganger – 

- Warm up well. If you have time, warm up as you would for a race. It’s good practice, if nothing else.

- After you have warmed up, do five full-gas starts. As always, focus on the second effort in your start, working on getting back on the gas right after you max-out on your initial effort and begin to sit down.

- 20 minutes at your 2×20 pace.

- 2 minute rest.

- 10 minutes of Over/Under intervals

The baseline for this interval is the level of effort/output you just did in the 20 minute effort.

However hard you went in that interval, you are going to try and hold that for the 10 minutes.

Easy, right?

Here’s the rub.

You’re going to sprint for 10 seconds every minute of the interval.

How hard are you going to sprint?

Hard, but not so hard that after you sprint, you can’t sit back down and keep churning away at your 2×20 level.

This takes some practice to figure out.

Don’t get all freaked out if you blow it and can’t hold the effort until the end. You tried, right?

Having said that, don’t wuss out and quit. This is some difficult s***, man. You want to get faster, right?


Here’s how this works.

Use a stopwatch. Put it on your bars.

Start the stopwatch.

Start the interval with a sprint, out of the saddle pretty hard, but not full gas.

Sprint for 10 seconds.

Back in saddle, drop into your 2×20 zone. Hold this until the minute mark, then –

Sprint again. 10 seconds.

Back in saddle, 2×20 level until 2 minute mark…



Repeat, until you have hit the 10 minute mark.

- 5 minute recovery

- 10 minutes at 2×20 level

- 2 minute recovery

- 10 minute Over/Under Intervals

- SPRINT at the very end of the last interval. 30 seconds, all out.

Really all out, like “I’m sprinting for my life/the cash/the girl” all out.

You should be at least half-blind at the end of the sprint.

Heck, you should be so gassed when you start the sprint that just upping the tempo a little bit puts you in a box.


Notes -

Yes, this is f-ing hard Makes ‘ya wish for a race, eh?

You can always just sub in a 2×20 (or better yet a 3×20…)  when you can’t race. These are hard damn workouts if you do them right, but certainly nothing like the nightmare I just handed to you…

Have fun!



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