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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 10.16.17. “Spinning Home”

•October 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, as promised, my trip to the Kona Ironman resulted in a few missed posts. Sorry about that!

I’m on my way home today, and things should regularize shortly. I think. Fingers crossed!

Speaking of regular, today is Monday. That means…

 

Recovery Spin – 

– Get on your bike. Roll out into the street – or into your living room if you’re on the turbo watching the vid – and just spin around for an hour. Or more. Or less. Whatever it takes.

– 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 easily and aimlessly. At a certain point, your legs will start to loosen up.

– When that happens, turn around and go home.

–  If you’re doing these on the trainer, same deal. Just spin. No hard efforts, just make the legs go around in circles in a small gear.

– Follow up with as much relaxation as you can. Eat, stretch, and put your legs up. Get a massage if possible.

 

…and, of course, Race Vids!

 

 

Enjoy!

M

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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, “Fast AND Furious. More fast, though.”

•October 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Minimum pre-workout verbiage today, straight to the business of…

 

Downhill Sprints  – 

 

downhill

 

 

sStart by warming up well, a bit longer than usual – 30 minutes or so.

Find a gradual downhill that lets out on a flat section of road or trail. The ideal setup for this workout is a downhill that’s about a block long that turns into  a flat section of road another block or so in length.

Extra bonus points if you can loop back to the start without having to turn around – that would be perfect.

You’re going to do 3-5 sets of 5 sprints, full gas. Here’s how the sprints go:

Roll down the gradual descent in a comfortable gear. You want to hit the bottom of the hill going fast, but not yet in a sprint.

As soon as you hit the flat section at the bottom of the hill, get out of the saddle and give it full gas.

Sit back down as you get up to full speed, and try to go even faster.

Go until you are spun out.

Spun out means that your legs can’t go any faster, your form goes completely to hell, or you start bobbing up and down on the saddle a lot.

Ideally, a little bit of all of those things.

Remember, we’re working on leg speed today, so really focus on turning your legs over. The goal isn’t to make the bike go fast, the goal is to make your legs go fast.

There’s a difference, eh? Try to keep it in mind, ok?

That’s one rep. You’re doing sets of 5.

Ouch.

Each sprint should take just a few seconds. Recover for 30 seconds to a minute between them, and 5 minutes between sets.

Stop when you hit 5 sets or just aren’t getting the same leg speed you were on the first couple of reps.

When you’re done, spin out your legs and go home.

If you did the workout on Tuesday, you’ll notice that this sprint was, essentially, part of the workout on Tuesday.

Today we’re just isolating that part of the drill, and really focusing on going fast.

So, think fast thoughts…

 

 

 

Tips –

– You should start the sprint in a pretty big gear, and spin it out. How big? It depends on how fast you’re going and how strong you are. You’re working on speed here, so don’t try to lug a giant gear, but the gear needs to be big enough that you accelerate when you hit it at the end of the downhill.

– Important, let me reiterate: stand up out of the saddle when you start to sprint, and gradually sit down as you begin to spin up into your sprint.

– Don’t forget to breathe. Seriously. Too many people hold their breath when they sprint. Don’t be one of them.

Have fun!

M

 

 

 

 

 

Hi 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 it’s the time of the season where I’ve got to pay the bills to keep this thing going.

I’m not trying to get rich off this 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 money doing this!

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.

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Thanks for the consideration!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 10.11.17. “On Island time…”

•October 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

 

Kona week continues, and I hope you all appreciate the fact that I’m blowing off my chance to ride this morning to get this post up!

(Not kidding, either. Some serious adulting going on here today. Blecch.)

So, before I reconsider my priorities, on with the post…

It’s Wednesday, that means it’s…

Skills Day!

Rumor has it that it’s going to be wet back home in Seattle today, so we’re going to talk a little bit (and I do mean a little bit… I’m very much time crunched today!) about off cambers.

Specifically muddy off cambers.

First things first, tire pressure.

If it’s muddy, and you’re going to be riding some serious off camber sections, drop that pressure down. A lot. Probably more than you think is reasonable is about right.

It’s not unusual to see the top pros running in the neighborhood of one bar in their tires when the conditions are seriously slick, muddy, and off camber.

Yes, this means you’re going to need to ride tubulars. And you’re going to flat some of them. And probably roll some of them, at least until you really get your gluing down, and you’re going to need to re-glue every season when you’re running in this kind of pressure range. No getting away with last year’s glue job when you consistently start to run at or below 20 psi in your tires. (Trust me on this, I found it out the hard way.

So, tires? Low pressure. You need to experiment to see what works.

The one race I won last season (ugh…) I was running about 15 psi, and it absolutely made the difference. I wasn’t even close to being the strongest guy in the race, but I was able to get traction where other folks were…

Next?

Don’t be afraid to take your foot out.

Uphill foot out of the damn pedal, shift your weight to keep your body weight on the tires, and maximize contact patch.

What the hell am I talking about?

 

 

 

Even better?

Here’s how to nail, and how to fail.

 

Pay attention to how the third rider through attempts to transition his foot-out through the corner, and blows the weight transfer.

Remember, the whole idea here is to drive body weight through the tires into the slope. Leg comes out to facilitate that.

Yikes.

Out of time, gotta’ run.

More on this next Wednesday…

 

MH

 

 

 

Thanks for following my blog!

I’m not trying to get rich off this 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 money doing this.

Heck, allow me to rephrase that; I can’t keep doing this if I lose money on it.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, and you’d like to see it continue, 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.

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Thanks for the consideration!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 10.10.17. “Lizard Style”

•October 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Aloha folks,

Greetings from Kona, where the lizards are omnipresent…

…and I’m getting up at 4:30 in the morning to write this.

Yikes.

If you’ve been following along with us the last couple/few weeks, you’ll no doubt notice that this is a repeat of last Tuesday’s workout, and perhaps be drawn to correlate the repeat of the workout with the “up early, no time, on the road working” status of you’re truly.

Nope!

(well, ok… not totally…)

We’re repeating last Tuesday’s workout because with repetition you get better at these, and you are able to extract more training value from them!

Seriously.

So, with that in mind, today we are (again!) enjoying…

2×20 Tuesday! (get-up style)

 

At it’s most basic the 2×20 looks like this:

– Warm up.

– Go as hard as you can for 20 minutes.

– Recover for 5 minutes.

– Go again for another 20 minutes.

The idea is to go as hard as you can for the duration of both intervals without being forced to go easier at the end of the second interval.

It’s all about doing two intervals.

Two intervals at as close to the same level of consistent, steady power output as you can manage.

If you’re doing this with a power meter, you want your wattage output to be as constant and unvaried as possible.

For both intervals.

Both.

How steady?

Can you keep it in a 10 watt range?

Probably not.

15 watts?

More likely

20 watts?

Try.

Keep it steady.

If you run out of gas before you finish the second interval, then you went too hard.

If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the second interval, you went too easy. But guess what?
It’s way better to go too easy and finish both intervals than it is to go too hard and crater part way through the second 20.

That’s the basic version (and if you’re new to all this, it’s probably the version you should do.) Today, though?

Today we’re doing the get-up version, so…

Start your 20-minute interval out of the saddle, and stand for the first 30 seconds.

After those 30 seconds are up, sit down. Keep the effort going, and keep your level of output consistent.

Stay seated for the next 1:30, then stand for 30 seconds.

Repeat to the end of the interval, and follow this format for the next 20 minute interval.

Remember, the idea here is to go as hard as you can for the duration of both intervals without being forced to go easier at the end of the second interval.

If you’re doing this with a power meter, you want your wattage output to be as close to constant as possible, and the out of the saddle time we’re throwing in makes this even more challenging.

Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get, as your output level gets closer and closer to the absolute max you’re capable of doing for an interval of this duration.

Add in the constant standing and sitting component, and you’re going to know you did some work when you’re through.

I know I’m repeating myself, but do try to avoid the temptation to up the output level when you get out of the saddle, OK?

That’s an entirely different workout, and we’ll get there soon enough, I promise.

One of the things we’re learning with this workout is how to calibrate our out of the saddle efforts. We’re getting a better handle on what we’re actually doing when we stand up on the bike.

You need to know – really know – when you’re going harder and when you’re not.

What most people find when doing this workout is that every time they get out of the saddle their power output takes a big jump.

Which isn’t a huge surprise, because we largely train our bodies to correlate out of the saddle with “go time.”

The thing is, though?

Cyclocross ain’t road racing.

A lot of the time you’re getting out of the saddle not to accelerate, but due to a bike handling challenge.

Heck, in Cross if you get out of the saddle in a super sketchy tech section and really put the power down, pretty often that’s going to result in rear wheel slip and lack of traction, with the expected bad results.

Here’s a little secret:
One of the keys to good bike handling is having a really good understanding of how much power you’re producing, and the effect that has on your traction.

Step one to developing that understanding is getting a real feel for how your power output can change when you get out of the saddle.

Nothing will give you a better feel for that than this workout.

Make sense?

Especially since we’re trying to work on perception, not just output, this is a workout that works great on the trainer, and that’s how you should do ’em, if you can stand it. If not, really try to find the most vacant, flat, soulless terrain possible. The fewer the distractions the better.

Tips:

– I do these on the trainer, with a stopwatch on the bars and an Ipod blaring in my ears. Start the stopwatch at the beginning of the interval, and the format is really easy to follow; you stand up for :30 at the 2:oo, 4:00, 6:00, etc. mark(s). Get it? It’s easy!

– A power meter will help you to keep the level of intensity constant. You want the power output to be as steady as possible with these. If you don’t have a PM, do these on the trainer,  choose a gear ratio and a cadence, and stick to that for the duration of the exercise – instant home made ergometer.

 

Enjoy!

M

 

 

 

Thanks for following my blog!

I’m not trying to get rich off this 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 money doing this.

Heck, allow me to rephrase that; I can’t keep doing this if I lose money on it.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, and you’d like to see it continue, 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.

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Thanks for the consideration!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 10.9.17. “Kona-riffic”

•October 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

My apologies for today’s late posting, and in advance for what are probably going to be some pretty… haphazard… postings this week.

I’m in beautiful Kona, Hawaii for the Ironman World Championships this week, all week.

 

 

 

Between the time change and the schedule I’m on, that’s going to make posting workouts more than a wee bit challenging.

Will do my best, but I can pretty much guarantee there will be some voids in the posting schedule.

So, apologies.

 

Today is Monday, and you know what that means, right?

Yup. Race video!

 

 

K-F-C! VdH! One hell of a day of racing! Enjoy!

Maybe while you’re on the trainer enjoying 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 watching the vid – and just spin around for an hour. Or more. Or less. Whatever it takes.

– 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 easily and aimlessly. At a certain point, your legs will start to loosen up.

– When that happens, turn around and go home.

–  If you’re doing these on the trainer, same deal. Just spin. No hard efforts, just make the legs go around in circles in a small gear.

– Follow up with as much relaxation as you can. Eat, stretch, and put your legs up. Get a massage if possible.

Cheers!

M

 

Thanks for following my blog!

I’m not trying to get rich off this 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 money doing this.

Heck, allow me to rephrase that; I can’t keep doing this if I lose money on it.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, and you’d like to see it continue, 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

Thanks for the consideration!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 10.7.17. “Rock-ing into fall. Falling into Rock?”

•October 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Up here in Seattle it’s really starting to look like fall…

 

Cold, wet, and windy.

With a race on the docket for tomorrow, we need to get some openers in today, but riding outside in this is a wee bit… offputting.

How about we stay inside today, and get our work in on the trainer via…

The R.S.W.O. – 

The Rock Stupid Warm Up & Opener (Yup, as the name implies, this is also a good race day warmup routine.)

– 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.)

Bam!

Enjoy!

M

 

Thanks for following my blog!

I’m not trying to get rich off this 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 money doing this.

Heck, allow me to rephrase that; I can’t keep doing this if I lose money on it.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, and you’d like to see it continue, 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.

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Thanks for the consideration!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 10.6.17. “Off moderation”

•October 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

What are your plans for the weekend?

If you’re racing on Sunday, you might want to take it kinda easy today.

Easy as in think about taking the day off!

I know, I know… it’s a nice day, and you want to ride!

Can’t quite make yourself do that? It’s cool. Just don’t overdo it.

Maybe 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?

 

Racing tomorrow?

Gotta’ get those openers in! How about…

Ignition – 

 

_32

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 (I am) 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

Thanks for following my blog!

I’m not trying to get rich off this 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 money doing this.

Heck, allow me to rephrase that; I can’t keep doing this if I lose money on it.

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, and you’d like to see it continue, 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

Thanks for the consideration!