There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Some great (late!) Christmas gifts to yourself there! Check it out.
Twas’ the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for…
So, it’s the night before. Odds are you’re not going to see the bike much tomorrow. Don’t sweat that, ok? Have fun, forget about the bike for a day.
Heck, it’s perfectly ok to be off the bike today as well.
It’s freakin’ Christmas weekend, afterall. Enjoy it.
If “enjoy it” means getting out on the bike today, though, here’s what we have for you…
Go fast today.
Explode out of corners, accelerate up climbs, get out of the saddle and punch it every time you remount your bike after an obstacle.
Leg speed should be high tonight. No slogging a big gear, get the pedals turning over and get up to speed as quickly and emphatically as you can.
Think quick, snappy, dancing on the pedals type behavior. Today do everything one gear smaller than you ordinarily would, just to reinforce the idea.
On with the workout!
– warm up on bike, 10-15 minutes.
– Brief run. 5 minutes, focused on short, quick steps.
– Active stretching, as discussed in previous posts.
– Barrier skills, 5-10 minutes.
Every time you remount your bike, immediately get out of the saddle and sprint up to speed.
You are remounting with your hands on your hoods, right? If not, you should be. Every time you get back on the bike, butt comes off saddle, and you give ‘er gas. Hard to do this when you’re planted on the tops…
Begin slowly, and gradually up the tempo until you’re going too darn fast, then take it down a notch.
This is your race speed. Just one notch below your absolute max.
You should always be able to do things one notch faster in practice then you ever have to do them in a race.
When you try to get that extra tiny little bit of speed out of the technical sections in a race, you tend to wind up flat on your face.
Falling is always slow.
Get things perfect at race speed, and then move on to…
– Technical skills, 10 minutes.
Off cambers, tight turns, wide/fast turns, mud, sand… whatever you’ve got to work with on your training circuit, have at it.
Remember, speed is everything tonight.
Come out of corners faster than you went into them.
Sprint through the sand & the mud.
Full-gas starts from standing, foot on the ground. Just like the beginning of a race.
Each start effort should include a second effort: after you’ve gotten up to speed and settled into the saddle, get your ass back up off of it and hit the gas again. Second effort is the focus!
Go until you get 5 perfect starts in a row.
– Race simulation.
Short, but race like.
If your race day at Nationals is 60 minutes, today you should endeavor to do a race-like effort (on the cross bike, on cross-race like terrain… you know, race-like) of approximately half that duration, at equal to or greater output.
Honestly? The hell with “equal to race pace.”
Harder than race pace.
Half as long as a race, but as hard or harder than what you would do in an actual race.
Try for harder than a race.
Hmmm… how can I phrase this simply?
Go really damn hard for half as long as you typically race.
Pretty simple, eh?
– Warm down.
Go Home. Eat. Recover.
Don’t have that kind of time today?
Sometimes a picture (or a video) is worth a thousand words.
Just like in the video.
Really darn short – 10 seconds max – full gas hill sprints, ideally on pretty technical terrain.
5 reps per set, and notice how hard Sven is breathing after these?
That’s the idea.
Hit it hard. Really hard. These are super short, and super intense.
Ideally, you’re doing these on a short climb that you can barely get up, one that is at the bleeding edge of your technical ability and strength.
You can surmount the obstacle, but it forces you to give it everything you’ve got to make it happen.
But you can make it happen, despite the pain. For a couple of reps, at least.
Can’t get up the hill anymore?
Take a short rest, go again.
When you can’t get up the hill at all even when you take a short break to recover?
Don’t have a good place to do these? Try this instead.