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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 12.21.17. “More Meeces?”

•December 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, it’s Thursday, but it’s not just Thursday, it’s Thursday of the week before X-Mas.

If you live in the US, odds are you aren’t racing this weekend. I’d say that odds are also pretty good that you’re actually done for the season, but If you’re still reading this stuff, you’re probably racing Nationals. So, hey… Nationals bound? No racing this weekend?
Good chance to double up on the interval work.

Literally doubling up. As in a verbatim repost of Tuesday’s workout. Yay!

So, without further ado, all through the house nothing is stirring except…

 

…the poor souls cranking out the…

 

VO(to the)max 12/50

  1. Warm up

    Warm Up: 20 min @ 40 % of FTP
    throw a couple of efforts at or > ftp in during warm up to make sure you’re ready

  2. Repeat 12 times

    1. Hard

      Work: 50 sec @ 110 % of FTP

    2. Easy

      Recovery: 10 sec @ 75 % of FTP

  3. Recovery

    Recovery: 15 min @ 40 % of FTP

  4. Repeat 12 times

    1. Hard

      Work: 50 sec @ 110 % of FTP

    2. Easy

      Recovery: 10 sec @ 75 % of FTP

  5. Recovery

    Recovery: 15 min @ 40 % of FTP

  6. Repeat 12 times

    1. Hard

      Work: 50 sec @ 110 % of FTP

    2. Easy

      Recovery: 10 sec @ 75 % of FTP

  7. Cool Down

    Cool Down: 10 min @ 40 % of FTP

Ouch.

Still not clear on all this wattage based stuff, or just don’t have the requisite gear to make use of it?

No sweat. For you, today is…

 

2×20 Tuesday! (on Thursday!)

Pretty simply, 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.

That’s the basic version. Success on this is,  however,  all in the details.

First of all, warm up.

No, seriously. Don’t just hop on the bike and blast one out.

Warming up makes a difference, especially if you’re doing this as a test session.

You don’t need to do anything super hard or super involved, just make sure the legs are up and running before you kick off the workout proper.

Spin for a bit, blast a couple of 30 second to 2 minute efforts off pretty hard, spin a bit more, then go for it.

When you do go for it, really go for it.

But in a controlled sort of way.

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 run out of gas before you finish the second interval, you went to hard. If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the second interval, you went too easy.

If you’re doing this with a powermeter, you want your wattage output to be as close to constant as possible. How constant?

Can you keep it in a 10 watt range?

Probably not.

15 watts?

More likely

20 watts?

Try.

Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get (you’re welcome.) This is a workout that’s a natural for the turbo trainer, and that’s how I do ‘em.

This is a good thing, because I always wind up flat on my back on the floor trying not to puke after the 2nd interval.

I’m really not kidding about the blurry vision thing. You should aspire to seeing-spots level of output on these.

If you can learn to push through your limits, really push, you will get better and you will get better fast.

It’ll be painful, though.

I promise.

Have fun!

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!

 

Looking for a coach? Check out…

se

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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 12.20.17. “No Great Name Intervals”

•December 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

It’s Wednesday, so this will be at least a wee bit skillsish!

Today we’re doing the… well, crap. I don’t have a great name for these…

The some kind of start, sprint, run, start, sprint interval-type thing – 

 

Start with, well… a start. Just like a race.

Get up to speed, then sit down, pedal easy for 1-2 pedal strokes, then out of the saddle, go again.

Up to speed, then hit the brakes.

Dismount, turn around.

Run up to speed, mount bike, clip in, then immediately out of the saddle.

Full-gas sprint for ten seconds.

Recover riding easy for one minute, then…

Repeat.

6 reps per set, 2-5 minutes between sets.

5 sets.

Enjoy!

 

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.

btn_donateCC_LG

Thanks for the consideration!

 

Looking for a coach? Check out…

se

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 12.19.17. “Not even a mouse…”

•December 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

It’s the week before X-Mas and all through the house, nothing is stirring except…

 

…the poor souls cranking out the…

 

VO(to the)max 12/50

  1. Warm up

    Warm Up: 20 min @ 40 % of FTP
    throw a couple of efforts at or > ftp in during warm up to make sure you’re ready

  2. Repeat 12 times

    1. Hard

      Work: 50 sec @ 110 % of FTP

    2. Easy

      Recovery: 10 sec @ 75 % of FTP

  3. Recovery

    Recovery: 15 min @ 40 % of FTP

  4. Repeat 12 times

    1. Hard

      Work: 50 sec @ 110 % of FTP

    2. Easy

      Recovery: 10 sec @ 75 % of FTP

  5. Recovery

    Recovery: 15 min @ 40 % of FTP

  6. Repeat 12 times

    1. Hard

      Work: 50 sec @ 110 % of FTP

    2. Easy

      Recovery: 10 sec @ 75 % of FTP

  7. Cool Down

    Cool Down: 10 min @ 40 % of FTP

Ouch.

Still not clear on all this wattage based stuff, or just don’t have the requisite gear to make use of it?

No sweat. For you, today is…

 

2×20 Tuesday!

Pretty simply, 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.

That’s the basic version. Success on this is,  however,  all in the details.

First of all, warm up.

No, seriously. Don’t just hop on the bike and blast one out.

Warming up makes a difference, especially if you’re doing this as a test session.

You don’t need to do anything super hard or super involved, just make sure the legs are up and running before you kick off the workout proper.

Spin for a bit, blast a couple of 30 second to 2 minute efforts off pretty hard, spin a bit more, then go for it.

When you do go for it, really go for it.

But in a controlled sort of way.

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 run out of gas before you finish the second interval, you went to hard. If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the second interval, you went too easy.

If you’re doing this with a powermeter, you want your wattage output to be as close to constant as possible. How constant?

Can you keep it in a 10 watt range?

Probably not.

15 watts?

More likely

20 watts?

Try.

Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get (you’re welcome.) This is a workout that’s a natural for the turbo trainer, and that’s how I do ‘em.

This is a good thing, because I always wind up flat on my back on the floor trying not to puke after the 2nd interval.

I’m really not kidding about the blurry vision thing. You should aspire to seeing-spots level of output on these.

If you can learn to push through your limits, really push, you will get better and you will get better fast.

It’ll be painful, though.

I promise.

Have fun!

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!

 

Looking for a coach? Check out…

se

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 12.18.17. “Must be Monday ’cause there’s race vids”

•December 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Happy Monday, and congrats on finishing up another season go out to all the fine people who are now done and dusted, and ready to relax their way into the holidays.

In the near future, we’ll talk about setting yourself up for success next season by handling your off-season transition well, but for right now? Just chill.

Go for a nice…

 

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.

 

Yay, race vids!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

M

 

 

Thanks for following along.

As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been a “begging for money” bit attached to the beginning of this page for a couple/few weeks now.

I’d like to thank everyone who has chipped in this season – and the past couple of seasons – when I’ve asked you to. It’s made a difference.

How much of a difference?

Well, let’s put it this way; the small donations from you folks have kept the lights on on this page.

There’s a certain (small) amount of money that has to come out of my pocket to pay for this page, and there’s a certain (larger) amount of money that, as a largely self-employed person, I need to write off based on the time spent on writing, posting, and – yes – giving training advice away that other people charge for.

This all adds up, and if the numbers don’t make sense, the edifice collapses.

So, once again, thanks to those who have contributed.

It is deeply appreciated.

Want to get yourself a dose of that appreciation?

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

btn_donateCC_LG

Thanks for the consideration!

 

Looking for a coach? Check out…

se

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 12.17.17. “I hate you”

•December 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Today’s workout is aimed at all the people who find themselves riding inside today, with visions of success in January.

Ready for some real fun?

We’re going to drop another 20 minute interval on top of a 2×20, and do, horror of horrors,

The 3×20 (aka, the “I hate you, coach”)

Pretty simply, the 3×20 looks like this:

– Warm up.

– Go as hard as you can for 20 minutes.

– Recover for 5 minutes.

– Go again for 20 minutes

-Recover for 5 minutes

– Go again for another 20 minutes.

The idea here, folks, is to go as hard as you can for the duration of all three intervals without being forced to go easier at the end of the last interval.

This is all about doing three intervals.

Three intervals at as close to the same level of output as you can possibly maintain.

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

For all three intervals.

Oh crap.

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 the intervals than it is to go too hard and crater part way through the second or third 20.

For most folks, this is a workout that’s easier to do as a 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 all three 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.

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.

 

Enjoy!

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.

btn_donateCC_LG

Thanks for the consideration!

 

Looking for a coach? Check out…

se

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 12.16.17. “Same workout, different Saturday”

•December 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

This is going to read an awful lot like what I posted up last week, because, well… it basically is what I posted up last week.

If you happened to catch the race this morning, you saw that Wout was right back in the wheel of VDP, after months of getting his ass handed to him.

That’s pretty much all you need to see to understand the value of getting some big miles in late-season in advance of the important races.

Anyways, if you’re racing tomorrow, today you’re doing…

Can Openers – 

– Warm up for 1/2 hour or so, spinning easy with a couple of short bursts thrown in.

– Follow with several short attacking efforts, IE 30 seconds at 80% of your max, or pretty damn hard. 2 – 3 of ’em.

– Back off and spin for 5 minutes.

– Follow with 10-15 minute effort at right about your 2×20 output level, 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 hard 10 second efforts, ideally on CX type variable terrain, level or slightly uphill.

– Finish  with 5-6 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. Make ‘em count!

– spin out the legs, go home, and get ready for the race.

 

Now the long stuff.

If you’re going to Nats, you want to get some big rides in the next week or so.

Serious mileage. If you can.

Go long.

You might have noticed that a bunch of the top Euro racers blew off some pretty big races over the last couple of weeks.

Why?

They were getting in a big block of training to be in top form for the big money races right around Christmas.

The short, intense race day efforts and subsequent recovery make it difficult to get in any kind of long miles when they’re racing every weekend, so the top folks sacrifice a race weekend (or two) to get in the big miles and hard efforts they need to peak for the most important days on their calendar.

You should think about doing something similar.

What should you be doing?
In short, think long.

images

 

Long doesn’t mean slow.

The big Euro cross racers were out in Mallorca last week, riding in groups, and riding hard. Have you ever wondered why all the major Cross teams seem to have a couple of riders on them that just keep hanging around year after year, always on a roster with a contract despite not having much in the way of results? Well, this past week was likely where some of them earned their keep. At least a couple of them were out there burning their legs to cinders to help push their team leaders to greater levels of fitness, stringing long days of hard effort together, in a way that’s always been tough to do riding just by yourself.

They do this yeoman’s work in the pre-season to.

Remember that next year, eh?

So, anyways… looking to do well at Nationals?

Get out there and get some tough damn miles in this weekend or next, maybe even the one following.

“Tough” doesn’t mean impossible.

I mean,  sure…  you aren’t going to go out and get a 10 day training camp’s workload out of a weekend of riding,  but if you follow the principles that underlie these week(+!) training camps, you can set yourself up for success in January.

So, what is that intent?

Let’s start with this; It’s  incredibly difficult to make profound physiological improvements in your underlying, base-level fitness during cross season without putting in work like we’re talking about here, and maybe even then.

 

You race hard every weekend. If you’re doing it right, you’re spending most of the following week recovering from the weekend past & getting opened up for the weekend next.

You can do some small work mid-week to improve deficiencies or hone strengths, but you really can’t do the kind of work that it takes to  bump your FTP  enough to get to the front of the group you’ve been tail gunning all season, to be competitive at the next category level , or to win one of those races you’ve been sooo close in for sooo long.

The kind of work we’re talking about is the sort that if you did it on a Wednesday, you’d be way off the back come the weekend, and that’s assuming you could take a day off to do it mid-week and still be free to race on the weekend.

So you need to be willing to sacrifice at least a weekend to do this.

Just like the Euros.

This isn’t long, slow distance eating we’re talking about, this is “Oh crap, how the hell am I going to finish this ride” kinda stuff. These are the rides where you barely manage to drag your ass in the door of your house when you get home. The rides where, when you get home you need to drink a coke to summon the energy needed to order takeout.
4, 5, 6 hours of glorious suffering. That’s what we’re talking about.

Try one today, then wake up Sunday, do it again.

Or go race States tomorrow.

 

Enjoy!

M

(Different stuff tomorrow, I promise!)

 

 

Thanks for following along.

As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been a “begging for money” bit attached to the beginning of this page for a couple/few weeks now.

I’d like to thank everyone who has chipped in this season – and the past couple of seasons – when I’ve asked you to. It’s made a difference.

How much of a difference?

Well, let’s put it this way; the small donations from you folks have kept the lights on on this page.

There’s a certain (small) amount of money that has to come out of my pocket to pay for this page, and there’s a certain (larger) amount of money that, as a largely self-employed person, I need to write off based on the time spent on writing, posting, and – yes – giving training advice away that other people charge for.

This all adds up, and if the numbers don’t make sense, the edifice collapses.

So, once again, thanks to those who have contributed.

It is deeply appreciated.

Want to get yourself a dose of that appreciation?

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 Friday, 12.15.17. “Nothing you didn’t expect”

•December 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Happy Friday!

If you’re racing this weekend, time to start getting your race face on. Not racing this weekend, but still making the push into January and a shot at Nationals? You’re going to go long this weekend, so get your head set for that. More on the subject tomorrow…

Speaking of which, racing tomorrow?

Today you’ve got…

Ignition – 

 

 

 

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

 

Racing on Sunday, but not tomorrow?

Take it easy today, or take the day off. Chill out as much as you can, save your energy. Openers tomorrow, go fast on Sunday.

Stay tuned…

 

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.

btn_donateCC_LG

Thanks for the consideration!

 

Looking for a coach? Check out…

se