The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.14.18. “Speedy Speedness”

•November 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Sorry this is going up so late. Just a crazy damn day today.

So, quickly… we’re going to focus on speed. (hah!)

Honestly, if you’re getting pretty darn close to the end of your season – as many/most people up here in the Seattle area are – you should probably be focused on speed in all of your workouts right about now.


Skills work. Speedy Skills Work…


Here we go…

1 – warm up for 10 minutes.

2 – Stretch out after you’re warm.

Pay special attention to all the muscles used in those movements you make hopping on and off the bike that are different from what you usually do.

3 – Dismount/remount  skills for 5 minutes , just ’cause.

– Start at literally a walking pace, and slowly increase speed until you can mount and dismount the bike smoothly and perfectly at full speed. Do not jump on and off the bike, you are looking to smoothly slide yourself on and off.

 Need a refresher on the basics? Click here.

4 – Starts.

Just like the beginning of a race. One foot on the ground, dead standstill, get-up-and-go.

Begin with a few medium effort starts, fast but not all-out.

When you start to get the feel for things, hit it hard a couple of times, then back off.

Feeling solid?


Get  yourself ready to go hard.

– Bang! Six full-gas starts.

– short effort, just go long enough that you are up to full speed, then back down, turn around, go again.

Spin easy for a couple of minutes, then…

– Bang! ~pause~ Bang!

– Six full-gas starts, but each start effort will look like this…

– Full effort start from a dead-stop, foot on ground.

– As soon as you get up to full speed, sit back in saddle, take one deep breath, go again, HARD!

– Ouch.

5 – Recover for a few minutes, then Finish the night with two short efforts on relatively easy terrain.

– “Easy” as in a loop on grass with some tight-ish turns on it, or some pretty buffed double-track.

– Go hard, and work on accelerations out of the turns.

– Every time you slow down entering a turn, get on the gas on the way out of it, ass out of the saddle, working hard.

– 5 minutes full gas, rest for 2 minutes, then go again for another 5.

– Start each effort with, well… with a start. Like you were working on a couple of minutes ago…

Warm down, go home, relax.






The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday 11.13.18. “VOno nonsense”

•November 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Do you own a power meter? Today you’re doing…

VOmax intervals.

(With the usual caveat that if you aren’t really well recovered from the weekend – and you probably aren’t – you should almost certainly take today off instead.)

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

Repeat 12 times:


50 sec @ 110 % of FTP


10 sec @ 75 % of FTP


15 min @ 40 % of FTP

Do the above 3 times, then…

Cool Down

10 min @ 40 % of FTP


No power meter? No clue about this FTP stuff?

No sweat. Today is, after all…

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?


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!


The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 11.12.18. “Sweet vid, man”

•November 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Happy Monday! As you probably know by now, we like to start off the week with a nice, relaxing…


Recovery Spin…

Just like it sounds…

– 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.


Sweet! Race vid from Saturday to enjoy if you happen to be spinning on the trainer today!




The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 11.11.18. “Better never than late. No, wait… that’s not right…”

•November 11, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, this is going up too late to most people much good!

Odds are you’re reading after you raced today. Sorry about that!

I’m going to try and get Saturday/Sunday posts up the night before, as much as is possible. Just couldn’t happen last night, unfortunately.

Anyways, I was going to post a new version of this post from last season, but it’s a wee bit late.

Check out the old version, revision will go up next week instead.

Hope you had a great race, enjoy the last of the weekend!



The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 11.10.18. “Old school Ignition”

•November 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Openers today!

In the form of…

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.


Have fun!


The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 11.9.18. “Open like a (the?) rock.”

•November 9, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

My apologies for not posting yesterday. I could detail the reasons it didn’t get done, but… doesn’t really matter, does it?


So that brings us to today, which (unless I’ve really knocked a screw loose) is Friday.

As we’ve talked about before, Friday is tough to program. Here then follow some options…

Racing on Sunday this weekend?

Take today completely off.

Yup, you heard me. Day off. Nada, nothing.

Racing tomorrow?

Today you’re doing some kind of openers. Since the weather absolutely stinks up in my neck of the woods, we’re going with something that works well on the trainer…

The Rock – 

(Why the heck do I call it this? It’s in earlier posts…)



– Get on trainer. Spin for about 5 minutes.

– 2-3 minutes at just below ftp/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

That’ll be guaranteed to have you open and ready for tomorrow.






The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.7.18. “It’s a total g-damn mystery, amirite?”

•November 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Here’s how tonight is going to go…

– Warm up on the bike.

As long as it takes to get loose, you should have a light sweat on when you…

– Stretch.

Active stretching, focus on all the muscles you use getting on & off the bike but don’t use when you’re riding. Stretch just as long as it takes you to get loose.

– Mount & Remount skills. 10-15 minutes.

I wish I  could say that I don’t need to continue to blather on and on about the necessity to practice this stuff, but I was out at the races this past weekend, and I saw ya’all.

Confidence in your basic skills is good, but overconfidence kills. Small little imperfections in our fundamental skills are something that we can get away with, right up until the point that we don’t.

It doesn’t matter what sport we’re talking about, practicing the fundamentals pays off, and you need to keep doing it as the season wears on, and little bad habits start to creep back in.

This stuff is like drilling your free throws in basketball. Doesn’t matter how good you are, or how big a star you are, or how boring it is, you’ve just got to do it…

…or deal with the consequences.

‘Nuff said?

– Technical skills on the bike. 10-15 minutes

Tight turns and off-cambers. As always, work on your entrances and exits from all the technical sections. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Try to pedal througheverything. Keep the gas on, power going through the rear wheel, and you maintain traction.

Work on it. There’s lots more on the bike handling topic in earlier posts, simply enter “Wednesday” in the search box, and you’ll have a fair bit to wade through.

– Starts. Go as long as it takes to get 5 perfect, full gas starts.

Make it feel like a race start. Get off the mark fast, sit down, shift, go again. Remember, it’s the second effort that gets you the early gap most of the time, not the initial effort off the line. Want to be good at your starts? It’s another free-throw type thing.

– Race simulation. 3 ten minute efforts, 2 minutes recovery between them.

Go really f-ing fast. Try and make these efforts faster and harder than you go in the races. You want to get to the point where your efforts in practice and training are so d**n hard that racing seems like a step down in intensity.

How do you do that? You make your race-pace efforts shorter!!

We’re doing ten minute efforts because if you only go for ten minutes at a time, you can dial up the effort so it’s harder than you can possible maintain for the duration of an actual race.

Seems obvious, right? Why, then, do I see so many people out at Wednesday Night CX Practice just tooling around and around in circles for 45 minutes-an hour week after week, with the obvious consequence of never getting any faster?

It’s a total g-damn mystery, amirite?

– Warm down.

Spin out your legs. Take enough time doing this that you feel them unspool and loosen up. Go home, eat, relax.