The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 8.27.16. “Sventurday”

•August 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Happy Saturday to you!

If you’re in the Seattle area, there’s a decent chance that you’re racing today at the…

 

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Ok. I’ll admit it. I think it’s way to damn early in the season to be racing CX, but If you’re going to do it, this is as good an excuse as you’re going to get.

I won’t be racing, but I’ll be out watching (at some point during the proceedings!) Hope to see you there.

So, if you’re racing today, have fun. Race hard. Ish.

Ish.

Do yourself a favor and don’t get too wrapped up in the results at an early (pre?) season event.

It’s a practice race.

That doesn’t mean you aren’t trying to do as well as you can. Any race you’re in is a race you should be trying to win, if you have a chance.

It does mean that in your mind, you’re drawing a distinction between the importance of an event one does for the experience of doing it, and an event one does with the hope and expectation of a result.

Might not sound like much, but it’s important.

Something to think about, at least.

 

What’s that you say?

No racing today?

Okey doke, onward!

As promised, we’re going to begin to shift our weekend focus towards more CX specificity, and today that means we’re doing…

 

Sventervals – 

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 sets of 5 for today (you’ll build up to more) 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, but even though you’re giving them everything you’ve got, the idea is to do them on terrain that self-limits what you can do.

Can’t get up the hill anymore?

You’re done.

Have fun,

M

 

What’s that you say? You’d kinda’ like to have a cycling coach help figure this stuff out for you? Check out…

se

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 8.26.16. “Figure on Openers”

•August 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Holy cow! There’s a cyclocross race in the Seattle area tomorrow!

Yup. You heard me right, tomorrow is the Washington Women of CX event at St. Edward Park.

 

 

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Yup. There’s a men’s race, too.

I’ll admit it… I won’t be racing tomorrow. Just too damn early in the “season” for me, but I’ll be heading out there to support the event. If you see me out there, say “hi.”

If you’re going to race tomorrow, that means that today you’re doing…

 

Can Openers – 

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Here’s the drill:

– 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.

Not racing tomorrow?

Well, if you’re planning on riding pretty hard tomorrow, that same openers workout isn’t a bad idea for you, either.

Like just about everything, it takes practice to get your day-before-racing openers routine dialed in. It’s a good idea to do that dialing before the season starts so that you’re not experimenting when it counts.

Stuff like “how long does it take me to get this routine cranked out” and “where the hell do I do this, and do I have to drive somewhere to get it done, and how long is that going to take” are things you want to have well sorted, well in advance. And that’s kinda’ the least of it.

How much volume/intensity do you need to put in the day before a race to be ready to race?

How much volume/intensity is too damn much, and will result in your leaving your legs out on the road the day before the race?

I dunno.

Do you?

If you don’t, maybe it’s a good time to figure that out.

Hit those Can Openers hard today, then see how you feel in your workout tomorrow.

Next week, do the openers session a wee bit differently.

See how you feel.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Take notes.

Experiment.

Figure this stuff out.

You’ll be glad you did!

 

Have fun!

M

 

What’s that you say? You’d kinda’ like to have a cycling coach help figure this stuff out for you? Check out…

se

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 8.25.16. “Deja Vu All Over Again”

•August 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Thanks to everyone who came on out to the first night of the Wednesday Night Cyclocross Workouts out at lovely North SeaTac Park. Much fun was had, and much progress was made. Even better, next week we get to do it all over again! Hope to see you out there!

For today’s workout, we’re going to continue with our theme of having another go at the same workout we did this day last week. We talked about this a bit on Tuesday when we were doing some hard interval work on the bike. It’s like Deja Vu, all over again…

 

 

Today isn’t any easier, but it’s not on the bike. It’s…

 

Stairing – 

 

spiral stairs

spiral stairs

– First, figure out where you can do the workout.

We’re going to be running stairs today, so you need some stairs, or a small hill, or a grassy knoll – something you can run up. Stairs are best, but whatever you can come up with will work.

You don’t need NFL stadium stairs or anything crazy like that for this workout. Look for something that’s long enough to give you 10 seconds of running at a full sprint; That’ll be plenty long enough. We’re doing speed work, here. Short, sharp efforts.

On with the workout.

– 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.

Get a sense for the spacing and “feel” of the stairs. You’re going to be flying up these things in a full-on lactic acid bath shortly, so you want to get comfortable with the terrain.

– Repeat x5

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

– Repeat x5

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

– Sprint up stairs, this time using quick, tiny strides, 1 stairstep at a time. Walk down.

– Repeat x5

Rest again, same as before.

– Sprint up stairs, this time using long strides, several stairsteps at a time. Walk down.

– Repeat x 5

Rest again.

– Sprint up stairs, combining the previous two exercises – 1st time up, long strides; next time up, short strides, etc. Walk down.

Rest again, 2-5 minutes.

– Repeat entire damn thing until you just can’t do it anymore, or you are going so slowly it’s ridiculous.

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.

Don’t go that hard if you haven’t got the legs for that yet. Keep it under control. You want to build up to the point where you are going up the stairs in a dead sprint, and are completely gassed at the end of each set. That’s going to take a few sessions to build up to, though. Don’t kill yourself the first time out.

If anything starts to hurt, or feel strained, pulled, or otherwise bad – as in “something just ain’t right, bad” – stop. Just stop. Do Not Injure Yourself Running G-damn stairs in the pre-season, OK?

Have fun!

M

 

 

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se

If you think you might just need some more personalized coaching or training!

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 8.24.16. “Feels like the first time”

•August 24, 2016 • 1 Comment

Howdy folks,

Hey It’s Wednesday! If you’re in the Seattle/Tacoma area, that means you should think about heading out to…

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Cyclocross Practices at SeaTac start up tonight! Click on the logo for info!

I have to admit, I really dig the start of the practice sessions every year. It always…

 

 

 

I’ll be out coaching/leading the skills clinic, hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it out tonight (maybe you live in Belgium? Hey… hat tip to the Belgian folk who have been frequenting the blog as of late! Nice to see that we’re being read in the motherland of cyclocross🙂 ) Skills work is still on the agenda for you.

Skills work that goes a little bit like this…

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 (We’ve talked about stretching on here in the past, check out the search function if you want/need some more info.)

3 – Dismount/remount  skills for 5-10-15 minutes

– 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? Check out this old post…

Do just the most  basic dismount/remount as per above until you have it down cold, smooth as silk.

When you’re perfect (hah!) throw some barriers into the mix.

4 – Figure eight drill.

Set up 2 cones or 2 rocks or two… somethings. Doesn’t much matter what it is.

Ride in a figure eight pattern around the cones…

– first pedaling the entire time.

No coasting.

Pedal all the way around the figure 8, including the turns.

Practice using the brakes while still pedaling. This is one of those secret techniques that – once you figure it out – makes a huge difference. When you stop pedaling you lose traction, so don’t stop pedaling!

Experiment with this, it’s a game-changer.

Mind blown?

Cool.

– Same drill, not pedaling through the turns.

– Same drill, alternate styles.

5 – Now move the figure 8 to the side of a slight hill.

One cone up hill, one down, about 5-8 meters apart and staggered, IE: not directly below each other on the slope.

 – Same drill(s) as before. Go.

Good?

Next, pilot around those corners – uphill and downhill – with the inside foot out.

Having trouble making the turn at the top of the figure 8? Put your foot down and push off with it to make the turn.

Don’t be afraid to use the foot that’s unclipped to push off or “paddle” around a turn, or to keep yourself driving forward on an off-camber section.

This can be another game changer, so work on it, eh?

 – Alternate both of these styles around the figure-eight.

Experiment.

Try different speeds, different lines, different angles.

See when/how/why each style works, and figure out how they can work for you.

6 – Recover for a few minutes, then Finish the night with two interval efforts on relatively easy terrain, but make sure to include the figure – 8 in it.

– “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, and your exits from turns & technical features.

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.

– 6-8 minutes full gas, rest for 2 minutes, then go again.

Spin down for a few minutes, then head home and finish up your day.

Have fun!

M

 

What’s that you say? You’d kinda’ like to have a cycling coach of your very own? Check out…

se

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 8.22.16. “Who loves to count?”

•August 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

I can hear you saying it to yourself right now… “Uh oh. It’s Tuesday. He’s going to make us do 2×20’s again, isn’t he?”

Nope.

Count your blessings!

 

 

…or maybe not, because while we aren’t doing those today, what we are doing is at least as hard. In fact it’s the same thing we did last week**, it’s the ever so lovely…

 

Over/Under Intervals! 

So, what the heck is an over/under interval?

– “Over-under” means that you are going to be working right around the level of your threshold, both above and below.

– What is your threshold? Well, for our purposes, we are going to reference the Classic 2×20 workout. Whatever wattage, heart rate, or gear ratio you use for that interval will serve as your threshold baseline.

Get a solid idea of the wattage, heart rate, or tempo you ride your 20 minute intervals in, and keep it firmly stuck in your mind. This is important; you are going to bounce above and below this level for the rest of the workout.

Get a stopwatch. Put it on your bars.

Start the stopwatch.

Begin today’s workout by doing a 5 minute effort at your 2×20 level.

After the 20 minute-style baseline effort, spin easy for 2 -5 minutes.

When you are ready, begin the 10 minute Over/under thusly:

– Ride for one minute at your baseline/20 minute intensity level.

– At the end of that minute, ride 10 seconds at 25 watts, 10 beats, or 1 gear higher than the baseline level.

– After the 10 seconds, ride 20 seconds at 25 watts, 10 beats, or 1 gear lower than the baseline.

– After the 20 seconds, you go back to the ten (over,) followed again by the 20 (under,) etc., etc.

Got it? 1 minute baseline, 10 up, 20 down, 10 up, 20 down. Repeat the up/down efforts to the end of the interval.

– Rest 2-5 minutes.

– Do it again for 10 minutes.

– Rest again for 2 minutes.

– Pile sets on until you’ve reached the duration of your typical race, or you’re starting to see a precipitous drop in your output level. You’ll know when that happens, even if you aren’t using a power meter. The odds of being able to do these properly for race duration the first (or second, or third, or fourth…) time out are pretty slim, so don’t be too upset when that doesn’t happen. 2, 3 sets is pretty darn good for mere mortals.

Have fun!

M

 

**I like to hit folks with a workout like this at least a couple of weeks in a row, because it takes practice to actually learn how to do an interval set well. This is something that’s underappreciated. This stuff – if you’re doing it right – is freaking hard. You will get better at doing them with repetition, and that improvement isn’t just physiological, it’s also mental and procedural. There’s a lot going on here!

 

Hey…

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Cyclocross Practices at SeaTac start up tomorrow night! Click on the logo for info!

 

 

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se

Solutions for all your coaching needs!

(Yup. Click on the logo for info!)

The Cyclocross Workout of the day for Monday, 8.22.16. “Mmmmmm… donuts…”

•August 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Monday! The day of the week when we set ourselves up for success the other six days!

How do we do that?

Well, today we do that by recovering from the hard work we put in over the weekend. It’s the day we relax a bit…

 

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…but let’s not get carried away, ok?

Sitting on the couch inhaling donuts isn’t what we’re talking about.

What we’re talking about is 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.

Enjoy!

M

 

 

 

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se

Coaching that you didn’t think you needed, but maybe you do! How will you know if it could help you if you don’t try?

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 8.21.16. “Easy like”

•August 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Happy Sunday morning to you!

With the season just about to start up, there won’t be too many more “easy” Sunday mornings…

 

 

 

…at least for a while, so I slept In a bit today. I hope you did as well!

Now that I’m up, it’s time to start thinking about riding, and well… kinda’ running out of ways to say this, but… go long today. 

Up here in Seattle, we’re exactly a month away from the start of the local CX series. For people that want to come into that first race flying, this is about the time they should be finishing up their long mileage weekends, with a transition into shorter intervals and speed work imminent.

Expect to see something a bit like that on here over the next couple/few weeks. Yay, more intervals!

Today, though?

Today, get on out there and put some miles under your wheels.

Might be a while before you’re doing that again…

MH

 

 

 

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se

If you think you might just need some more personalized coaching or training!

 
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