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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 12.30.16. “Time”

•December 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

 

Howdy folks,

Hey, have I mentioned there’s a ton of stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD?

Christmas is finally over, treat yo self!

So, it’s Friday.

More than just Friday, it’s the Friday of the week before Nationals.

That means we’re inside the one week to go time frame for just about everyone.

 

 

 

At this point, the workouts you do from here on out pretty much have to be synchronized to your schedule at Nationals.

 

Count backwards from race day, and plug in the workouts.

Workouts like…

One Week Before Race –

Warmup Race, Race simulation outdoors, or The Doppelganger.

6 days before race:

Recovery spin

5 days before race:

Slow Roast, or 1/2 a Classic 2×20, or Downhill Sprints if you still need/want the speed focus

4 days before race:

Skill work. Absolutely nothing new, focus on refinement and perfecting the basics.

3 Days before race:

 Form Sprints or  Ignition 

2 Days before race:

 Course Preview, easy spin, or take the day off.

Day before Race:

Can Openers  or Ignition and  Course Preview

Day of Race:

Race. Yer. Ass. Off.

There ‘ya go. Enjoy!

M

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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 12.29.16. “Forming Up Towards The End”

•December 29, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

 

 

Howdy folks,

Hey, have I mentioned there’s a ton of stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD?

Christmas is finally over, treat yo self!

 

Did I say treat yo self?

I sure did!

So treat yo self to some more speed today…

 

 

…with…

 

Form Sprints –

 

Warm up well.

Find a long, flat section of road with little to no traffic.

Get a rolling start; you aren’t going fast, just gently spinning.

Stand up and sprint.

You’re going to sprint hard, but in a slightly smaller than comfortable gear.

Go until you are spun out, then…

sit down.

Accelerate again, seated, spinning the same gear selection even faster.

Go until you are totally spun out.

Sit up, and roll back down to a conversational pace.

That’s one rep.

You’re doing sets of 5.

3 sets is probably enough for most all ya’all.

2-5 minutes rest between sets.

These are called Form Sprints for a reason. You’re doing them in a smaller gear than you would normally sprint in, and you are concentrating on your form.

Pay attention to all the little things your body does in a sprint, and work to maximize your efficiency and control.

Keep it smooth. Think fast, fluid, and supple throughout the pedal stroke.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of talking about pedaling circles and all that crap (yes, it’s crap) but for cyclocross, it’s worth talking about.

In CX, unlike road riding, there’s value to putting power down as smoothly as possible. If you just stomp really damn hard on the pedals, you might put out more power, but you’re also liable to spin your wheel out on that sketchy off-camber uphill climb that you need the power on.

So, when we’re working on our sprinting, I like to throw in something that makes us think a wee little bit about how we’re putting out that power.

Make sense?

 

Have fun,

M

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for 12.28.16. “Treat Yo Self”

•December 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

 

Howdy folks,

Hey, have I mentioned there’s a ton of stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD?

Christmas is finally over, treat yo self!

 

 

 

Check it out.

 

Since it’s the best day of the year, how about you also treat yo self with some…

 

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 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?

You’re done.

Don’t have a good place to do these? Try this instead.

Enjoy!

M

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 12.27.16. “Thinking speed all week”

•December 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

 

Howdy folks,

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.

 

Minimum BS today. We’re at crunch time, Nationals is almost here.

We’re thinking speed…

 

 

 

 

…for the duration.

Today, we’re doing a specific, focused drill that some of my clients are also doing as we roll into Nats. Why are we doing this one?

Ask yourself that question after you try it!

It’s…

Mount-Up Sprints…

 

Start dismounted from bike.

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…

dismount, run up to speed, mount, full gas sprint for ten seconds.

Etc.

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

5 sets.

Enjoy!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 12.26.16. “Explosive Taper”

•December 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

 

 

Howdy folks,

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.

 

Well, it’s the day after Christmas. Yowza!

Just over a week left in the season for the few folks who are still plugging away through Nationals.

It’s taper time.

Generally I’m not a huge fan of the traditional tapering schemes found in most training programs. Too long, too steep, too much left on the table in the process of aiming for success at one big event.

But there’s definitely something to be said for a small taper as we head into the final event of the year.

What do I mean by that?

Cut your volume down this week.

Go shorter and faster.

All the next week we will be focusing on very short, intense efforts, with an emphasis on making the legs turn fast.

No long efforts, no slogs.

Fast.

Hit it, quit it, rest, recover.

Recovery is huge.

Don’t come into Nationals tired, come in feeling like you’re ready to explode…

 

 

…in a good way, though. That “If I don’t ride my damn bike I’m going to lose my mind” kinda’ way, dig?

The idea is to come into Nationals feeling like the exertion of the event will be a release not an obligation… make sense?

Anyways, today we begin with…

 

Going Downhill Fast – 

s 

So, ok… not like that. Like this…

Start 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.

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.

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.

Enjoy!

M

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, X-mas eve day, 12.24.16. “Christmas Goat”

•December 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

 

Howdy folks,

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…

…the goats?

 

 

 

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!

Skills Plus!

 – 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.

Go fast.

– Starts

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?

No sweat.

You get…

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 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?

You’re done.

Don’t have a good place to do these? Try this instead.

 

Have fun!

M

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 12.23.16. “Before the party”

•December 23, 2016 • Leave a Comment

 

 

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.

Crazy! It’s almost X-mas!

I’m guessing that very few of you are going to be racing this Sunday, or even riding.

That being the case, we’re going to hit it really damn hard tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Since we’re hitting it hard tomorrow, today we’re going to prime the pumps with…

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.

Enjoy!

M