The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 9.27.16. “Are you up for this?”

•September 27, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Sorry this is going up a bit late today, had a crazy busy morning. Still catching up from the week away!

Speaking of being away, guess what workout we haven’t done in a while?

Yup.

You know it.

Today we’re hitting it hard, because it’s…

Two By Twenty Tuesday!

(We’re doing ’em get-up style today)

 

As we’ve talked about in previous posts, at it’s most basic 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.

The idea 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.

It’s all about doing two intervals.

Two intervals at as close to the same level of consistent, steady power output as you can manage.

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

For both intervals.

Both.

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

That’s the basic version (and if you’re new to all this, it’s probably the version you should do.) Today, though?

Today we’re doing the 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 both 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, and we’ll get there soon enough, I promise.

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.

Tips:

– I do these on the trainer, with a stopwatch on the bars and an Ipod blaring in my ears. Start the stopwatch at the beginning of the interval, and the format is really easy to follow; you stand up for :30 at the 2:oo, 4:00, 6:00, etc. mark(s). Get it? It’s easy!

– A power meter will help you to keep the level of intensity constant. You want the power output to be as steady as possible with these. If you don’t have a PM, do these on the trainer,  choose a gear ratio and a cadence, and stick to that for the duration of the exercise – instant home made ergometer.

Enjoy!

M

 

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 9.26.16. “Back from Vegas. Thankfully.”

•September 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

We’re back!

Vegas was… well, it was Vegas. Interbike seems to be kind of on it’s last legs, and of all the shows I’ve been to (a lot of them) this one had the lowest energy, and what looked to be the lowest turnout.

If you’ve been thinking that you’d like to go to the bike industry trade show someday, make it soon. I honestly don’t know how much longer the event will have any relevancy, or even exist in the form we know it. Seems a bit like a dinosaur looking for a tar pit to lay in.

Having said that, there were definitely some things worth seeing, and some events worth attending over the course of the week, and CX Vegas was almost certainly the highlight.

Great racing in the women’s race, and an amazing performance in the mens. Wout is an extraterrestrial.

Hopefully I’ll get some more content from the Vegas trip up here in the near future, and if I can find a YouTube link to the races, I’ll post that as well. If you happen to have one, please post it in the comments!

In the meantime, how about some of the action from the Trek Cup?

 

 

 

 

 

If you happen to be trainer-bound today, perhaps you can watch (part of) it while you do today’s…

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

 

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

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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 9.19.16. “Wheeling and dealing”

•September 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Happy Monday!

A quick word before today’s workout; this is the week of the annual Interbike bicycle industry trade show, and the CX Vegas race.

 

 

 

 

I will be down in Vegas most of this week, starting tomorrow, and that’s likely to have a marked effect on my ability to get posts up. I’ll do what I can, but it’s likely that there will be some content free days this week.

If you’re in need of a workout, and don’t see anything posted up on here, take a gander over at the right side of the page…

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There’s a convenient little search box down there. Simply type in the day of the week, press “enter” and you’ll get a list of all the previous posts for that day of the week. There will be a lot of them to choose from.

We’ll return to our normal program as soon as I get back.

Today, though? Today we’re going to salve the wounds of the weekend past by going for 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

 

 

Go Race!

•September 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Go Race!

 

M

 

 

(Sorry for the brevity. More tomorrow.)

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 9.17.16. “Canned Response”

•September 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

It’s Saturday, which means some of you are racing today. If you are, have fun, go fast. Kick some… well, you decide what you want to kick.

If you’re not racing today, you’re probably racing tomorrow, in which case today you get to do some…

Can Openers – 

 

 

 

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 in early in the season – or even before racing starts up – so that there’s no mystery to the process when there’s something on the line.

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.

Take notes.

Experiment.

Figure this stuff out.

You’ll be glad you did!

 

Have fun!

M

 

 

 

 

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 9.16.16. – “Trek Into This”

•September 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Yikes! This is going up late today, sorry about that!

It’s crazy-making time, as I’m trying to get things all sorted so I can minimize nightmares popping up while I’m in Vegas at Interbike next week.

Always more to do than you planned for. Whine, whine, whine…

How about a workout?

Today being Friday, odds are there is some racing to be had this weekend. It seems like most folks are racing on Sundays these days, but there are still some people hitting it hard on Sundays, and even some doing the double this weekend…

 

 

 

 

So, how about a workout that will fit in pretty nicely no matter what day you’re racing this weekend? How about…

 

The L.B. 

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, it’s difficult to say without having your data in front of me. You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly, but 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. Also not so hard that you’re going to feel this in your legs tomorrow.

Clear as mud?

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.

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.

Have fun!

M

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se

 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 9.15.16. “Groms and Short hills”

•September 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Happy Thursday!

Thanks to all who came out the the last of the Wednesday Night World’s CX Workouts out at North SeaTac…

 

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We’ll be taking a week off, then starting up again out at the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome in Redmond. Hope to see you out there!

“But what about today’s workout?” I hear you asking.

Today we’re doing…

 

Short Hill Repeats…

You want to do these on a climb that has you right on the edge of being over-geared.

There are a couple of ways to do this…

– big-ring-able, but just at the edge of being a small ring climb.

– small ring, but with steep or variable terrain or both.

Each effort should take 5 second or so, which tells you how long the climb needs to be.

Warm up for approx. 1/2 hour, then roll on up to the base of the climb you have selected.

Begin your intervals with an out of the saddle, full race-pace ATTACK  into the climb.

You’re looking to blast up the climb, full gas the whole way.

It’s perfectly OK to sit down 1/2 -3/4 of way through the effort – especially if you need to do so to maintain traction – but don’t let the intensity drop.

Try to maintain your intensity for the duration of interval.

You’re going to recover for 30 seconds between each rep, and then 2-5 minutes between sets.

5 reps. per set.

Minimum of 5 sets.

If you can do more than that, great… but try to maintain the level of output you had on your first set.

If you have a power meter, you’re done when the wattage you can maintain throughout the set drops off the edge of the table; that’ll be pretty obvious when it happens.

Spin out & warm down after.

Have fun!

M

Hey folks! Go Check out…

se