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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

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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 12.14.17. “Speedy Thursday”

•December 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Hey… are you racing both days this weekend?

If you are, take today off, or really easy.

Just racing on Sunday?

Sweet.

Today you’re getting some speed work in…

 

…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

 

 

 

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 Wednesday, 12.13.17. “Short, sweet…”

•December 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well it’s Wednesday. But for most folks up here in the Seattle area, it’s the last Wednesday of the season.

So short and sweet today, with a bit of skills in the mix, but mostly just…

 

 

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!

 

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, 12.12.17. “Strap in”

•December 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

 

Howdy folks,

It’s Tuesday, strap in and get ready to do some…

 

Over/Under Intervals! 

 

 

Usual caveats apply. Don’t do these if you still need to recover from the race on Sunday. If you don’t know if you still need to recover from the weekend, you probably do.

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’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. If you’re really a baller, keep rolling sets until you’ve completed enough to be the equivalent of your typical race duration.

Yikes.

Have fun!

 

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 Monday, 12.11.17. “Scarce Footage”

•December 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Yeesh…  it’s getting harder and harder to watch streams of the big euro cyclocross events these days!

This is about all that is out there from the races this past weekend…

 

 

Last year’s Essen race is still up, though!

 

Oh well, how about some riding type stuff?

It being Monday, naturally we’re going for a…

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

 

 

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, 12.10.17. “You’ll wish you went out”

•December 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

If you’re racing today, have fun. Kick butt.

Not racing? Check out yesterday’s post.

 

Not racing? Too damn treacherous to head outside for a long ride? Still looking to ride hard today?

Buckle up…

 

The Doppelganger – 

(AKA: “You’ll wish you went outside”)

– Warm up well. If you have time, warm up as you would for a race. It’s good practice, if nothing else.

– After you have warmed up, do five full-gas starts. As always, focus on the second effort in your start, working on getting back on the gas right after you max-out on your initial effort and begin to sit down.

– 20 minutes at your 2×20 pace.

– 2 minute rest.

– 10 minutes of Way Over, No Under Intervals.

The baseline for this interval is the level of effort/output you just did in the 20 minute effort.

However hard you went in that interval, you are going to try and hold that for the 10 minutes.

Easy, right?

Here’s the rub.

You’re going to sprint for 10 seconds every minute of the interval.

How hard are you going to sprint?

Hard, but not so hard that after you sprint, you can’t sit back down and keep churning away at your 2×20 level.

This takes some practice to figure out.

Again, don’t go so hard that you blow up and can’t hold the effort until the end.

This is some difficult s***, man. It’s like a race, dig?

OK.

Here’s how this works.

Use a stopwatch. Put it on your bars.

Start the stopwatch.

Start the interval with a sprint, out of the saddle pretty hard, but not full gas.

Sprint for 10 seconds.

Back in saddle, drop into your 2×20 zone. Hold this until the minute mark, then –

Sprint again. 10 seconds.

Back in saddle, 2×20 level until 2 minute mark…

Repeat.

Repeat…

Repeat, until you have hit the 10 minute mark.

– 5 minute recovery

– 10 minutes at 2×20 level

– 5 minute recovery

– 10 minute Way Over/No Under (Yup. Again.)

– SPRINT at the very end of the last interval. 30 seconds, all out.

Really all out, like “I’m sprinting for the win/my life” all out.

You should be at least half-blind at the end of the sprint.

Heck, you should be so gassed when you start the sprint that just upping the tempo a little bit puts you in a box.

Ouch…

Notes –

Yes, this is f-ing hard. Re-thinking that staying inside today thing?

You can always just sub in a 2×20 (or better yet a 3×20…)  when you can’t race. These are hard damn workouts if you do them right, but certainly nothing like the nightmare I just handed to you…

Have fun!

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!

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for 12.9.17. “Really more for next week”

•December 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, it’s the weekend. If you’re still following along, odds are you’re racing through Nationals. Time to start really focusing on that.

Well, ok… if you live up here in Washington, the State Championships are tomorrow,  (whoops, next week!) there’s a race tomorrow, so before we get to the Nationals focus let’s talk about that.

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.

 

That out of the way, on with the long(er) term stuff.

If you’re going to Nats, you want to get some long 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 week or so.

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, well… do this next weekend.

Because I got this up way too late for most people to do it today. And it’s States tomorrow.

 

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