It’s Wednesday, time for some..
What’s on the agenda today?
Well, if you had a problem with a particular technical skill at your last race, focus on that today.
Try to figure out what you were screwing up, fix it if you can.
If nothing stands out, if you felt pretty solid all around last race?
Work on your starts today.
Yesterday we did some speed work – and we’re going to do some more tomorrow – so I guess there’s something akin to a theme developing. It’s speed week!
So, speed week skills day? A wee bit of acceleration, a wee bit of tech… perfect.
So, first… check out this post on the technical aspects of cyclocross starts.
Let’s Get Started –
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, working on all the things we talked about above.
– Start with your pedals at 3&9 o’clock, not 12 and six.
– Alternate butt-on-saddle and off. When you start with your butt on the saddle, your ass stays on the saddle until you are actually clipped in! This definitely takes some discipline and practice to get the hang of, but I’m more and more convinced it’s the way to go for starts.
– Alternate hands in drops with hands on hoods, if you ever start with your hands in the drops. If you don’t, don’t bother.
When you start to get the feel for things, hit it hard a couple of times, then back off.
2 sets of all the variations above at a medium to slow pace, more sets if you’re doing less variation.
Honestly, there’s a lot to be said for no variation. If you’ve got a style of starting that you’re good at, and confident in, practice only that, and do only that. The idea with trying different variations is to figure out what actually works for you. Once you’ve got it figured out, that’s what you do.
There are definitely different ways to skin this cat, as we can see here…
Front row is pretty evenly split between starting ass on the saddle, and starting ass in the air.
Figure out which one works for you, and then whatever method you’ve chosen is the method you use. Make sense?
Get 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!
– Again, 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!
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.
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