The Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 9.29.10 – “Barriers to fast starting”

Howdy folks,

Wednesday is skills day, and that means that today we’re going to, well… work on, ehr… our skills.


I received a few requests for stuff to work on this week, so I’m going to try and cover 2 of them today…

“My starts suck. Help!”


“When I get tired my barrier skills turn to s**t. What do I do?”

That should give us plenty to work on, so without further ado, tonight’s Cyclocross Skills Work –

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.

– Start with the super basics…


Put up (or simulate!) a set of doubles on flat, fast terrain.

– Work on your entrance to the barriers. How fast can you come in to the barriers? Push it in practice so that you can find your limit – wind up smeared all over the barriers in practice – not in the race!

– Work on coming out of the barriers fast. Faster than you go into them. Accelerate out of the barrier section!

– Work on barriers with curved entrances and exits; don’t just set up barriers and come straight into them. Practice with odd angles on the in and the out – the tighter and crazier the better. Make it difficult, harder than you ever see in a race!

– Practice different ways of carrying the bike over the barriers.

Do you flip the bike? Do you post it? How far apart do the barriers need to be to warrant putting the bike back on the ground?

5 – Technical skills work.

– Off camber, turns, etc. Work on your accelerations coming out of the technical stuff.

6 – Starts.

Practice your 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, just to work on the mechanics. Round off your rough edges, and make sure you remember where the heck your pedals are.

When you start to get the feel for things, hit it hard a couple of times, then back off.

Here are some tips –

– Start with your pedals at 3&9 o’clock, not 12 and six. It takes practice, but it really is better and faster. Every gate start event does it this way, and they aren’t crazy.

-Try starting with your butt on the saddle, and your butt off the saddle. See what works best for you.

– Ditto, try starting with hands in the drops vs. hands on the hoods.

After you have tried a couple of variations at a medium/slow pace, get yourself set to go hard.

– Do 2 sets of six full-gas starts.

– For the first set, do a short effort. Just go long enough that you are up to full speed, then back down, turn around, go again.

– For the second set, things get complicated. We’re going to throw those barrier skills back into the mix, and work on that whole “my barrier skills go to s**t under pressure” thing…

-You are going to do a full gas start effort.

– right after you get up to full speed, you are going to turn sharply 180 degrees and head back towards where you started.

– Right as you get back up to speed, you are going to enter a double set of barriers, dismount, run the barriers, and remount.

– Get up to speed again.


(Obviously, you’re going to want to scope things out so that you have a course laid out that will work for this. This is obvious, right?)

6 – Practice race.

– As always, finish up the night with a race simulation.

– We’re working on our starts tonight, so follow the theme of low-speed accelerations through to the race simulation.

– Tonight, work on explosive efforts out of all the technical and twisty sections.

– Exits, exits, exits. Think fast exits.

– If you’re riding in a group, try to beat everyone out of everything.

– Find the line that will allow you to be fast coming out of a section.

– Really work on looking through a turn or technical section to the exit of the section and beyond…

That’s plenty for one day, I think.




~ by crosssports on September 28, 2010.

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