The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 10.6.11. – “Ice Cream whether. Or not.”

Howdy folks,

As I write this, I’m melting in an expo tent at the Kona Ironman…

My office for the week...

Frankly, it’s challenging to get the mind in Cyclocross mode when it’s ice cream weather!

Tough problem to have, right?

Cyclocross is a tough darn sport, and sometimes the toughest problem in the sport is keeping your head in the game.

What does this have to do with today’s workout?

Well, it’s pretty simple; you don’t have to do this workout.

Don’t feel like you’re letting yourself or anyone else down if you’re “slacking” on your workouts.

Keep this s**t fresh, folks.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up, take a day off… whatever.

If you aren’t getting paid to race, and you aren’t having fun, something is wrong.

I love training hard, and suffering on the bike *is* something that my warped mind translates into “fun”.

There are a bunch of crazy people like me floating around, but if you aren’t one of ’em?

Give yourself a break.

Fun, right?

This is supposed to be fun.

Yes, this was prompted by a real-world conversation… but something tells me the person I was talking to isn’t the only one who puts herself in a box, in a bind, and beats herself up mentally for “not working hard enough.”

Like, whatever.

Have some damn fun, OK?


Enough of that, eh?

Today’s workout is…

Downhill Sprints.

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.

That’s one rep. You’re doing sets of 5. Ouch.

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.

– have some f-ing fun. See above, ok?

 Have fun!

~ by crosssports on October 5, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 10.6.11. – “Ice Cream whether. Or not.””

  1. Having fun watching all the high strung M-Dot tattooed athletes go by? 🙂

    signed, one-herself. (minus the logo branded on me)

    Really enjoying your blog.

    • Hah!
      Too funny! Ironman week at Kona is actually really darn fun. As high-strung, amped-up and over the top as some of the athletes can be, it’s a place to see old industry friends, meet people from all over the planet, and – occasionally – just be forced to laugh at how ridiculously serious some of us (like, well, me…) are about our avocations.
      …and, did I mention, i’m in Kona? Just being here is a treat…

      PS – I dig your blog! Thanks for the linkage, will reciprocate once I get back to the mainland.


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