The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 10.19.11. – “Srsly.”

Howdy folks,

Believe it or not, it’s Wednesday already, and that means – you guessed it – it’s…

Skills Day!


Here’s the run-down for tonight’s workout…

– Warm up on the bike for about ten minutes. Just roll around, and get the legs moving.

– Get off the bike and run for  5 minutes, broken down into  30 second efforts with 30 second rests. Run as fast as is comfortable – work up to full sprints over several weeks.

– Stretch. Too complicated to give a full outline here, but if there is interest I will post a stretching/warmup regimen…

– Back on bike. Dismount and barrier skills.

Go back and take a look at the last couple of Wednesday’s posts. There’s a s**tload of stuff up on mounts and remounts.

Run through some of those drills.



Go slower than you think you need to. Get your remounts and dismounts absolutely perfect.

Then get fast.

If you can’t execute the basics absolutely flawlessly at low speed, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be able to execute them even passably well at race pace!

Make sense?

So, now go do it.

Don’t worry about the fact that every one else is going faster than you… it’s a practice! Make it perfect…

– Turning skills. Work on slow speed turning while pedaling, and high speed turns where you can’t pedal.

One drill I suggest doing is riding in a circle around a cone, trying to make the circle as small as you can while pedaling continuously. Ride smaller and smaller circles until things get so tight that you literally fall over sideways. Work on vertical bike alignment and countersteering. Push your limits – that’s how you figure out what they are :oSwitch directions when you start to get dizzy…

– Do some YouTube cruising and find some footage of the Euro guys riding crazy-ass stuff. Watch how different folks ride the same stuff in different ways, and try out the various methods you see.

Figure out what works for you.

I’m a vertical bike, keep pedaling, countersteer kinda guy. The style works for me, but it’s not for everybody.

What works for you?

Don’t know? Figure it out… that’s what practice is for!

…Now, do the same drill on the side of a hill…

…Then, same drill, on the side of a hill, doing figure-eights around 2 cones, or even better, around 2 barriers, placed a couple of meters apart.

– Integration of the two previous drills…

The areas I see people having the most trouble with on race day are the parts of the course that challenge multiple skill sets simultaneously. Ya’all are pretty darn good at dismounting and remounting in a straight line, on stable terrain. Throw in an off-camber barrier in the middle of a turn, or a sand pit that forces you to remount in a turn and things get sketchy.

Practice this stuff!

It’s hard to replicate the feel of riding in sand if you don’t have any sand, but you can get close by working on your dismounts and remounts on an incline…

Ride at an angle up the side of a hill in a gear that is way too big to roll all the way up.

As you begin to bog down, unclip and dismount before you lose all forward momentum.

Remount at the top, roll back down and go again.


You’re looking to get a really deep feel for the bail-out point, that moment where your forward momentum gives out and you stall.

You need to be off the bike just before this happens.

Wait a moment too long and you’re at a dead stop or worse – you’re falling over sideways.

Get off too early, and you’re missing out on riding those barely rideable sections, or losing time.

You see a lot of this in races with sand sections…  people running past the folks falling over sideways, and people flying by the folks too quick to get off and hoof it.

There’s a fine line here, and you need to practice to find out where it is.

Oddly placed dismounts and remounts…

…are another one of those things you just need to practice.

Go back to the same hillside we were just working on.

Right at the spot where you were just dismounting, place a barrierparallel to the line you were/are riding.

You’re going to ride up the hillside towards the barrier, and just before you come alongside it, dismount.

Off the bike, you pivot towards the barrier

If the barrier is on your right, you swing both your body and your bike to the right, orienting yourself so you are approaching the barrier face-on.

…and step over it.

One step over the barrier, pivot again, back towards your original line.

…now the barrier is on your left, and you swing both your body and your bike to the left…

Now you remount, back on bike, out of the saddle. Punch it.

– Practice in both directions, barrier on your left & barrier on your right.

– Really work on moving your bike around the “turn” as you go over the barrier. You’re facing uphill, you’re about to turn to the left and remount. Turn the bike in that direction before you turn your body.

You step over the barrier, you swing the bike towards your left, and you remount after the bike comes back on line. (yeah, I know… trust me this will make more sense when you try it on the bike…)

– Starts. Practice starts until you get 5 perfect starts in a row.

Work on getting into the pedal, getting up to speed, and work even harder to develop a powerful second effort off the gun.

Much of the time the rider that can accelerate a few moments after the start is the one that gets the gap.

You want to be that rider…

– Rest for 5 minutes. Drink something, eat something, get ready to go…

– Practice race. I would suggest doing lap on/lap off efforts, or sets of 10 minute efforts. Full gas, pretty damn fast. Integrate everything we worked on earlier, and don’t forget… Have fun!

– Warm down, stretch, get warm and go home.




~ by crosssports on October 19, 2011.

One Response to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 10.19.11. – “Srsly.””

  1. […] Here’s an example. […]

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