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The Cyclocross Workout of The Day for Tuesday November 1, 2011 – “2×20’s suck, but…”

Howdy folks,

Well, it’s Tuesday again… you love Tuesdays, right?

If I haven’t tipped my hand sufficiently already, it is, in fact –

2×20 Tuesday!

I had a couple of ideas for exotic 2×20 variants to throw in here today, but then I looked back at the last couple of weeks and realized that ya’all would be better off doing the old standby –

Classic 2×20 –

– Warm up.

– Go as hard as you can for 20 minutes.

– Recover for 2 minutes.

– Go again for another 20 minutes.

That’s the basic version. Success on this is,  however,  all in the details.

The idea here is to go as hard as you can for the duration of both intervals without being forced to go easier at the end of the second interval.  If you run out of gas before you finish the second interval, you went to hard. If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the second interval, you went too easy.

If you’re doing this with a powermeter, you want your wattage output to be as close to constant as possible. We’re talking 10 watt variance at the most. Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get. This is a workout that goes great on the trainer, and that’s how I do ‘em, which is a good thing… because I always wind up flat on my back on the floor trying not to puke after the 2nd interval.

I’m really not kidding about the seeing spots thing. If you can learn to push through your limits when you do these, you will get better and you will get better fast.

(…but, yeah, it will hurt.)

(…a lot.)

(…but, you know, the good kind of hurt…)

You can also do the…

2×20 Get-Up Style –

Here’s how those go…

– Warm up.

– Go as hard as you can for 20 minutes.

– Recover for 2 minutes.

– Go again for another 20 minutes.

That’s the basic version. This is the get-up version, though, so…

Start the first interval out of the saddle, and stand for the first 30 seconds.

After those 30 seconds are up, sit down. Keep the effort going, and consistent. Don’t surge, don’t go harder when you get out of the saddle.

Stay seated for the next 1:30, then stand for 30 seconds.

Repeat to the end of the interval, and follow this format for the successive interval.

The idea here is to go as hard as you can for the duration of both intervals without being forced to go easier at the end of the second interval.  If you run out of gas before you finish the second interval, you went too hard. If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the second interval, you went too easy.

If you’re doing this with a powermeter, you want your wattage output to be as close to constant as possible. We’re talking 10 watt variance at the most. Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get. This is another workout that works great on the trainer, and that’s how I do ‘em, which is a good thing… because I always wind up flat on my back on the floor trying not to puke after the 2nd interval.

I’m really not kidding about the seeing spots thing. If you can learn to push through your limits when you do these, you will get better and well… you will get better.

Tips:

– I do these on the trainer, with a stopwatch on the bars and an Ipod blaring in my ears. Start the stopwatch at the beginning of the interval, and the format is really easy to follow; you stand up for :30 at the 2:oo, 4:00, 6:00, etc. mark(s). Get it? It’s easy!

– A power meter will help you to keep the level of intensity constant. You want the power output to be as steady as possible with these. If you don’t have a PM, do these on the trainer,  choose a gear ratio and a cadence, and stick to that for the duration of the excercise – instant home made ergometer.

Honestly, pretty much anytime I suggest the Classic version of the 2×20, you can sub in the Get-Up Style… they’re pretty much interchangeable.

So, hey – why are we doing the old-school versions today?

Fundamentals, folks. it’s getting to the point in the season where some folks just need to double-down on the basics – like barrier skills, dismounts, remounts… you know, all the stuff you were screwing up at the races this past weekend 🙂 .

So, today we’re extending that to the basic building block interval, the 2×20.

You know it, you love hate it – so go out and nail it.

Have fun!

M

…hey, special hat-tip to TriGirl Pink. Check out her blog if you get the chance. Not because she said all those nice things about me & this blog (thanks for that… seriously, shucks that was nice of ‘ya,) but because she has some great content and some very cool workouts logged & graphed on the page.

Check it out, this is what those 2×20’s you haven’t been doing should look like! 🙂

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~ by crosssports on October 31, 2011.

4 Responses to “The Cyclocross Workout of The Day for Tuesday November 1, 2011 – “2×20’s suck, but…””

  1. So I’ve been doing these the past 3 weeks and having had a coach before I always am criticized for huge variances in my power files. I find that during long intervals like this especially if I’m going pretty well I need to do a combination of gear shifts and position changes throughout the interval in order to keep everything ok… Usually swinging my hips more upright will allow an easy 20+ wattage increase at the same PE (I’m 208lbs)

    Anyhow, it doesn’t feel to me like a good idea to go less hard in order to keep a position the whole time since in a race you’re going to be moving all over as needed to go as hard as you can along with negotiating terrain…. I no longer have a coach to worry about but what are your thoughts? I guess the simple answer would probably be to just clamp down on wattage during position changes so that I don’t pay for them later but I imagine you have an opinion here on this… This is on the road and not trainer btw.

    Thanks, love the site and loving/hating my new training program cause it’s kicking my ass but making me faster ^_^

  2. oh yea I bring gifts!
    [video src="http://www.teambeer.info/movies/20111101_gva1_koppenbergcross_oudenaarde.mp4" /]

  3. Hi Eric,
    Sweet! Thanks for the video!

    Your 2×20 issues sound bike-fit related to me. What you’re describing sounds an awful lot like posterior chain tightness (hamstrings/ITB etc.) is making it difficult for you to produce power with too much anterior pelvic rotation.
    When you “swing your hips more upright” you’re probably rotating into your sweet-spot ROM wise, and this is actually where you *should* be positioned on the bike.
    What can you do?
    – Raise/shorten your cockpit (check out the Euro guys; *really* short TT length, almost all of them have hoods close to level with the saddle top)
    – shorter cranks. Will open your hip angle at top of pedal stroke.
    – Massage/stretching/foam roller; I bet you have an ITB that’s as tight as a bowstring. Work on that.
    – Stop doing crunches and other core flexion exercises. Wrote a blog post on the topic, check it out here: https://crosssports.net/2009/10/01/crunches-r-bad-mmmkay/

    MH

  4. […] It’s Tuesday, and if you’ve been following along, that usually means we’re doing 2×20′s. […]

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