The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 7.30.13 “Can’t stand up”

Howdy folks,

I hope you’re feeling well rested after yesterday’s recovery ride!

Today is Tuesday, and you know what that means, right? :)


Two By Twenty Tuesday!

Today, though, we’re doing  ’em Get-Up Style…

Here’s how this goes…

– 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.


– 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 exercise – instant home made ergometer.

– No reason you can’t do these normal-style. Honestly, for many/most of you, that might be a better bet. Why did I tell you to do the variation today? Heck, gotta mix things up a bit, eh? 😉

Hey, just a reminder… Cyclocross clinic tonight at Seattle’s Woodland park, 7pm. Meet at the knoll above the dirt parking lot. Donations accepted, and will go towards keeping this page going.

Hope to see you there,


~ by crosssports on July 29, 2013.

4 Responses to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 7.30.13 “Can’t stand up””

  1. Is it cheating if I rest for 10 minutes between? i.e. does it lessen the potential benefits of this workout?

    Thanks Matt, keep up the great work.

    • Howdy Scott,
      Sorry for the delayed response! I screwed things up and thought that an earlier response had posted when it had, in fact, not.
      It’s OK to push the duration of the recovery out when you do these. Not ideal, but it’s OK. With a ten minute recovery period, you’re changing the nature of the workout, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still derive substantial benefit from it, it just means that it’s… different.
      If you need that much recovery time between intervals, you might also try backing down the intensity of the intervals themselves to see what effect that has on the recovery you need.
      To be perfectly honest, I, personally, push out the recovery duration pretty substantially on these sometimes, but when I do so, it’s usually when I’m also pushing up the intensity on the individual intervals a fair bit.
      Recover enough between intervals and you aren’t really doing a 2×20 anymore, it’s more like you’re doing two separate 20 minute max intervals, which can be a pretty great workout. Make sense?

  2. Thanks Matt, that makes perfect sense. Tonight I’ll try keeping the same intensity and take a shorter break and see what happens.
    If I burn out I’ll adjust the intensity down slightly for next time.
    Thanks for the reply. Love the daily posts – much appreciated.

  3. Just thought I’d give you an update (in case you were curious ha ha)
    Tonight I rested for only 2 minutes between and wow, totally different workout. I was pedaling squares by the end of the second one but managed to keep the average watts within 10w between 1st and 2nd.

    Thanks again….never thought a slightly longer rest like that would make such a difference (with the 10 minute rest I can keep the average watts consistent across both intervals).


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