The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day Day for Thursday, 1.2.14 “Gonna post this anyways…”

Howdy folks,

Well, heck… welcome to 2014.

Pretty crazy, eh? 2013 went fast.

Fast enough that this post, which I should have put up a couple/few weeks ago somehow slipped into the New Year.


Gonna’ post it anyways…



Traditionally, the cyclocross season here in Seattle – and pretty much all of the US – used to wrap up at the beginning of December.

Nationals was in the middle of December, and if you wanted to race more after that? You had to go to Europe and get flogged by the big-boys.

The vast majority of folks didn’t go to Nats, so come the second week of December?


Oddly enough, most still are.

Done, that is.

You know what?

That’s actually a pretty damn good thing.

If you’re planning on doing what most semi-serious bike racers do – race road or MTB in the spring – you need to take some time off.

Back in the day, when I used to follow up a “full” Cross season with an intense road season – and  the occasional MTB race – I would finish up my Cross racing in the first week of December, and literally chain my bikes together until January first.


I chained the damn things to each other so that I couldn’t ride.

For three weeks.

If I raced Nationals later in the month?
The three weeks got pushed back to whenever I stepped off after the last race of the year, and the chains went on.

still think this is a really good idea.

Everyone needs some time off the bike. Heck, even the folks who get paid to race take a few weeks off.

If you’re going to be racing next December, you’re probably past due for a break… or, well, you will be when you get done with Nationals. Or Worlds. Or whatever.

So, hey… this is a little bit late in coming, right?

I mean, most of you finished up racing a few weeks ago, so right about now it should be time to get back on the bike.

And yeah, as previously mentioned, I kinda’ blew it by not getting this post up earlier.

But, geezus… I’m on Facebook, and I keep reading all these posts from people who segued immediately into some big training rides right after the cyclocross season ended.

Come On, folks!

Time off.

You need it.

You need to give your body time to recover so that you can start the whole year-long grind all over again.

How do I know this?

‘Cause I’ve watched – over decades – the repeated attempts of many, many folks to avoid taking this necessary rest, and I’ve seen the results.

The riders who don’t take this rest…

Stop getting faster.

Run out of gas mid-way through the next season

Suddenly re-discover a love for skiing in the middle of cross season

Walk away from the whole damn sport after a while.

What a puny plan…

Are there exceptions?

Of course there are, but if you follow people for long enough, there are darn few of them.

It may take a couple of years – heck, it may take 5-10 of them – but eventually if you don’t take a damn break, it catches up with you.

And you know what?

Those people going for all the mammoth mountain bike rides a week or so after the end of cross season?

Most of them have been riding at exactly the same middling level for years.

No improvement over time.




So take a damn break, OK?

But what about my base training for the next season? All my roadie friends are out doing base miles, won’t I be way, way behind when I get back on the bike?


You’re about to discover the best thing about racing cyclocross all season.

You just finished a “base” period that was far more intense, and far more productive than all those empty “base” miles your roadie friends have been putting in teaching their bodies to go slow over longer distances and durations than they ever actually race.

Three weeks off.

Just do it.

Then back on the bike, and back in the swing of things.

You’ll thank me for it later.

*** OK, let’s (briefly!) define what “Weeks off” means. We’re not talking about 3 weeks on the couch eating cupcakes and boozing it up. Give yourself maybe a week of that, if you have to (and I don’t rule that out. Some folks need to get a whole bunch of self-control out of their system so they can re-set and re-boot. That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it.) “Off,” for our purposes, means “Off the bike.” Keep yourself busy. Do something that has your body moving/working a bit, but isn’t over the top strenuous, and isn’t cycling. This is a good time to start the 1st/Adaptation Phase of a weight training program, for example. Or go skiing. Skiing is good…


~ by crosssports on January 2, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: