The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 7.31.2014 – “A little bit of running”

Howdy folks,

Today we’re going to talk a little bit about running.

In fact, why don’t we use that as the title of today’s Workout Of The Day…

A little bit of running.

Right off the bat, let’s get this straight… I’m pretty serious when I say a little bit of running.

Unless you’ve been running a whole bunch already this year for some strange reason,  whatever you do, don’t head out the door today and  try to lay down a blazing fast run…

That would be a really bad idea.

Not that I know this from experienc…

Oh, hell… who am I kidding? I’m totally speaking from experience.

I can’t tell you how many times – over soo many years – I started out my cyclocross training with a way too fast, way too long run that totally toasted my legs and made me super damn sore.

And accomplished precious little else.

That’s the key here, folks.

Doing a workout that hurts you and makes it impossible to train for a while just ain’t very darn useful. At all.

So don’t do that, OK?

Heck, I’ve seen many, many riders over the years put themselves on the couch for a whole week – even weeks – by  blowing up various body parts in a misguided attempt to channel a year’s worth of not-running anxiety into one single workout.






Got it?

Make sense?


So, onward.

Some words about running for cross, generally:

With the way cross races go these days, especially in the US, you might not need to train your running at all to be really, really damn fast, even at the top level of the sport.

It’s just not that important anymore.

If you’re in really damn good bike form, you can fake your way through the miniscule amount of off-the-bike awkwardness that passes for running on today’s courses.

In fact, for most folks, I don’t recommend doing any run-specific training during the season.

None. Zip. Nada.

99.9% of what goes on in a Cyclocross race has nothing to do with running at all, so why would you waste precious training time on that .1%?

You wouldn’t, and you shouldn’t, with one important caveat: if you run so damn poorly that you throw  your entire race away the second your feet hit the ground, you need to work on that.

Let’s expand on that a bit.

If you roll into the cross season without having done any running at all, there’s actually a pretty  good chance that the first time your feet hit the ground and you need to hoof it in a race, things aren’t going to go so well.

So, while I’m not all that big on run training in-season, I’m definitely a fan of running in the pre-season.

You don’t need to become an awesome runner, but if you can get just enough running miles in your legs that you don’t suffer a giant shock to the system when you launch off the bike in those early races, you just might have purchased yourself a nice little advantage.

I’m always down with things that give us a nice little advantage.

So, we’re going to do some running the next couple/few weeks.

A little bit of running.

How little?

Well, for right now, you need to stop running before your legs get sore.

If you haven’t done any running since last Cross season, that’s going to be an absurdly short amount of time.

Seriously absurd.

We’re talking 10, maybe even five minutes.


A five minute run. A ten minute run. You stop before you hurt yourself, and if you start to feel sore knees/legs/whatever, you’re starting to hurt yourself.

When that happens, you stop running, and you walk home. Ideally you stop before that happens.

That’s it.

Put your running shoes on, walk out the door, and go for a run, stopping before you get sore.

Don’t run hard, don’t run fast, just run.

And stop when it’s smart to do so.

Which is probably going to be way before you think it should be.

Keep it under control. Keep it ridiculously short. We’re going to build up the time slowly, and we’ll do something running-wise that feels more like an actual workout soon, but for now the sole idea is to get something that’s a little bit like running into your legs without messing yourself up.

Make sense?

Have fun!


Some notes:

– if you don’t have good running shoes, and if you’re going to train your running (you don’t have to, OK? You.Don’t.Have.To.) go get some. Buy them at a specialty running store that will spend time with you to make sure you get the right ones. Don’t listen to your CultFit friends who tell you to get some kind of barefoot foot glove monstrosity to run in. They’re the biggest gift to the Physical Therapy trade in the history of ever. Just say no. Unless they work for you. Then, whatever. Enjoy.

– Try to run on grass or on trails, if you can, and while you can. Cross races don’t have you running on pavement, and there isn’t much reason to train on a surface that’s just going to increase the pounding on your body if you don’t need to. So don’t.

– 99.9% of you are going to ignore almost everything you just read, except for the “Go Run” part. Have some Ibuprofen and a hot bath waiting for your return from your ill-advised marathon.

~ by crosssports on July 30, 2014.

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