The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 8.4.14. “Did you see this one coming or what?”

Howdy folks,

If you were following along with us yesterday, I said that today was going to be a bit of a test session, and I wasn’t kidding.

This probably won’t come as any kind of a surprise if you’ve visited the page in previous seasons.

What day is today?


2×20 Tuesday!

The 2×20 is one of the primary building blocks of your fitness, and it is a great default workout. Short on time? Not sure what to do? Do a set of these.

The 2×20 isn’t just a staple workout, though. It also doubles as a test session, a regular, oft-repeated gauge of your fitness.

That’s really what we’re after today; setting a baseline for your fitness for all the workouts you’ll do as the season rolls on.

Keep track of your performance in this, and in all of the 2×20′s you do! 

Ideally, you want to keep track of your performance in all your workouts, but it’s extra-special super-duper important on these. You’re going to do them on a pretty regular basis, and if you keep track of ‘em, you’ll find that you’ve left a really good trail of bread crumbs behind you all season.

It doesn’t matter how you do this keeping-track-of.  Wattage, heart rate, what gear you’re pushing on the trainer; don’t really care.  Just figure out some way of measuring your performance during the workout, and write it down/download it/whatever.

Every time.

Yes, it’s great if you have a wattage measuring device, but it isn’t critical. If you do these intervals on a trainer, you can keep track of the cadence used, and the gear ratio, and you can track your progress that way. Works great.

It’s all about establishing some kind of metrics to keep track of, can you dig it?


We will be referring to these metrics throughout the season, and your level of output in the 2×20 will form the basis for determining your target output in most of the workouts we do from here on out.

So, hey… what the heck is this 2×20 thing?

Pretty simply, the 2×20 looks like this:

– Warm up.

– Go as hard as you can for 20 minutes.

– Recover for 5 minutes.

– Go again for another 20 minutes.

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

First of all, warm up.

No, seriously. Don’t just hop on the bike and blast one out.

Warming up makes a difference, especially if you’re doing this as a test session.

You don’t need to do anything super hard or super involved, just make sure the legs are up and running before you kick off the workout proper.

Spin for a bit, blast a couple of 30 second to 2 minute efforts off pretty hard, spin a bit more, then go for it.

When you do go for it, really go for it.

But in a controlled sort of way.

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. How constant?

Can you keep it in a 10 watt range?

Probably not.

15 watts?

More likely

20 watts?


Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get (you’re welcome.) This is a workout that’s a natural for the turbo trainer, and that’s how I do ‘em.

This 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 blurry vision thing. You should aspire to seeing-spots level of output on these.

 If you can learn to push through your limits, really push, you will get better and you will get better fast.

It’ll be painful, though.

I promise.

Have fun!



PS –

In the Seattle area where I live, Tuesday nights are a local weekday circuit race, for a couple/few more weeks, at least.

That’s what I’m doing tonight. Maybe you should, too. If you’re up for it, think about taking advantage of the remnants of your local road racing season to train up for Cross.  Get it when you can, while you can, though. There probably aren’t all that many road/mtb. racing opportunities left as the season winds down in front of our eyes…

~ by crosssports on August 4, 2014.

One Response to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 8.4.14. “Did you see this one coming or what?””

  1. […] (and if you’re new to all this, it’s probably the version you should do. In fact, you should do this workout today, instead of what you’re currently reading.) This here is the get-up version, though, […]

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