The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 10.18.14. “Smarties”

Howdy folks,

It’s Sunday, and that’s race day almost everywhere… so, your workout today? Pretty damn obvious, right?

Go Race!

Today, though?

Try to race smart.

© Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3.0

© Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3.0

Have a plan for how you hope to race before your race even begins.

When you pre-ride the course during your warm-up, try to visualize the race.

How do you think it’s going to go?

– Will the course make the race? How?

Are there chokepoints on the course that you will need to be at the front for?

Are there technical sections of the course that will particularly suit you, or will give you fits?

Where can you take it to the competition?

Where will they try to take it to you?

– What advantages do you have over your competition? How can you race to maximize them…

Are you a good sprinter?

Sweet. Your job is to turn every race into a sprint.

Good sustained power?

OK. Get to the front. Drive the pace. Grind everybody else down.

Good recovery?

Nice. Attack. Make everybody respond to you. You’ll be able to recover, I’m betting the rest won’t be able to…

– What advantages does your competition have over you? How can you race to minimize them…

Just the opposite of the above.

Terrible sprint?

You got it. Make sure it never comes down to a sprint

Bad sustained power?

Get up front and slow things down.

Have trouble with your recovery?

OK. Keep the pace high enough that no one can attack, but low enough that you don’t overcook it and go over your redline.

Getting the picture?

– Will you need to change bikes? Can you gain an advantage while pitting when you don’t – strictly speaking – need to?

Always scope out the pit area. Know where it is, and figure out the best lines in and out if it’s at all tricky.

Over the years, I’ve been in several races where it was faster to go through the pit and change bikes than it was to ride (or run!) the adjacent “normal” part of the course.

Look for opportunities like this. The pit area is just one of them. Look for that hidden line that no one is using, but will enable you to attack around the group when the timing is right. Keep it in your back pocket, and use it when it will give you an advantage.

…and etc., etc.

What you are trying to avoid is perpetual living in reactive mode at the races.

You know what that looks like, right?

You line up for the start, and have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen.

You spend the whole race looking at what everyone else is doing, and everything you do is triggered by someone else’s actions.

You’re passive.

You’re reacting.

Does that sound like you? Take a look around at the race today, and I bet you’ll see that this describes almost everyone on the course.

So, work on it.

Stop playing defense. Make the race happen for you, not to you.

Think about this when you’re racing today, reflect upon it after the race, and hey – maybe work on starting the race with a plan.

It can’t hurt, right?




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~ by crosssports on October 18, 2014.

One Response to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 10.18.14. “Smarties””

  1. Hey Matt –

    Awesome advice – wish I had read it before my race this morning. I definitely need to move towards creating my own race as opposed to the defensive/reactive approach. Also very much appreciate your posts including the pre race warm up routine. Very valuable and thank you for all of your work.



    Sent from my iPad


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