The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.12.14. “Belgian Wednesday”

Howdy folks,

If you’re from the Seattle area, heads up; the Wednesday Night Cross Clinics at The Marymoor Velodrome have been cancelled for the remainder of the season due to the damage that was done to the grounds during the MFG race Two weeks ago.
We’re pretty darn certain we’ll be able to return next year, but feel free to cross your fingers!

I’ve had a couple of feelers from people, and if there’s enough interest, I might just run a Saturday clinic in the near future, stay tuned…

We usually devote the Wednesday WOTD to skills work, but since a fair number of people are suddenly finding themselves out in the cold (so to speak… groan…) with no good place to drill, how about something different today?

One of the big problems that tends to rear  it’s ugly little head this time of the season is endurance.

Racers have the legs to go like gangbusters at the start of the race, but they fall off the pace 1/2 way through, and by the time they get the bell, they’re rolling like a wounded bird.

Been feeling a bit like this yourself?

No go left in the tank at the end of the race?

I’m going to hazard a guess that it’s been a while since you went and hammered out  a few hours in a single go with your riding buddies.

There’s nothing wrong with that, nothing at all.

In fact, one of the nice things about Cross season is that you don’t really need to go out and spend hours chasing the roadies around in the crappy weather to get your  winter training in.

Well, ok…

That was before the weather got all wacky and we stopped having rainy days during most of cross season.

But still…

Fact remains, if you race cross, you get – and maintain – a damn solid level of fitness without having to wade through the mires of the typical off season.

But, even more still…

Folks still tend to see the wheels come off their endurance a bit this time of the season.

Pretty often, this is mostly due to the lack of longer miles in the training diet, but that isn’t the only cause.

Burnout/overtraining is also one of the reasons for this.

How can you tell the difference?

You’ve been tracking your performance in training, right?


Pull out those notes now.

– Have you been showing good, consistent numbers in training with no real noticeable drop in performance?

–  Not waking up dreaming of a day where you can get 12 hours more sleep?

– Not finding yourself repeatedly in strange situations where it takes a massive mental effort to prevent yourself from murdering relative innocents with an axe for what would generally be considered really minor transgressions?

– Running out of steam earlier in the races than you did at the beginning of the season?

If you answered “yes” to most or all of those, you probably need to work a bit on your endurance.

Makes sense, right?

So, what can you do?

Well, if you’re a pro, you do a short block of endurance training, with some long, hard, steady rides.

If you’re a super-duper top level Euro-pro, you head off to Mallorca for a week where you can not only ride for hours in the sun, but also duck the vampires for a while.

Not so plausible if you’ve got a day job.

Working stiff?

Gotta’ do things a little bit differently.

Heck, how about an old-school, traditional, part of the Euro-pro Crosser’s training routine, something a World Cup veteran I coach calls “The Belgian Wednesday.”

Around here, we call it the…

Slow Roast

Ideally, you would make this a longer ride than most, 2 – 2  1/2 hours. It’s absolutely fine to go shorter, but go as long as you can/are able, up to 2 1/2 hours.

No real warm up effort required. You pretty much hop on the bike and go.

So, hop on the bike.

Ramp up to a level of output that’s approximately 2/3 of your FTP level, or 2/3 of what you’ve been doing your 2×20 Workouts at.

Hold this level for the duration of the ride.

Seriously, you’re looking to average that power level for the whole damn thing.

One twist… do it in a big damn gear.

If you can, you do the whole damn ride one damn gear bigger than you feel comfortable.

Damn it.


When you’re finished, go home, eat, relax, recover.The


Have fun,





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~ by crosssports on November 12, 2014.

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