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The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 11.3.15. “The Talk”

Howdy folks,

Well, hell. It’s Tuesday, but where I’m sitting it feels like it’s the Thursday of a week that’s never, ever going to end. Just one of those days, in one of those weeks.

I’m hearing similar things from lots of other people.

When I start to hear “oh man, I’m tired, work sucks, I’m riding like s**t, I’m bummed out…” comments from a bunch of people, I know it’s time for “the talk” post.

“The talk” about taking a break.

When was the last time you took a few days off the bike?

confused

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Feeling a bit burned out? Irritable? Work bugging you more than it should (even if it probably should, a little, just ’cause it’s like that…)?

gerbil_in_a_gerbil_wheel~AP-1LOZHZ-TH

Yeah.

You might maybe should think about taking it easy for a bit.

Take today off.

Maybe tomorrow as well.

Thursday, you can ride a bit, but maybe not hard.

Friday? Well, if you’re racing on Saturday, do some openers. If not? Easy spin.

Easy week, folks!

I’m guessing a lot if you are due for one.

Enjoy!

 

Not quite ready to take it easy this week?

No sweat, got you covered.

It’s Tuesday.

Hold on, let me amplify that statement a bit.

It’s Two By Twenty Tuesday!

Get-Up Style today!

At it’s most basic 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.

The idea 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.

It’s all about doing two intervals.

Two intervals at as close to the same level of consistent, steady power output as you can manage.

If you’re doing this with a power meter, you want your wattage output to be as constant and unvaried as possible.

For both intervals.

Both.

How steady?

Can you keep it in a 10 watt range?

Probably not.

15 watts?

More likely

20 watts?

Try.

Keep it steady.

If you run out of gas before you finish the second interval, then you went too hard.

If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the second interval, you went too easy. But guess what?
It’s way better to go too easy and finish both intervals than it is to go too hard and crater part way through the second 20.

That’s the basic version (and if you’re new to all this, it’s probably the version you should do.) Today, though?

Today we’re doing the get-up version, so…

Start your 20-minute interval out of the saddle, and stand for the first 30 seconds.

After those 30 seconds are up, sit down. Keep the effort going, and keep your level of output consistent.

Stay seated for the next 1:30, then stand for 30 seconds.

Repeat to the end of the interval, and follow this format for the next 20 minute interval.

Remember, 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’re doing this with a power meter, you want your wattage output to be as close to constant as possible, and the out of the saddle time we’re throwing in makes this even more challenging.

Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get, as your output level gets closer and closer to the absolute max you’re capable of doing for an interval of this duration.

Add in the constant standing and sitting component, and you’re going to know you did some work when you’re through.

I know I’m repeating myself, but do try to avoid the temptation to up the output level when you get out of the saddle, OK?

That’s an entirely different workout – check out this post for the beta on Over/Under efforts.

One of the things we’re learning with this workout is how to calibrate our out of the saddle efforts. We’re getting a better handle on what we’re actually doing when we stand up on the bike.

You need to know – really know – when you’re going harder and when you’re not.

What most people find when doing this workout is that every time they get out of the saddle their power output takes a big jump.

Which isn’t a huge surprise, because we largely train our bodies to correlate out of the saddle with “go time.”

Cyclocross ain’t road racing, though.

A lot of the time you’re getting out of the saddle not to accelerate, but due to a bike handling challenge.

Heck, if you get out of the saddle in a super sketchy tech section and reflexively put the power down,  that might just result in rear wheel slip and lack of traction, with the expected bad results.

One of the keys to good bike handling is having an almost instinctive understanding of how much power you’re producing, and the effect that has on your traction.

Step one to developing that understanding is getting a real feel for how your power output can change when you get out of the saddle.

Nothing will give you a better feel for that than this workout.

Make sense?

Especially since we’re trying to work on perception not just output, this is a workout that’s especially suited to the indoor trainer, and that’s how you should do ’em if you can stand it. If not, really try to find the most vacant, flat, soulless terrain possible. The fewer the distractions the better.

 

Have fun!

M

 

Thanks for following my blog!

This thing started off as a lark, but over time it has become a little bit of a monster. There are over 1000 workouts on here! How the hell did that happen?!

It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and it’s suddenly the time of the year when the bills come due. I need to ante up if I want to keep the lights on for the page.

Honestly, I’m not trying to get rich off this thing… or even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose money doing this!

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

How do you do that?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.

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~ by crosssports on November 3, 2015.

One Response to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 11.3.15. “The Talk””

  1. […] Follow with 10-15 minute effort at right about your 2×20 output level, or “I could talk to you if I had to, but I don’t want to” […]

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