The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 11.24.15. “Speed Weak Pt.1”

Howdy folks,

Well, this is the last week of the season up here in the Seattle area.


There are still a couple of races on the docket up north, and there are still a bunch of folks looking to play out the string and try to get to Nationals – even Master’s Worlds – with some vestige of fitness.

But for most people up here, the season is a wrap as of Sunday.

If you’re a member of this cohort, congrats; you’re almost there, another season done and dusted. Almost.

Still got to make it through this week.

So, about that…

With a week left, you almost certainly aren’t going to get any stronger from the training you do this week.

You can – maybe – get a little bit faster by doing some speed work this week, and that’s what we’re going to focus on for the next couple of days.

Whatever you do, though, don’t overdo it this week. You absolutely can throw away the last race of the season by trying to cram in a bunch of training in a futile attempt to restore the fitness that’s gradually been leached away from you racing weekend after weekend with not enough recovery and little to no long endurance work.

Yay, cyclocross!

If you’re one of those people whose season isn’t over for a while yet?
Keep plugging away. Have a 2×20 Tuesday! 

The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day will continue up through Nationals, and we’ll talk about some ways to keep things going strong even after the racing has tapered off.

Back to the last week of racing crew.

Speed work today.

Your fitness ain’t gonna’ go up before this weekend, but with a couple of sprint workouts this week, you might just be able to get your legs moving a little bit faster by the weekend.

So lets get…

Going Downhill Fast – 

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Start by warming up well, a bit longer than usual – 30 minutes or so.

Find a gradual downhill that lets out on a flat section of road or trail. The ideal setup for this workout is a downhill that’s about a block long that turns into  a flat section of road another block or so in length.

Extra bonus points if you can loop back to the start without having to turn around – that would be perfect.

You’re going to do 3-5 sets of 5 sprints, full gas. Here’s how the sprints go:

Roll down the gradual descent in a comfortable gear. You want to hit the bottom of the hill going fast, but not yet in a sprint.

As soon as you hit the flat section at the bottom of the hill, get out of the saddle and give it full gas.

Sit back down as you get up to full speed, and try to go even faster.

Go until you are spun out.

Spun out means that your legs can’t go any faster, your form goes completely to hell, or you start bobbing up and down on the saddle a lot.

Ideally, a little bit of all of those things.

Remember, we’re working on leg speed today, so really focus on turning your legs over. The goal isn’t to make the bike go fast, the goal is to make your legs go fast.

There’s a difference, eh? Try to keep it in mind, ok?

That’s one rep. You’re doing sets of 5.

Each sprint should take just a few seconds. Recover for 30 seconds to a minute between them, and 5 minutes between sets.

Stop when you hit 5 sets or just aren’t getting the same leg speed you were on the first couple of reps.

When you’re done, spin out your legs and go home.

Tips –

– You should start the sprint in a pretty big gear, and spin it out. How big? It depends on how fast you’re going and how strong you are. You’re working on speed here, so don’t try to lug a giant gear, but the gear needs to be big enough that you accelerate when you hit it at the end of the downhill.

– Important, let me reiterate: stand up out of the saddle when you start to sprint, and gradually sit down as you begin to spin up into your sprint.

– Don’t forget to breathe. Seriously. Too many people hold their breath when they sprint. Don’t be one of them.

Have fun!



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