The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 8.7.16. “Sometimes I just want to eat…”

Howdy folks,




Yay, WordPress! Before you go any farther, please click this link so that you can read this post without the strange formatting that makes it look horrible on the full page view. Blecch. I’m working on setting up an entirely new web page for the CXWOTD, but it’s taking time/money that are both in short supply right now, so I don’t have a firm date for completion. Stay tuned for the inevitable post begging for money to finance the project. Onward!



It’s Sunday! If you’re at all like me, you’re watching the Women’s Olympic Road race, and when it’s over with, you’re going to go for a ride yourself.

Hard not to get inspired watching these gals tear that course up… and what a course it is! Hard, technical… whoever wins this race is a deserving champ.

“Deserving champ” is more than just hyperbole. One of the announcers on the stream I’ve been watching (not the useless TV broadcast!) Just talked about the work Giorgia Bronzini put in to get her body mass down in order to competitive on the selective Olympic course.

If you’ve ever tried to do something like that, you know how hard it is… especially when you’re trying to ride/race a bike at the same time, and recover from those on the bike efforts.

Who doesn’t like to tuck into a giant meal after a long, hard ride? Can you imagine riding your ass off all day, only to roll back home, walk into the kitchen, and then weigh out just enough food to make it possible to do so again, with just enough calorie deficit to be sure that the lbs are coming off, but not so much that you’re doing damage to yourself?

…and then you do it again the next day.

…and the next.

…and the next.



No fun. No fun at all.

That’s the kind of work that goes into success at that level, though.

There’s a reason that you read about pro-tour level cyclists getting all manner of small sicknesses, all the time; they’re constantly pushing the boundary line between being lean and fast, and lean and ill.

One of the keys to avoiding the “Ill” part?

Put the work in to the body composition part of the speed equation when you aren’t racing.

It’s one hell of a lot easier, and the consequences for pushing the line too far aren’t as well… consequential.

If you’re a cyclocross racer – and if you aren’t, what are you doing reading this? – the time to work on this kind of thing is now. 

Racing is just around the corner. Heck, I just registered for my first race of the season.

So, feeling like you might want to lose a couple of lbs before the season starts?

Feeling like you might need to put a few on so that you don’t spend the whole CX season fighting the flu?

(don’t laugh… that wound up being one of the things that hurt me as a young CX racer back in the day, before I was an old man. Too damn skinny, sick all the damn time.)

Work on that stuff now.

Maybe think about getting a nutritional consult. 

Maybe think about putting in a couple/few weeks in the weight room to shore up any imbalances that might get you in trouble this winter.

Whatever it might be, if it’ll help you this winter, and it’ll take some doing to deal with it, do that doing now.

You’ll be glad you did.

Enough blather, what about today’s workout?

Well, what did you do yesterday?

Did you take a stab at the masochism we suggested?

If not, and if you’re feeling particularly motivated from watching the Olympics, why not have a go at that today?

If you did do that yesterday, odds are you’re pretty tired today.

There are a couple of ways to go when you’ve had a hard day one of the weekend

  • Roll hard again today. Do something Kitchen Sink-ish, and really earn that recovery day tomorrow.
  • Ride short and hard. Get some sharp efforts in to work on a different energy system than you used yesterday. Something like…
    • Short Hill Repeats…

      You want to do these on a climb that has you right on the edge of being over-geared.
      There are a couple of ways to do this…
      – big-ringable, but just at the edge of being a small ring climb.
      – small ring, but steep or with variable terrain, or both.
      Each effort should take 5 second or so, which tells you how long the climb needs to be, eh?
      Warm up for approx. 1/2 hour, then roll on up to the base of the climb you have selected.
      Begin your intervals with an out of the saddle, full race-pace ATTACK  into the climb.
      You’re looking to blast up the climb, full gas the whole way.
      It’s perfectly OK to sit down 1/2 -3/4 of way through the effort – especially if you need to do so to maintain traction – but don’t let the intensity drop.
      Try to maintain your intensity for the duration of interval, got it?
      You’re going to recover for 30 seconds between each rep, and then 2-5 minutes between sets.
      5 reps. per set.
      Minimum of 5 sets.
      If you can do more than that, great… but make sure you’re maintaining the level of output you had on your first set.
      If you have a power meter, you’re done when the wattage you can maintain throughout the set drops off the edge of the table.
      That’ll be pretty obvious when it happens, trust me.
      Spin out & warm down after.

  •  “Dude!” I hear you saying. “I’m pretty gassed today. This stuff is just too damn much!” Okey doke. Let’s turn it down a notch, and aim for…
    • Moderation –
      Get on your bike.
      Go ride for an hour or two.
      No hard efforts, but do throw in a couple of moderate ones.

      By moderate, I mean just that. You can sprint for the town line, but you should be laughing while you do it…

      You’re not doing a recovery spin, so you need to put a little bit of gas into the pedals… just don’t go out and kill yourself.

      Check out the view, smell the flowers, just do it while you’re putting a little bit of effort into the pedals.

      1 notch above a recovery ride.

      Make sense?





Have fun!



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Coaching, FTW.

~ by crosssports on August 7, 2016.

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