The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 8.22.16. “Who loves to count?”

Howdy folks,

I can hear you saying it to yourself right now… “Uh oh. It’s Tuesday. He’s going to make us do 2×20’s again, isn’t he?”


Count your blessings!



…or maybe not, because while we aren’t doing those today, what we are doing is at least as hard. In fact it’s the same thing we did last week**, it’s the ever so lovely…


Over/Under Intervals! 

So, what the heck is an over/under interval?

– “Over-under” means that you are going to be working right around the level of your threshold, both above and below.

– What is your threshold? Well, for our purposes, we are going to reference the Classic 2×20 workout. Whatever wattage, heart rate, or gear ratio you use for that interval will serve as your threshold baseline.

Get a solid idea of the wattage, heart rate, or tempo you ride your 20 minute intervals in, and keep it firmly stuck in your mind. This is important; you are going to bounce above and below this level for the rest of the workout.

Get a stopwatch. Put it on your bars.

Start the stopwatch.

Begin today’s workout by doing a 5 minute effort at your 2×20 level.

After the 20 minute-style baseline effort, spin easy for 2 -5 minutes.

When you are ready, begin the 10 minute Over/under thusly:

– Ride for one minute at your baseline/20 minute intensity level.

– At the end of that minute, ride 10 seconds at 25 watts, 10 beats, or 1 gear higher than the baseline level.

– After the 10 seconds, ride 20 seconds at 25 watts, 10 beats, or 1 gear lower than the baseline.

– After the 20 seconds, you go back to the ten (over,) followed again by the 20 (under,) etc., etc.

Got it? 1 minute baseline, 10 up, 20 down, 10 up, 20 down. Repeat the up/down efforts to the end of the interval.

– Rest 2-5 minutes.

– Do it again for 10 minutes.

– Rest again for 2 minutes.

– Pile sets on until you’ve reached the duration of your typical race, or you’re starting to see a precipitous drop in your output level. You’ll know when that happens, even if you aren’t using a power meter. The odds of being able to do these properly for race duration the first (or second, or third, or fourth…) time out are pretty slim, so don’t be too upset when that doesn’t happen. 2, 3 sets is pretty darn good for mere mortals.

Have fun!



**I like to hit folks with a workout like this at least a couple of weeks in a row, because it takes practice to actually learn how to do an interval set well. This is something that’s underappreciated. This stuff – if you’re doing it right – is freaking hard. You will get better at doing them with repetition, and that improvement isn’t just physiological, it’s also mental and procedural. There’s a lot going on here!




Cyclocross Practices at SeaTac start up tomorrow night! Click on the logo for info!



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~ by crosssports on August 22, 2016.

One Response to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 8.22.16. “Who loves to count?””

  1. […] The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 8.22.16. “Who loves to count?” […]

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