The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 8.31.16. “More Human than alone at home”

Howdy folks,

It’s Wednesday. That means it’s…

Skills Day!

We’ve been devoting our Wednesdays to skills work for a couple of weeks now, and I know that some of you are frustrated with your rate of progress.

You aren’t alone.

Keep at it.

Try not to get discouraged, and try not to get ahead of yourself.

What  do I mean by that?

When you’re practicing and refining your skills, don’t let yourself get too fixated on going fast.

Get the skills down smooth and solid before you even think about doing them fast.

Trying to do things like dismounts & remounts fast before you do them well is counterproductive.

You need to learn to crawl before you can walk, and if you practice sloppy skills at speeds that are too high, you reinforce bad habits that take forever to unlearn. Eventually, bad habits always come back to bite you in the ass…

If you’re lucky enough to be able to take part in a group practice session, like the one we have going down tonight in the Seattle area, take some time to watch other people do their thing, especially folks that are faster than you.

Stake out a sector of course that you find problematic or particularly challenging from a technical perspective and watch how other folks handle it.

I guarantee that you will see plenty of fast folks making fundamental errors in some of their technical skills.

When you’re gifted, you can get away with making all kinds of mistakes.

Most of the time.

Most of the time.

Sooner or later, even the lucky genetic freaks will pay the price for crappy technique, and you’ll see it happening if you watch closely.

A second lost here, a little slip there, a dropped chain, a dab…. whoops, how the heck did they hit – or not hit – the deck there?

Eventually it all catches up with you, no matter who you are.

The difference is, it catches up with you faster when you’ve got standard human level talent.

If you’re a normal person, and have to work hard simply to not suck, you can’t get away with all the sloppy nonsense that elite riders so often do.


Keep things as simple as you can, and work on getting faster by getting better.


Smarter, even.




Here’s how tonight is going to go…

– Warm up on the bike.

As long as it takes to get loose, you should have a light sweat on when you…

– Stretch.

Active stretching, focus on all the muscles you use getting on & off the bike, but don’t when you’re riding. Go as long as it takes to work everything and get loose.

– Mount & Remount skills. 10-15 minutes.

Accelerate coming out of barrier sections. Coast in to them.

 Get to the point where you can come out of a barrier section faster than you went into it.

Come into a dismount section under control, and traveling at a speed that you can comfortably dismount at.

Brake early so that you can come into the barriers coasting, not braking.

Run over the barrier smoothly, in control.

The barriers aren’t 6 feet tall. Run over them with just enough clearance to keep from falling down. You don’t need to jump straight up in the air to go over a CX barrier, ok?

Don’t be afraid to take a few steps to get back up to speed before you get back on your bike.

Remember, it’s not how fast you get on your bike, it’s how fast you get going on your bike.

So many people are so overly concerned with getting back on the bike quickly that they totally forget about being fast.

Yes, you want to be able to dismount & remount quickly, and run over the planks like a gazelle.

But just about everyone seems to think that this means getting back on the bike as quickly as they can after a dismount section.

The second the bike clears the barriers, it’s back on the ground, and you see folks trying to remount.

Don’t do this, ok?

Work on accelerating through the barriers, and running into your remount.

Run up to speed before you get back on your bike.

Make sense?

Remember, smooth = fast.  Don’t over cook these. Hitting the ground is always slow.

– Technical skills on the bike. 10-15 minutes

Tight turns and off-cambers. As always, work on your entrances and exits from all the technical sections. Pedal, pedal, pedal. Try to pedal througheverything. Keep the gas on, power going through the rear wheel, and you maintain traction.

Work on it. Lots more on the bike handling topic in earlier posts, enter “Wednesday” in the search box, and you will likely get bored out of your skull with my verbosity…

– Starts. Go as long as it takes to get 5 perfect, full gas sprints.

Make it feel like a race start. Get off the mark fast, sit down, shift, go again. Remember, it’s the second effort that gets you the early gap most of the time…

– Race simulation. 3 ten minute efforts, 2 minutes recovery between them.

No big complications here. Go really f-ing fast. Try and make these efforts faster and harder than you go in the races. You want to get to the point where your efforts in practice and training are as  hard or harder than anything you see in a race.

Yeah, I know… good luck with that, right?

– Warm down.

Spin out your legs. Take enough time doing this that you feel them unspool and loosen up.

Go home, eat, relax.







Come on out and work on your CX skills tonight at the…





Hey! Check out…


For all your bike coaching and training needs.

~ by crosssports on August 31, 2016.

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