The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 10.6.16. “Like I said a week ago…”

Howdy folks,

Once again, thanks to all that came out to the Wednesday Night CX Practice last night. Saw some people putting in some good work, and making progress. Next week we’re going to focus on some of the particular issues experienced by some of ya’all last night, so stay tuned.

As promised last week, today we’re taking another stab at…

Stairing – 


– First, figure out where you can do the workout.

We’re going to be running stairs today, so you need some stairs, or a small hill, or a grassy knoll – something you can run up. Stairs are best, but whatever you can come up with will work.

You don’t need NFL stadium stairs or anything crazy like that for this workout. Look for something that’s long enough to give you 10 seconds of running at a full sprint; That’ll be plenty long enough. We’re doing speed work, here. Short, sharp efforts.

On with the workout.

– get on your bike and warm up for 15 minutes or so.

(we’re going to warm up for any running efforts we do, all season, with some time on the bike. )

– Mosey on over to your stairs/knoll/whatever, and get set. Stretch, have a sip of water, turn up the volume on your Ipod.

– Jog up the stairs. Walk down.

Get a sense for the spacing and “feel” of the stairs. You’re going to be flying up these things in a full-on lactic acid bath shortly, so you want to get comfortable with the terrain.

– Repeat x5

– Sprint! up stairs, fast, using whatever stride is most comfortable. Walk down.

– Repeat x5

Rest for 1 minute, walking slowly up and down stairs.

– Sprint up stairs, this time using quick, tiny strides, 1 stairstep at a time. Walk down.

– Repeat x5

Rest again, same as before.

– Sprint up stairs, this time using long strides, several stair steps at a time. Walk down.

– Repeat x 5

Rest again.

– Sprint up stairs, combining the previous two exercises – 1st time up, long strides; next time up, short strides, etc. Walk down.

Rest again, 2-5 minutes.

– Run up stairs sideways. Yup, you read that right. Sideways. Try it, it’ll make sense. More of an agility drill than anything else, but it’ll be good for you.

– Repeat 2-5 times.

Rest again, 2-5 minutes

– Repeat entire damn thing until you just can’t do it anymore, or you are going so slowly it’s ridiculous.

Get back on bike, spin out your legs, go home.

Notes –

If you can, go really damn hard. If you do this right, it’s a brutal workout.

Don’t go that hard if you haven’t got the legs for that yet. Keep it under control. You want to build up to the point where you are going up the stairs in a dead sprint, and are completely gassed at the end of each set. That’s going to take a few sessions to build up to, though. Don’t kill yourself the first time out.

In general, I don’t think that most CX racers really need to do much running work. It’s just not that important for most of the races we see in the US these days. The running that happens organically in the races and in practice is enough to keep the legs moving, and the time needed to add extra running to the schedule is generally better spent doing something more important, like riding yer damn bike.

Having said that, if you are consistently losing ground every time you get off the bike, or if you happen to live in a part of the country where the local races have you running a lot, that’s a different story. YMMV, eh? This is exactly the sort of thing that individual coaching is useful for. I’ve got some clients who do running workouts all the way through the CX season, and others who do none at all. One size absolutely don’t fit all.

On the “one size doesn’t fit all” note, and also as promised last week, here’s something for the folks that don’t want to do the running thing…


…today you’re doing Ramp Sprints.

Warm up well

– Find a long, straight section of flat, traffic free road.

– You’re going to do a series of sprint efforts that look like this:

1 – Start from a dead standstill, one foot on the ground. Full gas start, like a race.

2 – Once you’re up to speed, sit down. Pause for two breaths. Go again. Full gas. Short sprint, ’till you’re spun out or 5 seconds.

3 – After you max out the 2nd sprint, slow down quickly. Make a 180 degree turn. Full gas sprint back towards where you started. Go ’till you’re spun out or 5 seconds.

That’s one rep.

Do three, then 5 minute break.

Repeat until you are obviously slowing down, max wattage has dropped appreciably, or you just can’t stand it anymore.

Have fun!



What’s that you say? You’d kinda’ like to have a cycling coach help figure this stuff out for you? Check out…


~ by crosssports on October 6, 2016.

One Response to “The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 10.6.16. “Like I said a week ago…””

  1. Great and timely tip. I’m one who does lose time when I have to dismount and run. Thanks, Bill

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