The Cyclocross Workout Of the Day for Tuesday, 10.11.16. “Seriously mixed bag”

Howdy folks,

I got an email this morning from one of my coaching colleagues, who asked…

Has anyone actually tried to do the workouts as you post them? Oh gawd… am I considering following that thing for a month?  Sounds hard.

My response to him was to quote the estimable Jonny Sundt, who once said of the CXWOTD: “It will make you really strong, or it will kill you. Maybe both.”

Let’s be brutally frank here, ok?

When I post up a workout that says something like “take today off!” or “enjoy a nice, relaxing, recovery spin!” ya’all don’t read ’em. I definitely try to make this whole CXWOTD thing something that is actually doable, and I insert plenty of caveats like “maybe think about resting today instead of this!” but, in general, I’m trying to post up workouts for people who want to, well… work out.

That may or may not be the thing that’s best for you, personally, on any particular day in time.

Which brings us to today’s workout.

I’m going to post up some intervals today, and they’re gong to be pretty hard. They’re actually what I, myself, am going to do today. But they aren’t what most of my actual coaching clients are doing.

Most of my coaching clients are taking the day off today.

This was a hard weekend of racing for many of the people I work with, and several of them raced both days this weekend.

For most, a weekend like that takes a couple of days to really recover from. Some solid rest is needed before one is capable of really putting the throttle down for more hard work.

There are exceptions, of course.

Some athletes are just so damn fit that they can recover well enough on Monday to kill it again on Tuesday.

Some even need some training blocks where they push the system super hard like this in order to make real gains in fitness.

Some can do this kind of load for a week, two weeks, three weeks… then they find themselves completely toasted, are never able to recover, and are on the back foot for the remainder of the season.

Personally, I’ve been fighting back problems, and although I raced this past weekend, I wasn’t ever able to actually go hard enough to generate the level of fatigue that I normally associate with racing. Which kinda sucks, but hey! Means I can go hard again today, yay!


When I do this “going hard” thing, what will I be doing?

Glad you asked! I’ll be doing the…

The Mixed Bag (with Happy Ending…)


– Warm up.

– Go as hard as you can for 10 minutes.

– Recover for 2 minutes.

– Go again for 15 minutes.

– Recover for 2 minutes.

– Go again for 15 minutes.

That’s the basics. Success on this is,  however,  all in the details.

The idea here is to go as hard as you can for the duration of all 3 intervals without being forced to go easier at the end of the subsequent interval.  If you run out of gas before you finish the second or third interval, you went too hard. If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the last interval, you went too easy.

If you’re doing this with a powermeter, you want your wattage output to be as close to constant as possible. We’re talking 10 watt variance at the most. Keep it steady.

These take practice to do well, and the better you get, the harder they get.

This is a workout that works great on the trainer, and that’s how I do ‘em.

But hey… that’s not all.

This is the Happy Ending version.

What does that mean?

After the third interval,

-spin for 1 minute.

sprint for ten seconds, starting at the one minute mark on your watch.

-spin until you hit the 2 minute mark on your watch

sprint for ten seconds

-spin until you hit the 3 minute mark on your watch

sprint for ten seconds

Etc., etc., continuing until you hit the five minute mark, and give the last little bit of your energy in one final 10 second sprint.



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 11, 2016.

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