The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 7.27.17. “Run. Fast, but not far. And not for very long.”

Howdy folks,

Welcome back! It’s week two, day 4 of the CX Workout of the day, and today we’re talking a bit about running.

We’re doing cyclocross, which means ya gotta’ run, at least a wee small bit, so might as well talk about it. And maybe train that aspect of your game. A wee small bit.

Running can be a drag if you haven’t been doing much of it, or even any of it for a while. If that sounds like you, check out this post from last week.

For the vast majority of people reading this, what I outlined in that piece probably holds true today. What you should be doing is some variation on the theme of “run down to the end of the block and then back”.

If that’s where you are at with your running don’t try and pretend you’re at some other point and go out and flog yourself today. As discussed in the link, if you do that you’re likely to hurt yourself or at least put yourself on the couch for a few days.


That would be sub optimal.

So don’t do it, ok?

But we still want you to run, and eventually it would be good to build up to the point where you can run pretty quickly for at least a short while, like in a cross race.



Like in a cross race.

How far do we run in a cross race?

Not very far at all, and not for very long.

So maybe we can train by doing short bits of running.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Like, maybe something that even a giant-quadded road sprinter could handle?

Specificity, right? Get good at what you actually need to do, which in this case is run a really short distance uphill.

There’s a nice bonus to this.

If you’re doing really short runs, you can pretty much run every day.

When I say “short” I’m talking maybe ten-15 minutes.

Do you ever run more than that in a race?


And ten minutes ain’t much.

Most people can find a way to shoehorn ten minutes into their schedule to literally run down to the end of the block. And back.

And we’re talking about building up to that!

Give five minutes to your running today and tomorrow.

Then 6 minutes on the third day.

Then 7 the next.

Then 8.

See the pattern?

Do this for a week or so – stopping before you start to get sore, every time – and then we can throw something a little bit harder into the mix.





You’re already for something a bit harder?


You got it. Today we do some…



First, figure out where you can do the workout. Since we’re going to be running stairs, you probably 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. 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.

Got a location?


Get on your bike and warm up for 15 minutes or so. Maybe ride on out to wherever you’re doing these.

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 so you don’t have any… problems…


– 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 stairsteps 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.

If this is your first time running stairs this season, that’s it. You’re done. Feel free – heck, feel obligated to stop early if you have any tweaks, twinges, or strange feelings in your legs.*

If you’ve got some running miles in ya’ already, repeat the entire damn thing until you just can’t do it anymore, or until you are going so slowly it’s ridiculous.

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

Notes –

The idea here is to get good enough at this to go really damn hard. If you do this right, it’s a brutal workout.

Don’t go that hard if it’s your first (or nearly first) time running stairs this season. 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.

We’re going to do this exercise – or a variation of it – every week for a while, so be patient. You will get better at it, and I will throw in some variations that will keep it fun and challenging, including some agility and lateral stability drills. Stay tuned!



Hey! Go Check out…


Coaching for Cyclocross and all your other bike-related activities!

~ by crosssports on July 27, 2017.

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