The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.22.17. “Start Turd Polishing”

Howdy folks,

If you’re up in the Seattle area, just a reminder; the Wednesday/Tuesday Night CX training series at the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome is done for the year. Thanks to all who came out, and to all who helped out this season.  See you next year!

So, no more skills workouts in our neck of the woods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on  some things yourself!

Having said that, this is the last week of racing for a lot of people up here in the Seattle Area, so I’m aiming today’s post at those who will be wrapping things up for the year in a couple of days.


Typically on Wednesdays, we do skills work, but let’s face it; if you’re in the last week of the season, you probably aren’t going to learn anything new at this point.

What you can do, though, is pick one or two skill-type things, and make them just one notch better.

Buff something you’re good at to a high sheen, or (ahem) polish a turd a wee small bit…

Don’t work on a bunch of things today, just pick a couple of specific things.

If you had a problem with a particular technical skill at your last race, I’d work on that today.

Fix it if you can.

If nothing stands out, if you felt pretty solid technically in your last race?

Work on your starts today.

We’re doing pretty much nothing but speed work this week, so you get a two-fer if you do this. A wee bit of acceleration, a wee bit of tech… perfect.

So, first… check out this post on the technical aspects of cyclocross starts.


Let’s Get Started – 

1 – warm up for 10 minutes.

2 – Stretch out after you’re warm.

Pay special attention to all the muscles used in those movements you make hopping on and off the bike that are different from what you usually do.

3 – Dismount/remount  skills for 5 minutes , just ’cause.

– Start at literally a walking pace, and slowly increase speed until you can mount and dismount the bike smoothly and perfectly at full speed. Do not jump on and off the bike, you are looking to smoothly slide yourself on and off.

 Need a refresher on the basics? Click here.

4 – Starts.

Just like the beginning of a race. One foot on the ground, dead standstill, get-up-and-go.

Begin with a few medium effort starts, working on all the things we talked about above.


– Start with your pedals at 3&9 o’clock, not 12 and six.

– Alternate butt-on-saddle and off

– Alternate hands in drops with hands on hoods.

When you start to get the feel for things, hit it hard a couple of times, then back off.

2 sets of all the variations above at a medium to slow pace.

Feeling solid, skills-wise?


Get  yourself ready to go hard.

– Bang! Six full-gas starts.

– short effort, just go long enough that you are up to full speed, then back down, turn around, go again.

Spin easy for a couple of minutes, then…

– Bang! ~pause~ Bang!

– Six full-gas starts, but each start effort will look like this…

– Full effort start from a dead-stop, foot on ground.

– As soon as you get up to full speed, sit back in saddle, take one deep breath, go again, HARD!

– Ouch.

5 – Recover for a few minutes, then Finish the night with two short efforts on relatively easy terrain.

– “Easy” as in a loop on grass with some tight-ish turns on it, or some pretty buffed double-track.

– Go hard, and work on accelerations out of the turns.

– Every time you slow down entering a turn, get on the gas on the way out of it, ass out of the saddle, working hard.

– 5 minutes full gas, rest for 2 minutes, then go again for another 5.

– Start each effort with, well… with a start. Like you were working on a couple of minutes ago…

Warm down, go home, relax.



Hi there…

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It takes a fair bit of time – and a wee bit of money – to keep this thing rolling, and it’s the time of the season where I’ve got to pay the bills to keep this thing going.

I’m not trying to get rich off this thing… or really even make any money from it at all.

It’d just make my life a fair bit easier if I didn’t lose money doing this!

So, hey… if you feel like you’ve gotten anything of value out of this blog, please do me a favor – and yes, it’s a favor, and I will be truly thankful for it – and send a buck or two (or five, or whatever…) my way.

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~ by crosssports on November 22, 2017.

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