The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 12.16.17. “Same workout, different Saturday”

Howdy folks,

This is going to read an awful lot like what I posted up last week, because, well… it basically is what I posted up last week.

If you happened to catch the race this morning, you saw that Wout was right back in the wheel of VDP, after months of getting his ass handed to him.

That’s pretty much all you need to see to understand the value of getting some big miles in late-season in advance of the important races.

Anyways, if you’re racing tomorrow, today you’re doing…

Can Openers – 

– Warm up for 1/2 hour or so, spinning easy with a couple of short bursts thrown in.

– Follow with several short attacking efforts, IE 30 seconds at 80% of your max, or pretty damn hard. 2 – 3 of ’em.

– Back off and spin for 5 minutes.

– Follow with 10-15 minute effort at right about your 2×20 output level, or “I could talk to you if I had to, but I don’t want to” level.

– Spin for several minutes.

– Follow with 5-6 hard 10 second efforts, ideally on CX type variable terrain, level or slightly uphill.

– Finish  with 5-6 start efforts on a straight section of paved road, level or slightly uphill.  You want to begin these from a dead stop, with one foot unclipped. Do not stop until you get at least        3 perfect starts in a row, and I mean perfect. This is the cross equivalent of practicing free throws. Make ‘em count!

– spin out the legs, go home, and get ready for the race.


Now the long stuff.

If you’re going to Nats, you want to get some big rides in the next week or so.

Serious mileage. If you can.

Go long.

You might have noticed that a bunch of the top Euro racers blew off some pretty big races over the last couple of weeks.


They were getting in a big block of training to be in top form for the big money races right around Christmas.

The short, intense race day efforts and subsequent recovery make it difficult to get in any kind of long miles when they’re racing every weekend, so the top folks sacrifice a race weekend (or two) to get in the big miles and hard efforts they need to peak for the most important days on their calendar.

You should think about doing something similar.

What should you be doing?
In short, think long.



Long doesn’t mean slow.

The big Euro cross racers were out in Mallorca last week, riding in groups, and riding hard. Have you ever wondered why all the major Cross teams seem to have a couple of riders on them that just keep hanging around year after year, always on a roster with a contract despite not having much in the way of results? Well, this past week was likely where some of them earned their keep. At least a couple of them were out there burning their legs to cinders to help push their team leaders to greater levels of fitness, stringing long days of hard effort together, in a way that’s always been tough to do riding just by yourself.

They do this yeoman’s work in the pre-season to.

Remember that next year, eh?

So, anyways… looking to do well at Nationals?

Get out there and get some tough damn miles in this weekend or next, maybe even the one following.

“Tough” doesn’t mean impossible.

I mean,  sure…  you aren’t going to go out and get a 10 day training camp’s workload out of a weekend of riding,  but if you follow the principles that underlie these week(+!) training camps, you can set yourself up for success in January.

So, what is that intent?

Let’s start with this; It’s  incredibly difficult to make profound physiological improvements in your underlying, base-level fitness during cross season without putting in work like we’re talking about here, and maybe even then.


You race hard every weekend. If you’re doing it right, you’re spending most of the following week recovering from the weekend past & getting opened up for the weekend next.

You can do some small work mid-week to improve deficiencies or hone strengths, but you really can’t do the kind of work that it takes to  bump your FTP  enough to get to the front of the group you’ve been tail gunning all season, to be competitive at the next category level , or to win one of those races you’ve been sooo close in for sooo long.

The kind of work we’re talking about is the sort that if you did it on a Wednesday, you’d be way off the back come the weekend, and that’s assuming you could take a day off to do it mid-week and still be free to race on the weekend.

So you need to be willing to sacrifice at least a weekend to do this.

Just like the Euros.

This isn’t long, slow distance eating we’re talking about, this is “Oh crap, how the hell am I going to finish this ride” kinda stuff. These are the rides where you barely manage to drag your ass in the door of your house when you get home. The rides where, when you get home you need to drink a coke to summon the energy needed to order takeout.
4, 5, 6 hours of glorious suffering. That’s what we’re talking about.

Try one today, then wake up Sunday, do it again.

Or go race States tomorrow.




(Different stuff tomorrow, I promise!)



Thanks for following along.

As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been a “begging for money” bit attached to the beginning of this page for a couple/few weeks now.

I’d like to thank everyone who has chipped in this season – and the past couple of seasons – when I’ve asked you to. It’s made a difference.

How much of a difference?

Well, let’s put it this way; the small donations from you folks have kept the lights on on this page.

There’s a certain (small) amount of money that has to come out of my pocket to pay for this page, and there’s a certain (larger) amount of money that, as a largely self-employed person, I need to write off based on the time spent on writing, posting, and – yes – giving training advice away that other people charge for.

This all adds up, and if the numbers don’t make sense, the edifice collapses.

So, once again, thanks to those who have contributed.

It is deeply appreciated.

Want to get yourself a dose of that appreciation?

Simply click on the graphic below, and PayPal will be glad to make it happen.


Thanks for the consideration!

~ by crosssports on December 16, 2017.

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