The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 12.22.16. “Beep-Beep”

•December 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.

We’re continuing a theme today. As we roll into Nationals, we’re thinking about speed.

Get your legs moving fast today with some…

Spin Ups –

– Get on your bike and warm up with a leisurely spin, 10-20 minutes minimum.

– After you’re warm, find a nice, long, flat or slightly downhill section of road with little to no traffic.

– Begin interval by rolling into it at a moderate speed, in a gear that’s smaller than you would typically use to sprint.

– Get out of the saddle and sprint.

– Spin the gear up out of the saddle. When your leg speed gets to the point where it’s hard to maintain, sit down and keep going until you are totally spun-out. We’re talking  fast, can’t turn ‘em over any faster…

Think Road-Runner fast…

The goal here isn’t to make the bike go fast, it’s to make your legs go fast.

There’s a difference, eh?

You should do these in a small enough gear that you want to shift up.


– Repeat 3-5 times, a minute or so recovery between reps.

That’s a set.

Recover for 5 minutes, rolling around at a leisurely pace between sets.

– Go again, same thing.

Recover, then repeat as time and fitness allow.

Shoot for 3-5 sets of  3-5, or keep going until your leg speed drops off.

When you’ve completed all your reps, roll on home at a leisurely, relaxed pace. Ideally, take 1/2 hour or so to do this.




The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 12.21.16. “Bam!”

•December 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.


Workout today?




Five-By-One – 

warm up well, then…

You’re going to do 3-5 sets of 1 minute efforts.

Hard efforts.

How hard? Hard enough that you can barely make it through the last effort of the set. The percentage of your one minute max that you can do will vary pretty tremendously from athlete to athlete, so it’s hard to give you a set number. Suffice to say that you’re trying to get as close to that max number as you can.

I told you we’d probably see these again this week, so here you go, a second (third?) shot at em.

If you haven’t done these before?

Be conservative, at least the first set. You’re likely going to get at least one more shot at this.

2 minutes recovery between efforts, 5 -10 minutes between sets.

Go until you can’t hold the power level of the first set anymore, or until you’ve done (minimum) 3 sets.



The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 12.20.16. “Last 20”

•December 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.

It’s Tuesday, and people who follow along here know what that means, as often as not.

This is going to be the very last one of these for 2016, so enjoy the…

2×20 With a Happy Ending



– Warm up.

– Go as hard as you can for 20 minutes.

– Recover for 2 minutes.

– Go again for another 20 minutes.

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

The idea here is to go as hard as you can for the duration of both intervals without being forced to go easier at the end of the second interval. If you run out of gas before you finish the second interval, you went to hard. If your vision isn’t blurry at the end of the second 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 another workout that works great on the trainer, and that’s how I do ‘em, which is a good thing… because I always wind up flat on my back on the floor trying not to puke after the 2nd interval.

I’m really not kidding about the seeing spots thing.

But hey… that’s not all.

This is the Happy Ending version.


What does that mean?

Immediately after your 2nd twenty minute interval, you’re going to begin a series of five – ten, ten-second “sprint” efforts, with 50 seconds of recovery between them.

It looks like this…

After 2nd 20 minute 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 (or ten…)  minute mark, and give the last little bit of your energy in one final all-out 10 second sprint.

You’re done.


Have fun,



The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 12.19.16. “Bonkers!”

•December 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.

Well, it’s Monday. I’m guessing you know what’s on tap for today.

Yup. We’re going for a…


Recovery Spin – 


– Get on your bike. Roll out into the street – or into your living room if you’re on the turbo watching the vid – and just spin around for an hour. Or more. Or less. Whatever it takes.

– Really small gear, no hard efforts – heck, no medium effort.

– Spin. You’re looking to move your legs around in circles, almost like there is no chain on the bike.

– The idea is to get your body moving, flush the systems out, and speed your recovery.

– Just get out on the road and spin easily and aimlessly. At a certain point, your legs will start to loosen up.

– When that happens, turn around and go home.

–  If you’re doing these on the trainer, same deal. Just spin. No hard efforts, just make the legs go around in circles in a small gear.

– Follow up with as much relaxation as you can. Eat, stretch, and put your legs up. Get a massage if possible.


Monday videos!

We’ve got some good ones today!

Sunday’s race at the Citadel of Namur was a doozy. Wout makes enough bad mistakes to submarine anyone’s chances at winning, but puts in a Terminator-like performance to crawl out of the furnace and make it a race.


Meeusen bike-handles his way back on to the stronger guys over and over again.


Pauwels keeps plugging away, quietly getting closer and closer to that big win.

Well, ok. That’s not bonkers.

Still, this race is bonkers.






Speaking of great racing, the Women’s contest was no less fantastic.

Go Katka!






The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 12.18.16. “Speedy, Skillfull, Sunday.”

•December 18, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.


So, Sunday…



If you’re reading this, you’re probably not racing today.

Frankly, there isn’t a lot of racing going on in the US right now… which can be a bit of a problem.

It’s an old, tired conversation, but every year we hit this point in the season where the absurdity of having age-group Nationals a month after the vast majority of people in the country stop racing becomes apparent.

How the hell do you keep yourself in race form if there isn’t any racing?

Well, it ain’t easy.

You’ve got to force yourself to get in the intensity and fast riding over challenging terrain that you see in the races if you don’t want to lose your edge.

Yesterday we worked a bit on the intensity – and a wee bit on the skills – today we’re focusing on the skills.

As we talked about earlier in the week, with the short days this time of year, cramming a skills session in on Wednesday afternoon becomes increasingly difficult, sometimes impossible.

So we’re switching it around.

Intensity on Wednesday, skills on Sunday.

Skills like…

Speed – 


Go fast today.

Explode out of corners, accelerate up climbs, get out of the saddle and punch it every time you remount your bike after an obstacle.

Leg speed should be high tonight. No slogging a big gear, get the pedals turning over and get up to speed as quickly and emphatically as you can.

Think quick, snappy, dancing on the pedals type behavior. Today do everything one gear smaller than you ordinarily would, just to reinforce the idea.

On with the workout!

 – warm up on bike, 10-15 minutes.

– Brief run. 5 minutes, focused on short, quick steps.

– Active stretching, as discussed in previous posts.

– Barrier skills, 10 minutes.

Every time you remount your bike, immediately get out of the saddle and sprint up to speed.

You are remounting with your hands on your hoods, right? If not, you should be. Every time you get back on the bike, butt comes off saddle, and you give ‘er gas. Hard to do this when you’re planted on the tops…

Begin slowly, and gradually up the tempo until you’re going too darn fast, then take it down a notch.

This is your race speed. Just one notch below your absolute max.

You should always be able to do things one notch faster in practice then you ever have to do them in a race.

When you try to get that extra tiny little bit of speed out of the technical sections in a race, you tend to wind up flat on your face.

Falling is always slow.

Get things perfect at race speed, and then move on to…

– Technical skills, 15-20 minutes.

Off cambers, tight turns, wide/fast turns, mud, sand…  whatever you’ve got to work with on your training circuit, have at it.

Remember, speed is everything tonight.

Come out of corners faster than you went into them.

Sprint through the sand & the mud.

Go fast.

– Starts

Full-gas starts from standing, foot on the ground. Just like the beginning of a race.

Each start effort should include a second effort: after you’ve gotten up to speed and settled into the saddle, get your ass back up off of it and hit the gas again. Second effort is the focus!

Go until you get 5 perfect starts in a row.

– Race simulation. 3 x 10 minutes, 2 minute rest between efforts.

Explode out of the corners.

Attack up the climbs.

Go fast.

Got it?

– Warm down.

Go Home. Eat. Recover.

Have fun!


The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Saturday, 12.17.16. “How do I phrase this…”

•December 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.


Here’s the plan for today:

Do something race-like.



Kind of.

Short, but race like.

If your race day at Nationals is 60 minutes, today you should endeavor to do a race-like effort (on the cross bike, on cross-race like terrain… you know, race-like) of approximately half that duration, at equal to or greater output.

Honestly? The hell with “equal to race pace.”

Harder than race pace.

Half as long as a race, but as hard or harder than what you would do in an actual race.

Try for harder than a race.

Hmmm… how can I phrase this simply?

Go really damn hard for half as long as you typically race.

Pretty simple, eh?

Go to it.


(of course, if you’ve actually got racing in your area – like you live in Texas – go do that.)


Have fun!


The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 12.16.16. “Today we ride”

•December 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

There’s a ton of new stuff up on the for sale page, including a garage’s worth from ZMD. Check it out.


Well, it’s Friday.

Some of you are going to be racing this weekend, but most of you probably aren’t.

In a nice change of pace, though, it doesn’t matter which is which.

Everybody get the same workout today, yay!

“Why? How?” you ask?

Well, whether you’re racing or not, this weekend I’m going to have you do workouts that simulate racing.

More on that tomorrow, so be sure to tune in.

Today, though?

Today we ride…



…as if we are racing tomorrow, and get some openers in.

Openers in, as in…


Ignition! –


You’re going to do a series of short, hard sprints midway through a 1 – 1 1/2 hour ride. Before you head out the door, give some thought to where you can do that effectively.

A flat, straight, low-traffic section of road is what you’re looking for.

It would be great if it’s about a :45 minute ride away; that would make things nice and simple.

Hop on your bike and roll out the door.

Ride steady, at a moderate pace for 1/2 hour – 45 minutes, eventually winding up at the aforementioned stretch of road.

You’re now going to do a series of Hard out of the saddle sprints.

How hard?

Well, hard to say. You’ll start to get the hang of it pretty quickly, but figure that you’re shooting for an output level that will allow you to crank out all the sprints in the set at about the same level, but not easily.

You aren’t sprinting to failure here, and you aren’t doing a max power test.

Don’t overdo it, you’re trying to open your legs, not destroy them.

Make sense?

10 sprints, 10 seconds each.

1 minute between each sprint.

After the last sprint, roll back home spinning easily to recover.

Budget at least 15 – 20 minutes for the spin/ride back home.

when you get home, put your feet up and relax.

For some folks, this isn’t quite enough to get their legs open and ready the day before the race – or at least it doesn’t feel like it’s enough – and the importance of “feeling” ready can’t really be overestimated.

If you’re part of this club (I am) add a 10-minute effort at right about your 2×20 output level before you start the sprint sets.

Warm up, 10 minute effort, 5 minutes spinning, sprint efforts, spin down, go home

Really feeling risk averse? Maybe do these inside on the trainer today.

Nothing like sliding out on a patch of ice doing an opener sprint to put a crimp in your weekend race plans, eh?

Be smart.