The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Thursday, 11.29.18. “Restful”

•November 29, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Lots of racing this weekend!

Operating under the assumption that you’re going to be going full gas both Saturday and Sunday, today you’re taking a day off.

Race on Saturday…

Rest day today.



The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.28.18 “Nameless wotd”

•November 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

It’s Wednesday, so you should be doing something at least a wee bit skills-involved today.

If you have a local CX workout – like Wednesday Night Worlds out at the Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome (this is our last night of the season, c’mon out!) you should head on out and do some riding there.

Just remember to keep it pretty darn fast. We’re really close to the end of the season, and pretty much everything should be on the short and fast end of the spectrum at this point.

No local workout?

No sweat.

Today we’re doing the… well, crap. I don’t have a great name for these…

The some kind of start, sprint, run, start, sprint interval-type thing – 


Start with, well… a start. Just like a race.

Get up to speed, then sit down, pedal easy for 1-2 pedal strokes, then out of the saddle, go again.

Up to speed, then hit the brakes.

Dismount, turn around.

Run up to speed, mount bike, clip in, then immediately out of the saddle.

Full-gas sprint for ten seconds.

Recover riding easy for one minute, then…


6 reps per set, 2-5 minutes between sets.

5 sets.




The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 11.27.18 “Once more, with gusto…”

•November 27, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

One more time, with gusto… if you ain’t fully recovered from the weekend, take a day off today, ok?

If you are, today you’re doing…


Sventervals – 


Sometimes a picture (or a video) is worth a thousand words.

Just like in the video.

Really darn short – 10 seconds max – full gas hill sprints, ideally on pretty technical terrain.

5 reps per set, and notice how hard Sven is breathing after these?

That’s the idea.

Hit it hard. Really hard. These are super short, and super intense.

Ideally, you’re doing these on a short climb that you can barely get up, one that is at the bleeding edge of your technical ability and strength.

You can surmount the obstacle, but it forces you to give it everything you’ve got to make it happen.

But you can make it happen, despite the pain. For a couple of reps, at least.

Can’t get up the hill anymore?

Take a short rest, go again.

When you can’t get up the hill at all even when you take a short break to recover?

You’re done.


The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Monday, 11.26.18. “You probably saw this coming…”

•November 26, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Yup. Monday means…

Recovery Spin…

Just like it sounds…

– Get on your bike. Roll out into the street – or into your living room if you’re going to do this on the turbo – 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.

–  You really should feel it when this happens. Your legs should just sorta start to loosen up a bit. It’s subtle, but it’s there. If that doesn’t happen, you might need to roll a bit longer, or you might just be really damn tired. Not being able to loosen up on the recovery spin might be a sign that you need a full day off tomorrow…

–  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 video…

Pretty hard to find yesterday’s race on Youtube, but how about the BK from last season on the same course?




The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Sunday, 11.25.18. “Go forth and race”

•November 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Sunday is race day, so check out last week’s post about race-day warmups.

Then… go race.

Have fun,



The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Satuday, 11.24.18. “Openings”

•November 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Well, it’s Saturday. Operating under the assumption that you’re racing tomorrow, it should come as little surprise that today we’re doing…

Can Openers – 

Here’s the drill:

– Hop on your bike, and head out to some non-technical (but ideally not paved) terrain. It’s good to do this on dirt if you can, but you want to be able to focus on the efforts, not on the bike handling. Pavement is better than a course that presents bike handling challenges.

– 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.



The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Friday, 11.23.18. “Turkey Blockade”

•November 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Ugh, sorry this is going up so late! Holiday time, amirite?

Anyways, it’s Friday. You’ve probably read my sermon on Fridays before, but as a brief refresher, if you’re racing on Sunday try to avoid the temptation to ride too hard today. You need to have legs for the race in two days, and if you go hard today… you won’t have em.

This can be super hard to keep in check when you’ve got the day off (believe me, I know…) but… well… try.

If ya aren’t racing tomorrow, but you are racing on Sunday do just the bare minimum today, or take the day off. “Bare minimum” means just enough to force the turkey blockade through the system, not 3-4 hours on the bike, ok?

Racing tomorrow? Today you’re doing…


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.






Happy Thanksgiving!

•November 22, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Enjoy the holiday! Ride if that sounds like fun.

Back tomorrow…

The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Wednesday, 11.21.18 “Over/under on actually riding today?”

•November 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

It’s Wednesday, and as you have probably figured out by now, Wednesday is the day I post up skills workouts.

Not this week, though. Due to the holiday tomorrow, I’m pretty sure that most people won’t actually be able to get their asses outside and on a trail/field to do any kind of a skill workout.

So instead, today we’re doing a trainer-friendly (hah!) interval workout.

We’re doing…


Over/Under Intervals! 



What the heck is an over/under interval?

– “Over-under” means that you are going to be working right around the level of your threshold, both above and below.

– What is your threshold? Well, for our purposes, we are going to reference the Classic 2×20 workout. Whatever wattage, heart rate, or gear ratio you use for that interval will serve as your threshold baseline.

Get a solid idea of the wattage, heart rate, or tempo you ride your 20 minute intervals in, and keep it firmly stuck in your mind. This is important; you are going to bounce above and below this level for the rest of the workout.

Get a stopwatch. Put it on your bars.

Start the stopwatch.

Begin today’s workout by doing a 5 minute effort at your 2×20 level.

After the 20 minute-style baseline effort, spin easy for 2 -5 minutes.

When you are ready, begin the 10 minute Over/under thusly:

– Ride for one minute at your baseline/20 minute intensity level.

– At the end of that minute, ride 10 seconds at 25 watts, 10 beats, or 1 gear higher than the baseline level.

– After the 10 seconds, ride 20 seconds at 25 watts, 10 beats, or 1 gear lower than the baseline.

– After the 20 seconds, you go back to the ten (over,) followed again by the 20 (under,) etc., etc.

Got it? 1 minute baseline, 10 up, 20 down, 10 up, 20 down. Repeat the up/down efforts to the end of the interval.

– Rest 2-5 minutes.

– Do it again for 10 minutes.

– Rest again for 2 minutes.

– Pile sets on until you’re starting to see a precipitous drop in your output level. You’ll know when that happens, even if you aren’t using a power meter. If you’re really a baller, keep rolling sets until you’ve completed enough to be the equivalent of your typical race duration, IE: 60 minutes worth of active, “on” phase if you typically race for 60 minutes.

Yeah. Ouch.

Have fun!



The #Cyclocross Workout Of The Day for Tuesday, 11.20.18. “Absolutely free”

•November 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Howdy folks,

Hey, have I mentioned before that most people probably need two days of recovery after a cross race? That almost everybody does if they race both Saturday and Sunday?

I’m pretty sure I have.

Of course, I always say that and then post up some hard-ass workout guaranteed to burn people to a crisp. 🙂

Today, no ambiguity whatsoever.

Workout of the day?

Absolutely nothing.

Day off.