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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.
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.
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.
– Warm down.
Go Home. Eat. Recover.