• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Training for Cyclo-cross

A

Anonymous

Guest
Having bought the Kona this spring, have decided to do a bit of cross racing this winter, probably about 3 or 4 races depending on when the in laws can drive us.

The question is what sort of level of training do I need to be doing. Having done ****** all riding over the summer (holidays, moving house etc) im a bit off my usual fitness so for the last 3 weeks ive been out about 5 days a week, but rather than going for distance ive just been doing 1hr solid rides where i put in a fairly max effort, hr usually averaging about 150bmp peaking at about 170.

Ive worked out several courses around here that combine shale paths, with gravel, mud and a bit of road so ive got several circuits i can do to keep it intersting, half are predominantly downhill for the first 25 minute and then a 35 minute net climb on the return, others the other way round.

IS training for a hard 1 hr most days sufficient (based on races being around 1hr) or should i be doing longer so that on race days ive got a bit in reserve to push harder.

What else should i be doing, i will spend a week before the first race bringing dismounting and running with the bike into the rides (but for now im trying to get the fitness up)..

intervals any help, and if so, on road or off road?
 
Free Advice

IMHO, your training course and your intensity phase in that course are probably too long.

My general suggestion is to cut the loop time down to about 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes, get lots of cornering practice going downhill and max effort on the uphill. Take a rest break between 15 minute laps. Be mindful of practicing really fast standing starts at the beginning of your 15 minute session. Do 3 or 4 sessions per workout.

You are running with the bike, that's good.

Train for your race time/length. If your race time is 40 minutes, then 45 minutes is enough.

I develop more watts weight training than doing intervals. I'm probably in the minority. IMHO, trying to do intervals on a technical path/road doesn't maximize the intent of the intervals. It's more of a distraction from the effort.

I do two 1 hour workouts a day when possible. I get better results this way. My experiences tend to run counter to common wisdom, but are empirically successful in reaching my goals of Watts generation.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
cheers, ive just managed to work out a route on gpskies that is about 6k and takes in a few lumps and bumps. Will give that a run out next week

Found as well the league up here puts all their races on youtube so gives me a chance to look at the type of terrain they are riding on, pretty standard tight mainly grass courses. I need to find some grass around here and get some riding time in on grass me thinks.
 
Mar 10, 2009
1,384
0
0
Visit site
Dim, 'cross is all out red zone effort for up to an hour dependent on your age group. Seem to recall you're still a few years off vets so looks like you're in for an hour plus one lap. Unlucky (or lucky depending on whether you're a glass half full kind of guy) :D
Having just said that it's banzai for an hour, the reality of a cross race is that most courses are 6-7 minute laps consisting of semi-long, non technical straights, a couple of short sharp incline/declines and some technical obstacles/terrain to maneuver. Obviously, this is very different to your average road type parcours so don't expect the latest 'Cyclist training bible' to deliver you results straight out of the box.
I'd agree with much of what DW said, even the weights since you're working in a high resistance environment on a 'cross course. I go even shorter intervals, probably 8 x 3-4 minutes at 90-95% MHR with one minute recovery, 3/4 times per week. You will find that you lose most of your time vs more experienced racers over the technical obstacles with running dismounts/mounts and shouldered-bike climbs. I try to fit a couple of technical session in of about half an hour each and with practice you should find that you start to limit your losses.
An indoor trainer is a god-send for 'cross training especially once the weather and evenings start drawing in. I'm doing 6 sessions a week for cross and 4 of those are indoors on my trainer.
Best of luck - I seem to remember that you swore that you weren't going to start racing back at the start of the year when you bought your bike. You're in a heap of trouble now!!!! :D
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Ah see, this is why we didnt buy me a road bike, in case i started to want to race again. Cross racing is ok, as its only a few hours on a sunday afternoon, and will only be about 3-4 races as we are dependant on the in laws driving services.

Race times are weird here, I actually am classed as vet cos im 40 2 days before the end of the year, but the round one race was 52 minutes in all. (which i didnt go to but have seen the results). (found round 1 on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMyq5tm0wf8 ) which is actually useful for looking at technique

for this week im going to carry on just doing solid hard hour rides to get the fitness back, im slowly getting there and hr etc is balancing out as each week goes on, and then next week will take on the advice for the three-four weeks before racing.

edit: all the riding ive been doing for the last month or so has been off road, gravel, shale, mud etc and some nasty little climbs, but not the short sharp climbs and twists that i will get on cross circuits. Not ridden any mileage at all on the road really. maybe about 40k total.
 
Jul 27, 2010
260
0
0
Visit site
I'm going to do cross for the first time this winter and I was wondering where you go to train for cyclocross. Should I try to find like dirt roads or something?
 
Mar 10, 2009
1,384
0
0
Visit site
most cross races take place at local/country parks or school playing fields. we have a lap in a local park which includes grass sections, some single track, a short set of steps and some short steep hills for power climbs/bike lifts. if you can find a local park that ticks the above boxes, then you've got a great training ground. good luck and you won't regret deciding to try cross. :D
 
Fowsto Cope-E said:
I'm going to do cross for the first time this winter and I was wondering where you go to train for cyclocross. Should I try to find like dirt roads or something?

Take the following features and try to make a variety of loops out of them... You might find this kind of terrain in a park. Yield to the other park users in case things are crowded...

A good hill.
A good hill to climb is long enough so you can't sprint your way over, short enough it's not a death march. Maximum effort on the hill, maybe even run it.
A good descent is steady, not steep. Try to make tight corners. I use a wide slope with trees and twist/turn my way down.

Run with your bike through a nice long sand pit. About 1 minute of running.

Run your bike on grass. About 1 minute of running.

Ride your bike on dirt/grass.

Get some barriers in the mix. UCI regulation height recommended. Logs will do just fine.

Your longest session can be about 15 minutes and a loop about 5 minutes long. Keep your efforts short and intense and really focus on the technique.

Have fun!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
DirtyWorks said:
Take the following features and try to make a variety of loops out of them... You might find this kind of terrain in a park. Yield to the other park users in case things are crowded...

A good hill.
A good hill to climb is long enough so you can't sprint your way over, short enough it's not a death march. Maximum effort on the hill, maybe even run it.
A good descent is steady, not steep. Try to make tight corners. I use a wide slope with trees and twist/turn my way down.

Run with your bike through a nice long sand pit. About 1 minute of running.

Run your bike on grass. About 1 minute of running.

Ride your bike on dirt/grass.

Get some barriers in the mix. UCI regulation height recommended. Logs will do just fine.

Your longest session can be about 15 minutes and a loop about 5 minutes long. Keep your efforts short and intense and really focus on the technique.

Have fun!

Do you realise just how much of a plank i am going to look running around the local park with my bike on my back (bearing in mind the village we live in is full of chavs riding bmx's)
 
Jul 17, 2009
4,316
2
0
Visit site
great post and great replies.

Great advice above that I will use for fitness. especially if you want to get out front and stay there to avoid all the technical issues that seem to haunt me.

Because I am a Tard, (and I don't assume you are) I had to re-think my shifting. Because max effort puts my mind in that place I dont want to go sometimes at race intensity, I tend to forget to shift timely to maintain momentum on the big transitions, re-mounts etc. every now and again depending on the course and fatigue near the end I will would get caught out cross chained etc.

A rider better than me, (and there are many) once told me to plan well in advance both pre race and on the course and when in doubt go one gear lower to keep the legs and wheels moving

for what that is worth



pin it otherwise
 

TRENDING THREADS