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· aka Zoo
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What do you guys do to get ready for the running during a cross race? I went running today (first time since last November) because of a series of thunderstorms rolling through and realized just how much my legs were hurting, especially on the hills. During most cross races I seem to be running fine for the first few laps and then the last few laps I'm getting passed because my running pace is more of a walking pace as I'm going over barriers and up the run-ups. What can I do to work on this area of needed improvement for this year's cx season? I did 3.4mi of running today, well more like jogging and walking, and my quads feel like they want to climb out and beat the crap outta me now.
 

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Don't run more than 30 min unless you need cardio work.

But, you'll need to get better at the particular situation where you have troubles. So, replicate that and practice it over and over. Ride till you're tired, jump off change your shoes and run hard 1-2min intervals. Or just make up a fake race with a pretend barrier or sand pit every 50 yards or so. Do this for hours on end day after day. :D
 

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A 30- 45 minute run will help, but you have to vary the intensity. As you run (after 10 minutes of warm up) find a target in the distance (telephone pole, road sign, etc.) and run at 85-90% of max to the goal. (85-90% =You should be able to jog for a minute to recover after you have reached the target.) Recover for 1-2 minutes and do it again. Repeat 10 times. Vary the terrain, so you are doing these up hill, down hill, on trails, and uphill on trails. Do this 1-2 a week during the pre season. Plyos (wall sits, box jumps, bounding) can also help if done once a week. Good Luck!
 

· eat live sleep cross
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pretender said:
Last season I did sets of stadium steps while carrying the bike.
i thought that was MY secret training program...

damn it...

if everyone learns the secrets ... there goes any advantage

:mad2:
 

· eat live sleep cross
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i feel only marginally better...

that said - a nice little 800-1600 running warm up on the track followed by repeats of the stadium stairs until failure (carrying bike on shoulder) seems to make a difference...

the bike on shoulder bit also i found helped, well, condition the shouldering area to not hurt... if that makes sense...
 

· Game on, b*tches!
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SRSLY. I did some running this winter to drop some lbs and didn't feel like riding. It was MAJOR suckage. I'll be doing some hill repeats tho in a short time. Aaaarrrrgggghhh.
 

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Unless you've been semi-active all summer doing stuff besides pedalling, you really should give yourself a gradual transition into running, over the course of 3-4 weeks. Like, starting w/ a hike here and there over a couple weeks, maybe some higher paced hiking w/ some steeper uphills, etc.

See how you respond to that before jumping into running. Make sure you do lots of warmup and stretching, lunges, range of motion stuff that gets your legs ready for a new activity. After you get through that phase, start thinking about introducing some runs, but start with about 10 minutes of light jogging while walking.

I used to do track and field in college, specializing in jumps. Now, I'm a 10 year elite level cxer. I have an extensive background in running, yet I must be really careful w/ the transition. It can easily put me out for a couple weeks if I don't, and put a real damper on my early season training.

I end up running about 3-4 times a week, for no more than 15-20 minutes a stint in the mornings in the pre-season. Once racing starts, i have to be careful. I might transition back to twice a week, eventually getting to where I'm doing fartlek runs of 20-25 minutes w/ all my intensity on uphill grades. I find that kind of running also helps me w/ raw pedalling power, the kind you need for mashing gears in mud.

Also, technique is important, but be honest with yourself about how much running is really done in a race. Not much. The main reason to be running such long amounts in the pre season is to get your legs adapted to the point where it's safe to introduce some higher intensity running, uphill intervals, sprints, etc. It is NOT wise to jump into that w/o adequate preparation and is a easy way to injure yourself. The groin area, calves, and peronial tendon area on lower sides of legs are particularly susceptible.

Don't underestimate the importance of range of motion stuff, side shuffling, karaoke (not the singing), high knee jogging, butt kicks, yoga ball work, torso strength, core stuff, pushups, dumb bells, etc. It will go a long ways in the preventative department. This sport is very abusive to your body, especially if you are doing fast dismounts, a common occurance in the beginning of the season due to dry weather. One of my favorite training tips is integrating off road sidehill running into my routes. This helps w/ ankles and stability.
 

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DRLski said:
What do you guys do to get ready for the running during a cross race? I went running today (first time since last November) because of a series of thunderstorms rolling through and realized just how much my legs were hurting, especially on the hills. During most cross races I seem to be running fine for the first few laps and then the last few laps I'm getting passed because my running pace is more of a walking pace as I'm going over barriers and up the run-ups. What can I do to work on this area of needed improvement for this year's cx season? I did 3.4mi of running today, well more like jogging and walking, and my quads feel like they want to climb out and beat the crap outta me now.
Sounds like you have more of a lack of basic cardio than a running issue. Running isn't your problem, I think your just too tired by the time you hit those last barriers.

Do some longer base rides and some short, hard intensity, interval rides as well. Then combo in some cross rides and you'll be fine.

Truth be told, I find I do better at cross when I don't go out for long runs. Running does NOT help your riding. It can help your overall fitness, but you won't be faster if you do a lot of running. Most people I know have the same findings. With the few short runs you do in a cross race, I find it best to get out the cross bike get some good barrier work and hill runs. More short sprint-type of work, as opposed to actual runs.

Work on your fitness and speed on the bike more than your running. That's my two cents.
 

· eat live sleep cross
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bottom line...

if you are a moderately fit cyclist with limited time to train...

running is the best GD way to elevate your HR (assuming you don't run regular like)...

here's what sort of seems to work for me:
1st time out:
1 minute walking 5 minutes running 2 minute walking 5 minutes running 3 minutes walking

2nd time out
7 minutes running 2 minutes walking 7 minutes running 3 minutes walking

3rd time out
15 minutes running 3 minutes walking or bike ride cool down

that is about ever other day or so, all done following your commute home on bike (so your system is warmed up and all that) or toss in 45 minutes to an hour on the bike prior to the running...

then work into 20 minutes with intensity built in...

i've yet to get much more than 20 minutes running in... but even just that it is nice to see after a while the HR drop from 185 in the 5 minute sections down to 155-160 over 20 minutes at the same pace/intensity...

running seems to be the best damn way to get the cardio that many cyclists don't get enough...

but i dunno what the hell i'm talking about...

i've got a plan to try something different this year, we'll see if it is any more effective than the above...

when it came to mid season i just managed a run once a week and my HR was pretty stable... juts have to stick with it long enough to drop that HR down and then keep going to keep it there...
 

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On my new training plan, my coach has me doing a walk with a few 30 sec. jogs thrown in today. I've done 3 or 4 1-1.5hr walks in the last couple weeks to get ready for this. By the time the season starts (3 weeks from now) I'll maybe be up to 20 minutes of jogging and a few 30 sec- 1 min "high knees" while standing in place. Racing will take care of the rest, I never jog for more than 30 minutes.

My legs are pretty bad at anything but pedaling right now, so I get sore from walking or lots of standing. This very gentle and minimal intro to jogging will help me avoid strains and soreness, I'll be doing a fair bit more road racing and crits before 'cross kicks in.

Once I've got a few cross races under my belt, I'm pretty decent on foot. It doesn't feel like a weak point for me. You really don't have to run much at all in training, just enough so you don't get too beat up by it when the races start.
 

· Game on, b*tches!
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Yup. Last yr I did just a few sessions while I did my cross skills training where I did some hill repeats and it helped enormously. I'll be doing a bit more structured running this season but will mostly involve hill repeats 2x a week for 3 weeks prior to the season. More than that is just crazy. And it s#cks.
 

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I second or fifth the taking it easy approach to running. Being in reasonably decent bike shape I recently did a four hour climb/hike and it completely throttled my legs for a few days. Of course the game of hockey after that didn't help matters. I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed but hopefully after this nice reminder I won't do that a fifth time. I see to forget about that whole moderation thing sometimes.
 

· Number 2 on the course.
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My approach this year was to buy my first pair of running shoes in 10 years and go whole-hog for 90 minutes on hilly, rocky singletrack. By the time I could walk again (a week later) "improving" my running was no longer a priority and I have been spending my time much more productively.

I dig the walking/short jog approach because I already walk to work and now I can pretend that leaving so late that I have to hustle across town is "training". Plus I am too cheap to buy lunch downtown and too dumb to bring it with me, so working another 40 minutes of double-timing into my lunch hour so I can eat at home is a win-win.
 
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