Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
SF
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey everyone,

assuming cx is the focus of my racing season, what type of training regimen should i be doing this time of year? and what should the general progression be thru august? most of the training programs i have seen are geared towards racing in the summer, but i dont want to burn myself out too early for cx (even though i will race mtb for most of the summer).

should i still be racking up the miles doing lsd? or should i be moving on to more intense workouts? and what about strength training? is it too late, too early, or right on schedule?

sorry if this is a naive line of questioning...any input / advice / recommendations would be appreciated. thanks...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,227 Posts
I'd think that if you really wanted to focus on cross, this time of year would be going into a cycle of maybe 5 weeks of longer AT type workouts and some on the bike strength building type work, followed by a similar length cycle with some blocks of 5-10 minutes with a brief recovery, plus some endurance riding through both cycles. that would put you into the early summer with a solid level of fitness but not much anaerobic stuff, so you could manage your program from there by applying the short hard stuff and cross skills work when it is time to be ready for cross.

I'd be so freaking sick of training for cross if that's all I did. I know people who train all year for XC ski racing for 3 mos, I need to race more than that.
 

·
SF
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
some questions...

jroden said:
I'd think that if you really wanted to focus on cross, this time of year would be going into a cycle of maybe 5 weeks of longer AT type workouts and some on the bike strength building type work, followed by a similar length cycle with some blocks of 5-10 minutes with a brief recovery, plus some endurance riding through both cycles. that would put you into the early summer with a solid level of fitness but not much anaerobic stuff, so you could manage your program from there by applying the short hard stuff and cross skills work when it is time to be ready for cross.

I'd be so freaking sick of training for cross if that's all I did. I know people who train all year for XC ski racing for 3 mos, I need to race more than that.
AT type workouts = Aerobic Threshold?
On the bike strength building = hills?
blocks of 5-10 minutes with a brief recovery = 5-10 min blocks of anaerobic work?

cross is my focus but i also race mtb. i just take cross more seriously and care more about my performance / results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,227 Posts
correct AT is at a level where you are not accumulating more lactate than you can metabolise, but are riding a pretty challenging pace, so maybe you ride for 20-80 minutes at this pace, the strength is generally low rpm's, maybe 50 up an easy hill overgeared or into the wind, sets of maybe 10 minutes, the 10 mins blocks are just a little over your AT, do 4 with 5 minutes recovery between each.

None of this is anerobic, but it will make your legs sore. You will not get burned out on this type of work, maybe sick of it, but physically you are building a base. If you have the time, do a 4 hour ride on a weekend day and get a couple hours in on one of the weekdays between your quality work. Everything needs to get more harder, less recovery or both so there is a progression, then you take an easy week at the end of each cycle, many people do a test at the end of the easy week to see how their body has adapted. You can still do your core strength work this time of year and doing some easy running on trails a couple days a week will keep of tendons strong enough for when you start hitting the running harder in july and august w/ base running and some sprinting type work in Sept coupled with bike skills.

I do have to say, what was striking for me was how weak my legs were by the end of cross season after nationals. I had managed to lose nearly all my power, so maybe doing it like you are doing is the best way to have a good season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
I train only for CX, and this time of year I'm doing a mix of base rides (longer LSD) and some longer intensity (like 4 x 10min) at or just above AT. Intensity gets shorter and harder in the summer, along with some time in the gym starting in July. There are also some build cycles and rest weeks in there too.

There's a lot to consider. Is this your first year of riding a structured program? How fit are you presently. All that changes things. It's complicated and if you have the option I highly recommend working with a coach. It makes a BIG difference in what you can get out of your training time.
 

·
SF
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
pretty fit

the seamus said:
I train only for CX, and this time of year I'm doing a mix of base rides (longer LSD) and some longer intensity (like 4 x 10min) at or just above AT. Intensity gets shorter and harder in the summer, along with some time in the gym starting in July. There are also some build cycles and rest weeks in there too.

There's a lot to consider. Is this your first year of riding a structured program? How fit are you presently. All that changes things. It's complicated and if you have the option I highly recommend working with a coach. It makes a BIG difference in what you can get out of your training time.
I have been racing mtb (sport / expert) for 4 years and cx (C's / B's) for 2 (1st year ss, last year geared), so I have maintained a decent level of fitness. I have trained according to a structured program before, but never under the direction of a coach. Unfortunately funds dont allow a coach right now, but I'd love to have one at some point. Now that I am more into cx, I'd like to train more effectively for it.

My current regimen is something like this...

12-15 hrs per week (6 days on + 1 day rest)
i usually do 2 hr rides during the week, and 3-4 hr rides on the weekend, hovering somewhere between HR levels 2 and 3. At times i will push it harder on the hills, but i try not to make it too intense until later in the summer.

I'll start mtb races regularly in the next month or so, and race for most of june and july, then probably spend most of august on shorter, more intense cx-specific training.

I have a question...

How do you calculate your AT? I know what my LT is -- can i calculate it based on that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
xccx said:
How do you calculate your AT? I know what my LT is -- can i calculate it based on that?
Your training sounds pretty good to me...you've got the biggest component, lots of time on the bike!

Regarding AT, one of the better ways I've seen it calculated is to find a 20min time trial course, preferably uphill and as consistent a grade as possible. Your average sustained HR and wattage for that 20min efffort is a good estimate of your AT. Lots of coaches use that method instead of lab tests, which are expensive and tend to produce innacurate results in athletes like us who aren't used to being in labs hooked up to machines.

LT vs AT? I think they're closely correlated and similar but not the same thing. I focus on my AT but never bother with LT.
 

·
tdiclub Member
Joined
·
394 Posts
keep it fun

...is my opinion. Also if you own a road bike or can toss 52-39 or even 50-39 rings on your rig and sneak into some local cat 4/5 road races. I have not done so yet, although I am training with thi in mind.

Honestly 6 days on and only one recovery day is pretty hardcore. I am keeping short-ish rides, 15min warm up, 1 hour ride and 15 min cool down. Durring that core training hour I have a few options depending on my legs, mood and schedule. Any form of serious hard working interval will provide strength, power and endurance crucial to cross. Try 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 min intervals. This is my attempted wednesday interval day.
For Tuesday (today) and/or Thursday, light recovery or mid to stretch out, focus on spinning and/or form. 30min- 1h 30m

As for most of us the weekends are for racing or group/ team/ club rides. Do what you can, show off, ride the back, break from the pack, or go home early. If you race a crit or other 30-45min race, do yourself a favor and get on your trainer spin it off and watch the other races. 1- 3h

If I feel great monday or friday I'll spin light a bit and/or practice barriers, dis and re-mounts and/or carrying. In a yard or park. I also try to get a handfull short light runs in a month, purely for X training (using different muscles), clearing my mind, fun with my dogs. No more than 2-3 miles, 15-20 min? Its fun for me to stop riding when I'm feeling good, head home and toss on my running kicks, leash a dog and run for a bit.

From my coach and some friendly A riders that did well this season, intervals are crucial. The ability to max out, recover and max out on a continual basis is the core to cyclocross as I see it. Did'nt Nys make a statement to that nature? He trains alot but knows and utilizes recovery in his training process.
 

·
SF
Joined
·
257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
too early for intervals?

kannas said:
...is my opinion. Also if you own a road bike or can toss 52-39 or even 50-39 rings on your rig and sneak into some local cat 4/5 road races. I have not done so yet, although I am training with thi in mind.

Honestly 6 days on and only one recovery day is pretty hardcore. I am keeping short-ish rides, 15min warm up, 1 hour ride and 15 min cool down. Durring that core training hour I have a few options depending on my legs, mood and schedule. Any form of serious hard working interval will provide strength, power and endurance crucial to cross. Try 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 min intervals. This is my attempted wednesday interval day.
For Tuesday (today) and/or Thursday, light recovery or mid to stretch out, focus on spinning and/or form. 30min- 1h 30m

As for most of us the weekends are for racing or group/ team/ club rides. Do what you can, show off, ride the back, break from the pack, or go home early. If you race a crit or other 30-45min race, do yourself a favor and get on your trainer spin it off and watch the other races. 1- 3h

If I feel great monday or friday I'll spin light a bit and/or practice barriers, dis and re-mounts and/or carrying. In a yard or park. I also try to get a handfull short light runs in a month, purely for X training (using different muscles), clearing my mind, fun with my dogs. No more than 2-3 miles, 15-20 min? Its fun for me to stop riding when I'm feeling good, head home and toss on my running kicks, leash a dog and run for a bit.

From my coach and some friendly A riders that did well this season, intervals are crucial. The ability to max out, recover and max out on a continual basis is the core to cyclocross as I see it. Did'nt Nys make a statement to that nature? He trains alot but knows and utilizes recovery in his training process.
isn't it too early to be doing intervals? i wasn't planning on doing any until end of july-august (by intervals i mean 5 x 30 secs at maximal pulse).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
xccx said:
isn't it too early to be doing intervals? i wasn't planning on doing any until end of july-august (by intervals i mean 5 x 30 secs at maximal pulse).

I think it's normal to do some sort of intervals this time of year, or for that matter, almost all year around. It's not like the off-season for CX racers is 6 months long or anything :p
 

·
tdiclub Member
Joined
·
394 Posts
as mentioned above, everyone's different

If you're a cat 4/5 cyclocross or road and race b's, like myself. I think a 10% boost in 'fitness' will make you happy. What is 'fitness"? Power, stamina, thresh hold, cutting 4m 30sec off a 45min race? If I could drop 4m +/- I would be top ten and elated.

I say why wait for intervals and securing you goal fitness level. Get you body conditioned now and it will be easier to maintain durring the cross season.

I dont know about the rest of the forum, but I have a job, house and other responsabilities.
Cycling, I take serious. Yet my goal is not to be National Pro Champ. More like a local A podium. Or national B top ten.

What's everyones cycling goals?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,227 Posts
The whole point of training is to apply a stress on your body's systems, then to remove the stress so it grows back stronger, then to apply just a little more and so forth. The more you get into your anaerobic system, the higher the risk that you get sick or stale, so you need to plan when and how to apply that stress, not just toss it in anywhere.

From my observation, the real difference between good and very good cross racers is the former are more riding at a steady state, while the later are attacking type racers who have the anerobic base to go out hard and make a series of moves to break away from groups or drop others--that type of fitness happens through hard road racing or structured training, not just riding lots of volume.

For me this year, I will race a lot over the summer but will use my stationary trainer as a key part of my training, I was able to measure my wattage using the Tacx for the first time this winter and realized how weak I was after nationals--basically my training for cross made me worse from September to December, not better. This time around, I'm going to keep a closer eye on where the numbers are pointing and make adjustments to actually get some benefit out of my time on the bike, both inside and outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
xccx said:
hey everyone,

assuming cx is the focus of my racing season, what type of training regimen should i be doing this time of year? and what should the general progression be thru august? most of the training programs i have seen are geared towards racing in the summer, but i dont want to burn myself out too early for cx (even though i will race mtb for most of the summer).
I started riding and training exactly one year ago... I did the joe friel thing and peaked in late september. But I added a lot of intensity to the 'base' periods by racing a couple weekends a month and doing some tuesday night hammer fests. Started out with huge volume in the spring (lots of 18 hour weeks) and by september my volume was down around 10 hours per week while doing very high intensity intervals... This program worked very well for me.

Now I'm confused what to do this year... Trained hard all winter and did some races already... Now I'm taking a 2 week low key break while I decide how to proceed. Trying to train well so I can be competitive in the A's...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Once you get to the front of the B's or especially the A's, you're racing against a lot of riders who train seriously all year long, and a majority of them are also competitive road racers and MTB racers in the months prior to CX racing. As a cross specialist, I feel like I have to do a similar level of intensity throughout the year if I want to be competitive with these guys. That said, focusing on cross gives you the advantage to take bigger blocks of productive rest after building periods, so you won't enter the cross season already fried.

Like the above poster said, much of it depends on your goals, and where you currently are in terms of fitness. The thing about cross is you don't *have* to train all year to be a contender in the lower categories and have a lot of fun. I did that for several years. But if you want to be on the podium in a fast district, you have to know that the guys you're aiming to beat took a few weeks off after last season, and then started training for next season.

P.S. I have a wife and a job too, and balancing everything is definitely a big part of the challenge. There's always some 24year old unemployed guy who lives with his mom and has no girlfriend, he'll be faster than anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
the seamus said:
P.S. I have a wife and a job too, and balancing everything is definitely a big part of the challenge. There's always some 24year old unemployed guy who lives with his mom and has no girlfriend, he'll be faster than anyone.
That's exactly why I did well last year. No commitments. No job... Well, then what am I going to do??? I decided to ride my bike 18 hours per week.


I also focus on cyclocross. However, I plan on doing 6 XC races, a few roadraces, and a few hill climb TT's between now and september.

I'm no longer jobless, but since I work part time evenings I can still train a high volume. For this year I think I've decided on:

next 8 weeks - high volume base type riding of 18-24 hours per week.

Then 16 weeks of the hunter allen threshold program (about 15 hours per week).

Then CX race season where I race and do v02max and sprint intervals with very low volume (8-12 hours per week). My longest rides during CX season are about 2 hours.

Pretty similar to last year but this year I'm using a power meter. I trained pretty hard all winter at 10-15 hours per week. Lots of 4 and 5 hour rides. Lots of group rides and general hammer fests. I'm chillin during a 2 week break right now but I can't wait for Cross...

New to this year I'm actually going to run. Last year in the A's everyone outran me. But my only running training happened on race day so it shouldn't be hard to get ot the level I need to be this year if I run a couple times per week for 15-20 minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
mattv2099 said:
next 8 weeks - high volume base type riding of 18-24 hours per week.

Then 16 weeks of the hunter allen threshold program (about 15 hours per week).

Then CX race season where I race and do v02max and sprint intervals with very low volume (8-12 hours per week). My longest rides during CX season are about 2 hours.

Pretty similar to last year but this year I'm using a power meter. I trained pretty hard all winter at 10-15 hours per week. Lots of 4 and 5 hour rides. Lots of group rides and general hammer fests. I'm chillin during a 2 week break right now but I can't wait for Cross...
You have too much time to train and I hate you. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,499 Posts
Try a break @ the end of July. Rebuild again in August through Sept. Put some top end on in October and try to hold on until Dec. I find that with racing every weekend, maybe twice, it's hard to gain fitness over the cross season. Days are shorter, temps are colder, and you still need time for recovery with a cx practice and two race days.
At least that's my plan.
This year I'm doing more training and fewer early races. I'll race road and MTB in late April, May, June and early July. Some of this was forced on me by injury in December, but some of it has to do with the cx season going on well after my teamates had stopped racing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,227 Posts
In a cross race, the ability to recover very quickly after an attack and launch another off an incomplete recovery is what moves you up, along with your skills as a cross rider. I have noticed that sometimes people who do high volume are short in this area because they are always a little tired when they need to go hard enough to stress this system. When the time comes, you need to do just enough volume to get the job done on your hard days and recover on the other days, it might be just 6 hours a week, but who cares. I think the best way to get that speed up in the later part of the summer is get used to rides that are really short, like 45 minutes, and sometimes also really easy. If you are addicted to high volume training, it is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is required to reach your potential and avoid getting sick during the race season.

I'd die doing that much volume, I race OK at cat 2 distances for road off maybe 6-8 hours a week, less for cross.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
the seamus said:
You have too much time to train and I hate you. :D
I shouldn't rub it in but... Ouch, my legs are tired because I rode for 5 hours today after I slept in till 10:30am! HA HA!
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top