Cyclocross Training and Smoke


Don’t panic. If you have been riding consistently most of the summer you probably can get ready for your A race in 4-6 weeks.

  1. Strength: I have a couple of workouts I recommend depending on what equipment you have available. I have both a quick TRX Suspension trainer and kettlebell workout you can do at home. For both options start with 1-2 sets of light weights or bodyweight the first week 10-20 reps, holding 1 min full plank and 30 sec side plank. You can increase the number of sets to 3-4.
    1. The TRX Workout includes Rows, Chest Press, Jackknife, Mountain Climbers, Squats, Hamstring Curls, Plank and Side Plank with or without twist.
    2. Kettlebell Workout includes Figure 8’s, Swings, Single arm bent over row, single leg deadlift, front goblet squats, plank and side plank with or without twist
  2. Skills: Spend at least 1-2 days doing skills (bumping drills with others, mounts/dismounts, lifting and carrying your bike- both shouldering and suitcase method, cornering, running and jumping over barriers, starts and sprints). At first practice skills at a very easy pace and once you master them increase the speed. I recommend every time you go for a ride spend 5-10 min mounting and dismounting your bike at slow speed gradually increasing your speed. This is also a great hip opener as it stretches out your hips/hamstrings. Ride dirt as much as possible on cross bike.
  3. Trainer Workouts: Trainer workouts are quick and effective to get you ready for cross racing with intervals. I love the 40/20 workout. Warm up for 15 min then do 5-10 min to get a sweat going.  Spin easy for 2-3 minutes then you are ready to go. Main set is 40 secs as hard as you can hold for 40 sec then 20 secs easy. You do this interval for a given length of time, from 5-12 min and then recover for at least half the amount of time of the interval. Repeat the interval 2-3 times.
  4. Recovery: Days off rest and recover, eat well, sleep well. Better to have quality workouts over quantity.

Here is a sample 4-6 week cyclocross plan. 5 days a week training one day completely off and one day active recovery or off depending on your level of racing/work/life stress.

Be sure to take at least one day of easier riding- endurance or skills between two strength days.

You can increase the intensity of your skills training after you decrease the strength training for cyclocross to 1 day a week (after week 3). Also, if there is a local race mid-week you can use that for your skills day.

Depending on how hard you go you can replace one of these interval days with a race on the weekend.

Be sure to place your hard intervals at least 3-4 days prior to your race.


Tempo  (effort 6-7/10) 15-30 min with 1/3 time recovery.

Threshold (effort 7-8) 4-6 min with ½ time recovery

40/20’s start with 1-2 sets the first week and 2-3 the second week.

Hope that helps ease your mind a bit if you are wondering how you can get into cross racing shape.

And remember please be sure to use proper technique in all your strength workouts. I have videos of the workouts you can find here: but if you have any questions consult a personal trainer or email me.

As always do not do any of these workouts unless you are cleared by a health professional to do strenuous exercise.

If you have any questions or are interested in coaching or training with me let me know. I would love to help you! Send me a note.