CYCLOCROSS TRAINING AND SMOKE: HOW TO GET BACK INTO TRAINING AFTER A SUMMER FILLED WITH SMOKE FILLED AIR IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST OR JUST A BUSY SUMMER.
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.
- 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.
- The TRX Workout includes Rows, Chest Press, Jackknife, Mountain Climbers, Squats, Hamstring Curls, Plank and Side Plank with or without twist.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: https://annelintoncoaching.mypthub.net/p/13361 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.