Train­ing Tips

While muddy races get your heart rate high, you still need to keep your base strong

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - by An­drew Randell and Steve Neal of The Cy­cling Gym

Main­tain your CX en­durance

When we think about cy­clocross rac­ing, we think speed, jam­ming cor­ners, fast races and run­ning up hills and over bar­ri­ers with burn­ing calves. The cy­clocross sea­son is get­ting longer and longer, with more races added to the sched­ule, of­ten with one on Satur­day and an­other on Sun­day. That makes for a tough go. How then do we go about main­tain­ing that in­ten­sity across a full cy­clocross sea­son?

What will get you through the sea­son is a solid amount of train­ing at en­durance and tempo. It may seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive: you typ­i­cally want to make your up­per-end abil­i­ties, your in­tense ef­forts, as strong as pos­si­ble, so that you can jam dur­ing the races. Re­search and ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, have shown that two, maybe three, days of in­ten­sity in a week is the most peo­ple can han­dle with­out crack­ing. Now, let’s look at your week dur­ing the cy­clocross sea­son. How much in­ten­sity are you do­ing? Is there a Tues­day-night train­ing race? A Thurs­day thresh­old work­out? Is there a race on the week­end? Maybe two? That’s four days of in­ten­sity in a week.

For the first few weeks of the sea­son, this sched­ule might feel amaz­ing. The i nten­sity will get you f it quickly. Un­for­tu­nately, the fit­ness you again won’t stick around for very long. In­stead, you need to find a way to keep from peak­ing too early, es­pe­cially if you have goal races later in the sea­son, such as the con­ti­nen­tal cham­pi­onships or na­tion­als.

To main­tain your fit­ness, you need to con­trol how much in­ten­sity you do each week. Then to keep your abil­i­ties sta­ble, you need as big an en­durance and tempo base as you can han­dle with­out fa­tigu­ing. This work is al­ways done at an eas­ier pace than most rid­ers think. At the gym we would pre­scribe en­durance work as 60 to 70 per cent of your max­i­mum heart rate, and tempo as 80 to 83 per cent.

For a pro rider, we’d rec­om­mend a three- to five-hour en­durance ride on the Mon­day af­ter a week­end of rac­ing. If this rider felt OK on the Tues­day, we’d say do an­other en­durance ride of a sim­i­lar length. If you are a mas­ters rider with day job, then a two-hour ride at less than 60 to 70 per cent of your max­i­mum heart rate is the way to go on the Mon­day. If you’re rid­ing with­out a heart-rate mon­i­tor, ride un­til you feel good, or warmed-up, and then stop. Do the same on Tues­day if you can. Take Wed­nes­day off. This day can be spent on the couch if you’re to­tally gassed. You’ll likely feel bet­ter, though, if you go for a spin of be­tween 20 and 40 min­utes max­i­mum. On Thurs­day, do a wake-up ride fea­tur­ing a few sprints or ca­dence work. Fri­day, if you have races on both days of the week­end, try a ride with eight-sec­ond sprints ev­ery five min­utes.

The goal with any rac­ing sea­son is to hit your top fit­ness at the right mo­ment. Get­ting there re­quires that you don’t overdo your train­ing. Un­der­stand that there is a limit to how much in­ten­sity your body can han­dle and that train­ing eas­ier than you think will have some big ben­e­fits.

“Ride un­til you feel good, or warmed-up, and then stop”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.