Cyclocross

Tag Archives — Cyclocross

Cyclocross Burnout

 

How has your season Gone? feel free to book a phone consult to tell me about it!) 

Canadian Cx Nationals have happened and the weather has turned towards fall/winter/cyclocross weather in most places. Cyclocross season is here, but where is your motivation? And who stole those fresh September legs!

Regardless of where you live and how you built or failed to build your fitness for cyclocross season, it is a bold goal to take on 1, or 2  (or more!) races for 1, or 2 (or more!) months. Most of us come out of a mountain or road season and neglect to take a mid-season break or rebuild our endurance. We jump into one or two (or more) cross practices (which are races) a week plus the early season races to test our legs, get the intensity and those coveted early points.

The problem is we get tired from the repeated back to back weekends of racing.  We miss our weekend fun rides, our endurance decreases, and the weather starts requiring more work to get motivated and prepared for. 1 or 2 (or more!) bikes need to be prepped before each race and repaired after each race. Then work comes Monday. This is tiring even typing and remembering trying to race cyclocross as an unsupported pro!

So what should you do?

If your goal was to race until a certain race then that may still be possible. Take a week off the cross practices, go to bed early and do only easy workouts all week. You will feel better next weekend. If you can take the full week easy and get some longer endurance rides in on the weekend. This should make next week and next races go much better. If there is no obvious reason to race twice weekly (including weekly races) than stop doing that and focus on the key races remaining on your calendar.

Getting your indoor training environment setup to make workouts quick and get to sleep earlier will help with short days. Keep focused and don’t forget endurance and lower intensity workouts. Skill workouts in the mud and wet, along with practicing your clothing choice will pay dividends in the late season mud races.

For the remainder of the season ride your favorite discipline most of the time for outdoor training and spend time working on your cyclocross skills. Most people need to work more on cornering, dismounts/carry/mounts much more than they think. If you seat is inside your armpit or you are not grabbing your top tube before most barriers then there are 2 pretty easy ways to boost your efficiency.

Are you racing without a goal?

If you did not have a big goal race or end date then I would end the season now. Why race yourself into deep fatigue and low motivation for no reason? Take a week, or two (or more!) off and try to grab a few more road or mountain bike rides while you can. Start looking towards 2018 and planning training gradually towards that goal after the important break. SmartAthlete.ca for thoughts on ‘when to start training for your big goal’ 

 

Cross is Coming: What Workout Should You?

Inevitably or eternally, #CrossIsComing, so when you decide it’s time to get ready for CX season what workouts are best for you to do?

The best workouts for one athlete may not be the best ones for you. Your friend, or your favorite pro, may be very good at high power, sprints and spend the summer racing road while you may be a time-trialist all summer with limited time to train. You may be much older or younger, or you may have a background in BMX-racing or no cycling background at all! We need to consider many factors when choosing our key workouts to get ready for cyclocross to ensure we have worked on our limiters.
Below are three general scenarios that athlete ‘types’ that you may fit into. I have included some workout ideas that you may want to include as cyclocross season approaches. I am not suggesting all of these be done in a single week, but you may very well find yourself spending a month on each of these ‘scenarios’ as you go through the cross season and your abilities and strengths evolve.
pary barriers
1) Technically limited, struggle with continuous but undulating efforts of cross
If you haven’t spent much time off-road, especially racing off-road than cross practice will be your friend, and getting skill coaching will also be valuable. If you can get riding on a cross course frequently, or setup some obstacles around your house, this will be very helpful.
Workouts that require you to alternate your output and skills will also be great. Micro-intervals where you ride hard and easy (15 seconds hard /15 seconds easy and 30/30 are most common). Most often these are done for 10-30 minutes and should feel very much like the unrelenting hard work of cyclocross!
Including running in these micro-intervals can be another way to simulate race situations and improve technique (once you have the basics down at slow speed with low fatigue). Try building a short loop that makes you ride hard for ~30 seconds, recover on a descent or set of corners, then dismount for a barrier and do a run up a steep hill, then do a bunch of corners back to the start of the short loop for a 1-3 minute repetition.
I usually do 1-5 x 1-2 min rounds together, take a 5-10 minute break then do another 2 sets. Mix very short and maximal efforts with longer efforts in another session in the week to get really fun and specific workout.
 
2016 0813 Eager Beaver 100 2.0

2016 0813 Eager Beaver 100 2.0

2) Struggle with ‘going all in’, starts, attacks, sprints 
This is common in endurance mountain bikers, gravel-grinders, Fondo-riders or time-trialists. Putting yourself into some criteriums, hard group rides or short cyclocross practice races will be helpful in developing the love of going hard!
Many times cross practices will include some start repetitions, which really help develop your ‘starting routine’ and your starting power. On your own, you can do this by practicing 6-10 short (10-20sec) start efforts from standing at the beginning of a few workouts each week.
If you are not a sprinter or struggle with maximal short efforts, it is worth putting a focus on this by doing a focused workout on sprinting or very short efforts with full recoveries (8+ minutes). It is quite valuable to get skill-coaching for standing and sprinting as your power can increase simply by learning the technique of sprinting.
These start efforts might be paired a workout that puts you on your limit and then makes you attack over that intensity. These might be called ‘over-unders’ or ‘threshold with bursts’ depending on the coach but basically, we want to ride at a hard pace and then surge for 15-60seconds before returning to that hard pace.
Start at 2-3 reps of 11 minutes (1 minute hard/4 min threshold/1 minute hard/4min threshold/1min hard). Use longer recoveries 5-10 minutes of light pedaling to ensure you will push the pace. While it is tempting to do this on cyclocross course it is best done on the road to ensure your power output is hard alternated with very hard, and to track your progress.
 IMG_5935
3) Great technical skills, low fitness, or tired/sick from a lot of summer racing
Did you spend the summer in the bike park, racing BMX, winning every criterium, or were you off the bike a lot for injury or vacation? If you believe you will be limited by your engine more than your driving skills then bias towards extended road-endurance sessions 2-3x a week. If your technical ability is sufficient this can be polished or maintained around the focused intensity days and/or at a weekly cross practice, which could be included after intervals, or for fit athletes with a lot of cyclocross skills, after some endurance road riding.
*If you are racing twice on a weekend during the cross season this can also be a nice way to spend your weekdays to provide enough recovery between weekends while maintaining some training load.
Once you are back to feeling good on the bike during these endurance sessions you can start to include 1-2 sessions of threshold intervals per week. Progress a set of 3 x 10 minutes towards a burly 2 x 20-minute session over 4 – 8 weeks keeping an eye on your intensity (more is not more). Recovery is 5-10 minutes typically.
sarh cross racing
In all of these scenarios, the focus/interval days will vary but these in all cases these couple of days should be surrounded by sufficient rest, cross-training and low end, steady endurance. 1-2 days of focused training (intervals/skills) with lower intensity and recovery will ensure you make progress in the desired areas. Work hard on the hard days then recover and allow yourself to improve!
Have a great cyclocross season!
Want to re-energize- Unplug, put airplane mode on, and immerse in nature's finest.

The 3 Essential Cyclocross Skills (VIDEO)

I worked with Canadian Cycling Magazine on 3 videos to help enhance your cross experience. These 3 foundational concepts are key to review for the beginner and advanced rider to ensure you are getting the most out of your efforts.

Book a one-on-one Cyclocross Skills Session with Smart Athlete Today

Email to setup with Contact Form HERE

1) Dismount – http://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/news/how-to-dismount-your-bike-for-cyclocross/

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUTUqG3YoSw]
2) Mount – http://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/news/mount-bike-cyclocross/
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOi6OdV3zj8]

3) Shoulder – http://cyclingmagazine.ca/sections/news/how-to-shoulder-your-bike-for-cyclocross/

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Qh_nKcGU8]

Want to re-energize- Unplug, put airplane mode on, and immerse in nature's finest.

Providence Cyclocross Festival 2014 – Links, Photos, Video

Providence was perhaps the best Cylocross race I have been at in terms of organizers planning for a festival and full weekend of events. With 1200+ racers and 8000+ spectators the numbers tell the story. Exiting courses, food vendors, and beer gardens make for a super weekend of spectating .

whip providence 2014 jules roazen

I wasn’t feeling super over the weekend but managed some mid pack finishes and enjoyed the beer garden jump and a few laps with Mike Garrigan on Day 2.

Results

=> Cross results Providence Day 2  http://www.crossresults.com/race/4266

=> Cross results Day 1 – http://www.crossresults.com/race/4263

Reports

=> Providence Cross on Twitter

=> Providence CX race facebook page ( many links / updates ) 

=> Cx Magazine report day 1 providence 

=> Powers Blog Day 1 

=> Canadian Cycling Magazine Day 2 Report 

Photos

=> Velo news day 1 gallery 

=> Velo news day 2 Providence gallery 

=> Black and white gallery by Hawksley http://hawksleyvisuals.com/2014/10/05/2014-providence-kmc-cyclocross-festival-day-2/

Video

=> Behind the barriers TV Day 1 Providence 

=> BHB TV Coverage Day 2 Providence 

Canadian Cyclocross Nationals Winnipeg 2014

Goal Achieved ! I have Cyclocross UCI Points ! … actually goal was to wear Knee warmers, go big on the ‘grassy knoll booter’ and then rub my knee warmers on McSneeky until he started fighting me so that I could jersey him and tell him to stop judging people … and that was achieved.

In any case, a great race venue and organization and very fun course. Mike Garrigan and Catherine Pendrel won in the elite fields.

Results => Via Canadian Cyclist 

Event Website =>WPG Cyclocross Nationals

Streaming for Canadian Cyclocross Nationals 2015 Winnipeg via Canadian Cycling Magazine

=> VIDEO ARCHIVE OF Canadian Cyclocross races 2014 Winnipeg RACES 

Canadian CYcling Magazine Story from 2014 Canadian CX Nationals Winnipeg 

Mike Garrigan won his second nationals ( he won in 2007 as well) which is awesome. He was sad at the finish because he thought he had lapped me out … this was not the case. His video interview(s) below from PedalMag (includes kabush and Mike V. interviews)
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOXlQyCoJBc]

 

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Rochester Ellison Park Cyclocross Race 2014 PB Trek – Report, Photos, Links

A Great weekend in Rochester NY for the Full Moon Vista – Ellison Park CX – Presented by Trek

The weekend started with a Skills clinic that Molly and I Co-Instructed with The Durrins, Jeremy Durrin and Gabby Durrin (nee Day). We had a great mix of abilities and our split between a more foundational look at skills and cross with the Durrins taking the more race oriented folks on a more tactical and course specific session (sneaking skill work in as it is just as important for the advanced folks!).

 

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Results 

*  Day 2 – pedalmag

Video/Interviews

1) Behind the barriers – Interviews! Hear the real stories behind the results @ellisoncross.  http://t.co/1JDn9zFOwa

2) Caroline Mani Blog

3) Ellison Park Cycling News Coverage 

4) Live feed of by Gnarly Monkey: via

Photos

Day 1  @Sanctum_Cycles – http://t.co/ooKkMhwr0a

Day 1 velo news http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/10/news/cyclocross/gallery-ellison-park-cyclocross-festival-day-one_349276

Day 2 – Sanctum_Cycle: Gallery: Ellison Park Cyclocross Festival, day two http://t.co/xRUBcgjiXk

Day 2 by Velo news – http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/10/news/cyclocross/gallery-ellison-park-cyclocross-festival-day-two_349324

Night Weasels – Wed. Night Cross race in Massachusetts USA During 'Holy Week of Cross'

Perhaps one of the best events I have been too. I finished 12 or 13th and Justin Lindine somehow put a lot of time into me to win on the slippery course.

So many people out on a Wednesday night to race cyclocross in the rain !

Great pricing, course and organization .

Super psyched on the skill based Prime for first female to ride the stairs (Mical Dyck got it !!)  VIDEO 

Results

Results (and links to a lot of photo galleries):
http://www.crossresults.com/race/4246

Official race photos on our FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Night-Weasels-Cometh/155468881130045?sk=photos_stream

Video coverage from dirtwire.tv:
http://dirtwire.tv/events/night-weasels-cometh-2/

Photos

 => Night Weasel’s PHotos on Facebook 

I rode the stairs (4 uphill logs) and was psyched that the organizer put up a $100 Gift Card Prime for the first Lady to ride them (Mical Dyck took it !)