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 Post subject: CX training
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:35 am
Posts: 18
Location: Belgium
A bit more than a month till the start of the CX season
What is your ultimate CX training?


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 Post subject: CX training
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:17 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: CXtraining
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:37 am
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I like 2x20s on dirt; I head to a local park and make a mile or so circuit with lots of turns but no real obstacles (things that require lots of speed loss or a dismount). Usually do a couple starts as well with a sprint for a first corner or a sprint into 3-8 min effort.

Then I ride the easier mountain bike trails and finish with 20 or 30 mounts and dismounts at various speeds over an obstacle.

How about you?


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 Post subject: Re: CXtraining
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:08 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Bremerton, WA
I've found the best training for CX is to simulate race efforts. In the past I've been lucky enough to have a local course available for training, which was perfect. They even held training races once a week. However, I have moved and am now looking for mountain trails in my area that are suitable for CX training. I may have to split up my fitness training and my skills training if I can't find anything to hop over and/or dismount for or terrain that is challenging enough.

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 Post subject: Re: CXtraining
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 pm
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When I was racing CX and approaching the World Champs I did a lot of 3x10 @15 on 15 off. and 40 mins as 20sec Z5 40 sec Z3.

Those worked very well.

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 Post subject: Re: CXtraining
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 82
I found this interesting study where they got really good results from doing 3x9.5mins @ 30s on 15s off. These kind of sessions are probably perfectly suited for cx specific capacity, especially of you start each "on" interval with a 5-10s standing sprint!
Add a fairly easy grass/gravel course in the mix and I think you can really improve your cx game

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24382021


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 Post subject: Re: CXtraining
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Denmark
olebole: After reading that paper, I noticed that the effective training amount (time) is almost the same for their long and short intervals. I suppose it is more or less obvious then that the participants that were subject to the highter intensity training improved more than the other group.

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 Post subject: Re: CXtraining
PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:42 pm
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That was one of the main purposes of the study design, to have a similar amount of "on" time. The thing is that both of the groups also reported similar RPE's and that's where it gets interesting. Friel also metioned the study in his blog
http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2014/07/hi ... ation.html


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 Post subject: Re: CXtraining
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:08 pm
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Location: Bremerton, WA
That is a very interesting study. I'm surprised that even time trial efforts were further improved by HIIT. I guess I'll have to include more of this type of training in my schedule..

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 Post subject: What's my next move...?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:39 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Ireland
Hi. Hoping for some advice from the knowledgeable folks on here. I have just finished a season of xc racing and am 4 weeks away from cyclocross season. My fitness has suffered over the summer as I spent most of my time on the xc bike on technical trails trying to master the skills required. While I dont have any historical data as I just have a powermeter for the past 3 weeks, I reckon my FTP is not as high as it could be, and at 235w for a 77kg rider it is not very impressive.
My question is how should I approach my training for cyclocross. Normal cyclocross plans tend to have a 30/30/30 hard, run, easy workout and other short intensive workouts. But would concentrating on raising my FTP be a better option and therefore spending a lot of time doing longer intervals sub-threshold ? Anyone race cyclocross have any advice, which is more important or how would you strike a balance starting from such a poor level of fitness. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:27 pm 
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Location: Bremerton, WA
Personally, I think performing well in cyclocross is a mix between a solid FTP and lots of strength (and bike handling obviously). You will need to repeatedly put in very hard, but short efforts, such as accelerating out of corners, but will usually find certain sections you can rest on as well. I think having a high FTP essentially "raises the roof" making these efforts less taxing, but you also need to be able to put out decent short term power numbers to stay competitive. Best way to practice for anything is to simulate the efforts you expect to see in the races you'll be doing.

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 Post subject: Re: CX training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:39 pm
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Location: Ireland
Understood, and in normal circumstances I would plan to do sessions specific to cyclocross courses and race demands.

However, based on my assumption that atm my FTP is low compared to where it mostly likely could/should be, should I concentrate on loads of sessions now to improve FTP and for x number of weeks, even continuing after cyclocross season starts, or should I just accept my position as it stands, and follow a purely cyclocross specific plan. I guess what I am worried about is that I may be wasting my time on shorter more intensive efforts, if at the end of the day my low FTP is going to be holding me back. Would you rather be gong into these races with a high FTP, or just accept it for what it is and focus on short efforts and recovery ?


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 Post subject: Re: CX training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:43 pm
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Location: Canada
About any kind of training session will have an effect on your FTP. FTP is not some arbitrary physiological marker that will only improve with a certain type of training stimulus. High intensity sessions, long sessions, steady intervals of moderate intensity, should all be considered in the broad training stimulus spectrum.

Your focus for CX should be to diversify the traning stimulus and balance the load correctly to be fresh enough for the races with a decent form. For this, there is more than one way to achieve your goal.

* edit: and im not sure why people include running in CX plan. It's not like it's a huge part of the race.


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 Post subject: Re: CX training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:29 pm 
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Location: Ireland
yeah, i guess i'm just panicking about going into these races not prepared as well as I should be. I had been considering including 4 or 5 days a week of 3x20's, 1x60 type stuff at around 90%, been reading that its the "best" way to push up FTP and would also do my CTL no harm. Thankfully as you say, there are a whole lot of "best" ways to go about things depending on who you are talking to. I will settle down and try to out a plan suitable for preparing for 'cross and see where it takes me ( might also include just a wee bit of running, our races tend to get very muddy, and there is sometimes is some fairly long hills that end up not rideable )

would a couple days working sst/sub-threshold, plus a couple days more specific for cyclocross, like 30sec on/30sec off and maybe another day on a short course drilling it out of corners/ dismounts, obstacles etc and then maybe a couple longer days be a good basis for a plan ?


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 Post subject: Re: CX training
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:43 pm
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Location: Canada
Depends what you mean by a couple days and how you balance things out.

Always be warry of someone saying X thing is the best with regards to training and nutrition.

Personnaly, I would not bother with the extensive intervals stuff and focus on getting in some low intensity volume and some good intensity sessions, be it 3-4-5min efforts, micro intervals or over-under type of stuff in various block duration (ex.: some 20min blocks of110-120% efforts for 30sec alternated with 30sec at 80-90%).

In short, get in some good intensity sessions, given the CX season is about to begin it would be wise to hit these a few times, especially considering the speed of the adaptive response they may induce. Don't forget to get some very good recovery in, and some longer, easier rides.


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 Post subject: Re: CX training
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:39 am 
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you can never have enough FTP....for any type of racing


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 Post subject: Re: CX training
Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:39 am 


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