Cyclocross season is fast approaching and if you are like me, you are thinking “I really should start training”. Training for cyclocross can be hard, but the nice thing is that a training program doesn’t have to involve a huge time commitment. As little as 6-10 hours per week is enough time, but during that time every minute on the bike has to count. Due to the unique demands of a cross race, training tends to involve high intensity intervals and shorter efforts. In addition to hammering out intervals, it is equally important to get out on the bike and work on skills. You might be an incredibly strong rider, but if you can’t corner well or dismount and remount quickly, you risk being left at the back of the pack. A good training program incorporates both intensity and skill work.
There is a huge amount of information out there on training for cyclocross. I’ve outlined a few of the resources that I have found useful in starting a program.
The first thing you need to to figure out a program to follow. Here are a few good links to get started:
- Cyclocross magazine is always a great resource for training information. There are too many articles to list but here’s a great start from Adam Myerson: https://www.cxmagazine.com/cyclocross-training-adam-myerson-week-plan-preparing-season
- The 303 Cycling website goes over the basic principles of training for cross. http://303cycling.com/cyclocross-training-plan-basic
- BikeRadar has a good article about how to fit training in around a busy family life
- Good info from Training Peaks about training and skills practice http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/workouts-and-drills-to-prepare-yourself-for-the-cy
The Svenness videos were one of the best resources I found for picking up race pointers. Bill Schieken at cxhairs.com analyzes European race footage, trims it down to an easily digestible length, and adds text commentary on different aspects of the race. Cornering, off cambers, tire choice, race strategies, you name it. Watch all of these videos and you will find yourself chanting a new mantra during the race: “Commit to the rut”.
Check out the videos: https://vimeo.com/album/2200561
Cyclocross Workout of the Day
So it’s Tuesday and you know you need to hop on the bike for a workout, but you aren’t sure what to do. Well you are in luck. Mathew Hill over at http://crosssports.net/ puts out the Cyclocross Workout of the Day. It’s exactly what is sounds like. A daily cross workout guaranteed to make you suffer. Follow him on twitter @crosssports, facebook https://www.facebook.com/CrossSports.net, or just keep hitting up the website to get the latest workout. It’s a great resource if you know you need to train, but aren’t sure what your workout should look like
Let’s face it. Riding a trainer pretty much sucks. Getting motivated to hop on the trainer is a task in itself, but during those cold, wet, fall months it can be the only option. Trainer Road to the rescue. It’s software that connects to your ANT+ based devices to give on screen feedback on power, heart rate, and cadence while you ride. Don’t have a power meter? Trainer Road can display Virtual Power based on the trainer that you are using and a speed + cadence sensor. Trainer Road provides a lot of pre-made workouts and some training plans to follow. Additionally, you can drop in your favourite training video and watch while you ride. I’ve been using it for a couple seasons and have been a big fan. It helps makes those indoor workouts tolerable and pairs nicely with…
These training videos will kick your ass. They are brutal, painful, and they work. The videos are a mixture of race footage and gopro handle bar shots. The quality is to notch and makes you easily forget that you are riding on a trainer. In addition to the videos, The Sufferfest has two cyclocross training programs that line up with their videos. The training plans are relatively affordable but the big caveat is that you do need to purchase a number of videos to make the most of it. If you don’t already have a number of different Sufferfest videos then investing in the training plan can be costly.
Good videos for cyclocross:
Hopefully that provides a good starting point for those interested in developing a cyclocross training program. If you have resources that have helped you out, please share them in the comments.