4-6 weeks till CX – What are you doing?

Cross IS coming

Starting a little mini-plan this week to get prepared. In addition to on-the-bike training (both for fitness and handline), I will be working on core strength, upper body strength and running.

I haven’t done a proper build into the season due to injury, but feel I’m recovered enough to start now and build through the season aiming to hit peak fitness mid-November (16 weeks out). Seems like a perfect time to start a build phase, aiming to hit some sort of specialty phase in early October which is the most race-heavy month.

Another thing I haven’t done is to utilize indoor training for the CX season. Outdoor riding is just too accessible. I’d like to mix in some outdoor training rides during my commutes along with specificity on the trainer.

What rides do you find are absolutely impossible to do outside? I find that if I can get a mile or two of uninterrupted road 30sec to 90sec intervals are very doable. Same goes for CX simulation rides. It’s the longer, sustained efforts that I find are next to impossible without unplanned interruption.

I’m starting the short power build medium volume this week after an interrupted summer road season that has left me disappointed. After that I plan to follow through with the CX specialty plan into my offseason of a few weeks. I find the trainer perfect for fall training with work preventing me from riding during the week most of the time. One thing I am doing to the plans is on weekend I am not racing I will add on an hour or so of endurance riding after the intervals and attempt to throw in skills and gravel riding as I can.

I actually find both to be fairly easy to do outdoors. I do ride out in the country on hilly farm roads so I have that advantage. For the longer sustained intervals I pay more attention to the lap average and normalized power and make sure they track fairly close to each other and at the intervals target watts. Short repeated intervals I enjoy so much outdoors as I typically just go for the highest sustainable and repeatable effort I can do for the prescribed workout. Which I find so much more enjoyable than trying to nail a specific wattage at a high percentage.

I’m really looking forward to this cross season and the great fall weather here.

where do you live? slowing down on the road for a stop sign isn’t going to ruin the physiological benefit of longer intervals. I bet you can find a good road if you really look for it. Or rip a large circle at a local state park?

Good luck!! #RoadNeverDies lol


I’m starting CX specialty tomorrow (low volume). The goal is to work on more endurance/sweet spot on other days. My build was pretty mediocre, I took my bike on vacation and was thankful to have the outdoor workouts on my garmin now, but I was in some places with terrain that never matched very well with the workouts. But I’m not sweating it too much, last year I jumped straight into specialty without build and did fine, so even a mediocre build cycle will be better than that!

I may base my intervals off 300w FTP, I had been at 310 but I think I may have regressed a bit and will play it more conservatively in the hopes of being more successful in completing workouts.

I guess I should put a chain on the CX bike. Maybe rip off and glue on the new tubulars and check on the sealant in my tubeless wheels. Maybe switch to file tread? Or just drink another beer and wait until the season starts to do all the maintenance. Wonder if my BB is crunchy?


#crossiscoming season is coming for the north but It’s the business end of the season in Australia. My preseason was interupted so I rode local trails as a priority and included a TR workout where I could. I’m in the beginner stage where whatever racing or riding I do will help - I improved throughout the season. I tried to fit in 2 TR (vo2 + over-unders), 1 skills, 2 gym, 1 trail ride and dropped a TR sesssion and gym session when there was a race coming up.

TR workout choice used the LV build and LV CX plans for progression. I’m just below 4 w/kg, but my work capacity is low. Hoping to change that over the summer. :slight_smile:

Here in Phoenix, our Cross season doesn’t start until October (USAC races don’t start until November). So, I’ve just started Short Power Build LV & will then do the Cyclocross Specialty LV. I’m supplementing by SPB LV with core workouts & some mountain biking.

Cross bike has new tires, sealant is topped off! Soon I’ll be adding one morning a week to work on skills (remounts, barriers, run-ups, etc).

Someone suggest a workout for tomorrow, I’m not doing the ramp test, trying to find something that fits in the same vein as Wynne and Striped, which in my past experience have been good in getting some good efforts without killing me like 2+min vo2 efforts. Just don’t be too sadistic in your recommendations!

Detling and similar short wingate-style workouts. Be sure to adjust the intensity so the peaks are your sprint wattage – the goal is all-out. My plan is to do this a couple times a week for the next few weeks, preferably as part of a 2-a-day.

I’m on week three of Medium Volume General Build. Doing all workouts indoors in the early AM before work, and host a weekly CX skills/hotlaps session. I’ll do a weekend ride outdoors if I’m getting stir-crazy, and do a hard group ride once every 3-4 weeks.

CX starts for me in September and goes through December. I usually do about 20 races during the season, so once September hits my focus will be simply recovering from the weekend and the weekly skills session (along with cleaning and maintaining my bikes from the past weekend…)

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I have built since last (my 2nd) season with:

  1. Traditional Base / Z2 CX when I got fed up of the trainer / Heavy weights in the gym

  2. SweetSpot Build (programmed myself and use TR workouts when they fitted) / Z2 CX with skills and standing starts /Plyo and core work in the gym

I then had a bit of a dither about what to do for the remaining 8 weeks but decided on:

  1. Threshold Build (programmed myself and use TR workouts when they fit). Trying to build time at Threshold from 4min upwards / CX skills but now including hills & cornering at speed / Contd. core work added in rotation, arms and contd deadlifts, squats medium weight

I’m still slightly concerned that I’m missing that on/off VO2 max work but my thoughts were that at the beginning of the season the courses are a lot smoother and those bursts of power are a lot less so to have that time at Threshold underpinning everything should stand me in good stead?! I also get my VO2 max in when I race summer crits.

I have to continually remember that it’s mostly my technical skills which let me down so more and more time is being spent on my CX bike.

No idea what to do during the season!

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We have summer 'cross here (UK) as well as in the autumn/winter. So I have a race on Thursday (it’s the 4th in the series, but I missed the last 2 due to holidays).
I’m doing low volume general build, and substituting the race for the Thursday workout, but I really need to work on my strength, so I’ve just joined a gym. I’ll see how combining all these aspects works out I guess!
I’m also trying to work out if I should get a cross bike - I’m currently using a hardtail MTB but have no space for N+1 so something’s gotta give. :wink:

Low volume build, then CX specialty (low volume). I’ll start doing CX specific skills practice and drills outside when it cools a bit. I’m doing a lot of strength exercises and core work. I’m hoping TR, eating better (I’ve already lost 8lbs), focus gets me on a podium this Fall.

Still racing road. Lots of crits, lots of long weekend rides, riding the CX bike on singletrack, but that’s really about it. Haven’t thought too much about it. Might start doing running sprints soon.

Going with the TR recommended short power build and then cx speciality. I’m halfway through build and plan to stretch the speciality plan throughout cross season by moving and repeating workouts on it. Also do 1-2 outdoor skills sessions, long weekend ride and occasional chainy at the moment. Its very different from what I’ve done the last years (lots of miles outdoors), let’s see if it pays off!

Lots of trainer work. with some commuting and an occasional weekly club ride. Currently doing short power build.

I was solidly middle of the pack last season…no higher. My goal this year is to podium once in our local series, which averages about 100 riders for the cat 4 and 4/5 races. I think it’s possible. My ftp has gone up about 40 watts since last season, I’m expecting another bump from short power build as well before the season starts. I have to imagine my ability to endure the anaerobic efforts and repeat is light years ahead of what it was last year. I’ve also got a better handle on fueling, and nutrition for race days. I’ll have a better tire setup this year (going high quality tubeless tires from low quality clinchers…). And I’ve got to believe I’ll be more skilled at cornering and pacing this year. PLUS better staging.

Will that be enough to pick up 45-60 seconds a lap, which I think is what I realistically need to podium? Dunno…but I’m thinking(hoping…) I’ll be fast enough to at least be at the pointy end of a lot of races this year, rather than hanging in the middle and hoping my heart doesnt explode.

I’ve been taking a complete off the bike break for a week. Then I’ll probably do unstructured rides for a few weeks.

Like some I’ve done some really long races, like DK and some other 200 milers. So after months of good hard training I’m cooked.

I’ll probably get back into SSB1 and tidy up my aerobic base before doing a little build in the later fall. And although it is July 2019. The most important races in the year for me are in July, so I’m already starting to think about how I can improve for July 2020.

I like CX, but I find it so hard to keep grinding in a very structured manner all year long. Also I’m not a great bike handler so working on some CX skills before heading to a race will probably get me more gains than any amount of structured training.

My goal this year is to podium once in our local series, which averages about 100 riders for the cat 4 and 4/5 races

Uh oh… I smell chicrosscup competition. Also, I may have peeked at your profile to confirm. See you in september :rage:

Lol yup, see you at caldwell woods :slight_smile:

I doubt the podium really has all that much to worry about with me though lol :flushed:

edit: Hah, I just interwebs stalked you too. Looks like I finished 57 seconds behind you last year at Caldwell. I’m coming…

I ended up doing some of sleeping beauty +4 today (3 of the 5 sets) plus an hour of higher end endurance as a substitute for the ramp test. 30/30s at 130% is tough, but it’s nice to see over 400w! Hopefully some pain now will result in my inflicting pain on others in a few weeks!