Cat 2 Upgrade and +48w FTP with Laura Alagna - Successful Athletes Podcast 30

This was an awesome episode packed with takeaways. Laura Alagna never thought she’d be standing on top of podiums and earning her Cat 2 upgrade, but with structured training on TrainerRoad and a lot of hard work, she made it happen.

Listen in as Laura shares what she has done to make her successful in cyclocross, how she had to pivot and change focus when she changed categories, and plenty of other CX tips and insights.

Also, I miss CX now :sob:.


Laura's Episode

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • How Laura fits in her training with her job
  • How Laura adjusts her training for long weekend rides with RCC Chicago and skills sessions
  • Why Laura chose to race Cyclocross
  • Laura’s tips to be a good heckler at a CX race
  • What challenges Laura overcame in training for cyclocross
  • How Laura get better at riding sand and mud
  • How Laura is improving her cornering on her cyclocross bike
  • How Laura trained to raise her FTP by nearly 50 watts
  • How racing changed when Laura advanced through race categories

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Really loving this episode. Only made it half way through before life called me away, but I’ll be finishing it soon. More than anything else in bikes, I want to race a few seasons of cross. Haven’t even entered a race yet, but I just know I’ll love it. This episode so far has gotten me really stoked to give it a go.


Loved hearing from a female athlete and am now really wanting to have a CX season 2021 :smiley:
Keep it coming!


Laura is a big reason I’m into cycling now! We worked together and as I started commuting to work by bike and started being interested in cycling and she convinced me to do my first cyclocross race, this fun tag-team coop style of race. It was rad, we didn’t finish last (largely due to her efforts!), and I had a blast. Doing your first race as a total beginner is pretty intimidating and she was really cool and gracious to guide me through that process and I’ll always appreciate it.

Also yeah the handup game in Chicago CX is strong. If you want candy or booze while racing then this is your place to be!

Anyway congrats Laura, and thanks!!


I really enjoyed this one! It made my 3x15 SS workout fly by :blush:

This was the first time hearing from someone who is really similar to me in terms of background, lifestyle and goals. She is where I would like to see myself in a year or two’s time, so great inspiration!

I definitely related to most of what she said, especially how important skills are. The biggest thing that helped me improve (which Laura didn’t specifically mention) was finding a skills coach I got on really well with, who ran regular “Masterclasses” in my area.

Between that and following a TrainerRoad plan, within a year I went from consistently finishing in the bottom third of my field to having finishes in the top third when my races went well (no categories for CX in my country, all women race together from literal pros to first-timers). Both the Masterclasses and TrainerRoad combined, made for a really cost effective way to get faster!

Can’t wait for CX racing to start up again now :grinning: Good luck Laura!


thanks for your kind words, friends!! it was such a dream come true to be on this podcast :slight_smile:


yesss!!! keep up the hard work and you’ll totally get there Abigail :slight_smile:


Get stoked! And thanks @laura_a for the motivation to get back into racing (once it’s back up and running…)! I missed most of last year’s races due to fear of failure, but did at least get to dip my toes in to a cx race at one point, on a fat bike no less.

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