CX during traditional base

I usually start traditional base this time of year. I tend to have an A event in the late spring and one in August. I care about road but this year I want to do some CX (maybe practice once a week and Dobruja odd weekend race to extend the social season with the team. My question is do I start grad base anyway or would those 1-2 distractions throw it off so much that I would be better served starting it way later this year?

Guess it will end up being a polarised base with lots of aerobic work from the TR workouts and a sprinkling of high intensity from the CX. That might be a good thing, especially if you’re a masters athlete in which case there’s good evidence that it’s beneficial to always include some VO2 work. Would say give it a go, have some fun and see where you end up. Can always dial back the base training if it feels too much.

Doing CX doesn’t seem to have hurt the bases of Van Aert, Van der Poel and Pidcock! (Mostly tongue in cheek, there are so many differences in those guys ability and training that I’m not sure most of us have much to learn from what they do…)


A little CX has worked well for Wout, MvdP, and Tom! Your results may vary.

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I tend to train threshold on the days I would race Cx but there isn’t a race. In CX, there are huge power spikes but you tend to be riding around threshold give or take for the race. Sort of like a Over under / fartlek. Think of it as that and ask yourself if that belongs in what you consider base.

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I did TBLV1 during CX season last year. Had no problem completing the workouts, and it was good for keeping my endurance up during the CX season. I guess with the CX races and practice included it works out to be more of a polarized plan as others have mentioned.

I’m no expert but I can’t see how racing CX will severely impact your TB workouts or adaptations.

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Not exactly the same, but for the past several years I have started Sweet Spot Base during cross season. I do anywhere from 6-9 CX races in the Fall, but race them just for fun and treat all of them as C races. I’ll do a 90 min threshold workout the day before if that’s whats on my calendar. I’ve felt a bit flat a few times in races, but again it’s just for fun so I don’t worry too much about it.

I also stick to low volume plans so I can add in the races, a couple strength training sessions, and maybe an extra CX practice ride each week without missing a TR workout.

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go have fun and enjoy CX! you have plenty of time for even a traditional base in Dec Jan Feb, Build march April, in time for A event in spring.

You got this!


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