How to fill time before the next cyclocross season?

It’s pretty much a year away…And I’m not going to participate this year.

What should I do now?

Find some other events to tide you over between now and then. Maybe a gravel race or two? You can do a full Base/Build/Specialty if you find one at the right time, and then transition into cross afterwards? I find that if I set a target too far in the future I burn out way early, almost like a short attention span.

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I am in the same boat but plan to do some Crit racing in the summer so I will do a BBS phase peaking in June/July. Then take a little break and start training for CX.

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Would love to hear from the pros on this. CX season is basically over as I’m missing the last two big races due to work travel. What training plans should I be on and when? I managed ~7-top ten finishes this year in 4/5 so I need to build fitness in all areas, not sure how to make the most of my time. Sweet Spot Base a few times? General Build in summer or now? I really want to map this out so I have a plan and stick to it because that is my current weakness.

I would love to still get an answer on this. I’m not sure if I have any use in “base” type training since I’m training for one-hour races. I kind of want to stick with “general build” in an attempt to raise FTP until August and then start the CX related intervals. I have nine months to spend on this, want to assure I make the most of my time. Goal is to get to 4w/Kg and then hit intervals.

Yes you do. Any race that is 4 minutes or longer benefits from having a more efficient aerobic system. There is a reason why pro CX and XC racers still do base training.

Here is my recommendation:

  • Work backwards from your A cyclocross race for next year. Time the last week of cyclocross specialty to have this align with your A race. You can do this by using the “Ends Week of” function when you are adding a training plan
  • Add a build by working back from the start of the speciality
  • Add a base by working back from the start of build

You now have a plan that leads into the CX season

For the rest of the year, if you have time, you could target a completely different style of racing depending on time. It’s common to go Base, Build, Base, Build, Speciality.

I’d recommend picking some longer events that you’ll ride for fun and get some different type of stimulation in your legs that you might not otherwise get.


You absolutely have a ton to gain from base training.

When do we recommend ending CX specialty plans in respect to the CX season that starts in September with late December at my A-race? This year I ended intervals in late October, started doing over-under type work on the trainer and CX racing, then I started performing much better in races.

This seems kind of arcane, but why not spend a day or two per week on SSB and a day or two per week on FTP building for the next 9-months? I am currently at a measly 3.6w/Kg, meaning I am so far below average that I should not look for an average-type training regimen, need to continue building FTP.

Isn’t targeting different styles of racing going to take away from me hitting my goals in CX? I have goals and I’ll be 38 years of age next year, told myself that I must cut out the junk rides and ride the trainer if I’m going to make progress.

As long as you aren’t doing track racing, doing some other types of racing should help you rather than hurt you. It provides novel stimulus, muscular endurance, and builds your aerobic base to set you up for success later in the year. It’s also good for you mentally to have interim goals to shoot for.

van der Poel races road and mtb, and then goes on to crush people in CX.

I’m not understanding what you are getting at. SSBase 1 and 2 build FTP.

End your plan when you want to peak. You might start the season a little undercooked, but its better to be undercooked and race into peak rather than come in too hot and get burnt out.

Doing focused base training isn’t junk. It has a purpose.



Do I need to incorporate some threshold and VO2 max work during base training phases? Vo2 max is super important to me and don’t want to lose the progress I made, not doing it for six weeks at a time seems a little foolish to me.

Something I do see a lot of on here is discussion of meeting goals which are several years away. I won’t approach my fitness goals for 3-5 years. I am at least 50-watts shy of where I need to be for my FTP goal and that’s just the metric which is easy to measure, there are others which lag behind as well. I’m not trying to pick up 5w here or 10-seconds there, I need a 50w better FTP and the number I can hold for 20 seconds needs to double.

You can’t maintain peak fitness for more than a short period at a time, so there is naturally going to be some ebb and flow. Since cycling is such an aerobic sport, there is a relationship between FTP and VO2 such that you don’t always need to be maintaining every energy system at every point during the season. So it’s totally ok to have stretches where you don’t target a particular energy system.

SSBMV1 is a lot of Sweetspot work, which essentially is threshold work, it’s just at a slightly lower intensity so you can do more of it without burning out.

SSBMV2 has a mixture of sweetspot, pure threshold and VO2 work to prepare you for Build and Chad just talked more on the podcast about how he wants everyone to make sure they don’t skip this phase since its so versatile.

If you care about your long term goals, then you should focus on laying a big foundation for the years to come and the training plans are here to help you accomplish that.

IMO if you did

SSB MV1 + 2
General Build
SSB MV1 + 2
Short Power Build
CX Speciality

You’ll be in a great spot for next season, especially if you focus on sticking to the plan


Awesome and thanks.

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Here’s what I’m doing, as I’m considering myself more of a CX racer than a road racer (but I do love long road riding and might do a couple of road races this season). I’m almost done with SSB1 HV, which I started after CX season, I can handle the high volume and have the time in my schedule, and it worked out well for me last winter. I might do a sustained power build, just because I do want to improve riding above threshold in case I do any road races this spring where I feel I need that sort of thing.

I’ll probably just ride a lot in spring (maybe like regular base but on the road) and then use summer to work on short power. I might want to time things so I end the specialty phase in early September, in my experience last year doing training during the week left my legs feeling a bit lifeless for weekend races, I felt better and was more successful when I just adopted more of a maintain routine, with some sweet spot, some short power. I’m in a position where I don’t have an A race, I’d rather just be in shape and feeling generally good throughout the season. I think I did that with reasonable success this year. We’ll see if my approach works again next year!

Blockquote[quote=“stevemz, post:11, topic:4475”]
IMO if you did

SSB MV1 + 2
General Build
SSB MV1 + 2
Short Power Build
CX Speciality

Thanks for this. I just finished SSB1 on mid volume, going to switch to low-volume due to frequent work travel but I’ll fly with a bike. What is the logic on doing SSB2 and build plans then going back to more SSB1? Genuine question, why do I want to do this rather than hammer through on base? I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment that was making it through those over-unders, feel like that’s what I needed most in CX compared to my field.

Just talked to another friend who’s like 4.5w/Kg who picked-up a CX bike, borrowed a bike for three races last year and podiumed all three. I do not want to deal with that kind of crap another year, need some podium validation. If that means skipping another season to grow from 3.6w/Kg to something closer to 5, so be it.

That is exactly what I am doing. Base, General Build, Base, Short power build, CX.

I ride a lot of gravel races too, only one would be a “B” race, others are “C”.