Living with Cycling and CrossFit

Hi all, 38 year old dad of a 2 year old and another arriving in December. Both my wife and I have full time jobs; She teaches and I’m in health care administration.

Really enjoy cycling and TrainerRoad and have been on low volume for about a year and a half. About three years ago, got into CrossFit. I know, popular opinion says that sure, you can do both, but won’t necessarily excel at either. Fine.

My question is on training plans. My workouts are generally 5AM for either TR or CF which is fine, we go to bed at 9PM or slightly before nearly every night and have no issues with it. This part of the training plan has me on Tuesday and Thursday VO2 and weekend threshold. No way VO2 2x per week with two or three CrossFit sessions is going to happen.

I’m considering a couple of things:

  1. TrainNow with two sweet spot or threshold workouts most weeks and an endurance for the third. On lower stress weeks swap one of the sweet spot or threshold for VO2.
  2. Just suck it up and follow the plan.
  3. Continual rotation through Sweet Spot Base and Sustained Power Build.

Third option seems like the best for me and here is why. I seem to recover well from sweet spot work and most of my riding is longer gravel events, road fondos and a century or two per year.

Thoughts? Open to suggestions.

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I hear you brother!

I had to take some time off from CF (almost 3 years) but I’m planning to be back soon. Can’t wait!

My plan is to ride just for endurance and let CF fill the rest of the gaps.

I’m not saying that MetCon replaces a VO2max workout like for like, but I think is the only way that I’ll manage to do both sports.

I’m also inclined for Centuries kinda of riding so a think it’s an easy compromise

Would also love to hear expiriences from others.

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I would think that you would want to chose your emphasis, and use the other activity to complement it. So if CF is priority, than just do whatever bike workouts help you out. If using TR, maybe just use Train Now and pick the workout you feel is doable.

My second/third/fifteenth? activity is running. But my number one is XC MTB racing so all my work is focused on that sport, with everything else I do as something fun that I mold to help my fitness.

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LV SSB2, SusPB, and Century Specialty have one each VO2, Threshold, and SweetSpot per week. Alternatively you could see what Plan Builder recommends if you have a specific event in mind to peak for.

Have you tracked your heart rate doing CrossFit? If so, does it hit or exceed your max heart rate from cycling? This should be a consideration because you shouldn’t be hitting max heart rate 5 days per week. I wouldn’t think 3 days of CrossFit should be used with 2 days of VO2max intervals per week. But I’m an old 53 year old so what do I know?

Yep, I think those plans would be pretty solid. Problem now with plan builder is that there seems to be a ton of VO2 and anaerobic which is just becoming rough.

It gets up there during CrossFit but definitely not every time. Heavy days, for example help with cardiovascular recovery and the soreness generally isn’t too bad to deal with.

The issue with planning for crossfit and a structured training plan is crossfit isn’t predictable. Some gyms periodize a block of strength, endurance, etc. but others are completely random. You may do fine with one TR approach for a few months and then the wheels may fall off depending on what is happening in the gym. I think you are going to have to take it one day/week at a time depending on how you feel and what is happening in the gym. If your gym has a rhythm to the training week that is repeatable then you may be able to plan better, otherwise I would say the TrainNow option based on how you feel.

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Ex Crossfitter for 5 years here.
If your gym has somewhat regular days ie monday squat day, wednesday gymnastics, thursday olympic lifting etc it shouldn’t be too bad. If you’re doing low volume you can move around the workouts to make them work with crossfit.
If your gym is programmed “randomly” then it will be harder but you can still move workouts around. I would avoid long SS or threshold after heavy squats or high volume stuff like lunges, stepups etc.

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Thanks, I do think I’m just going to need to be more flexible with the training plan. No need to be forcing through super high intensity stuff back to back on either end.

Need to remember that cycling is primary and CrossFit is something that I do to maintain some strength, have some fun with fitness and keep mobility.

If cycling is your priority you can usually work with the CF coaches to find alternate exercises or modifications to suit you. They do this sort of thing all the time to work around injuries or for people not able to perform an exercise properly. If you find something, like wallballs, that just destroys your quads for cycling then just find a reasonable substitute with your coaches.

On your own you can dial back the intensity slightly some days. It’s amazing how much you can save by going 85% instead of 100%.

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Have a race tomorrow, not focused on performance in the race just want to finish, and felt like going to the box this morning so did this exact thing. Just went for the sake of getting some exercise and movement in to keep things loose.

Felt really good and should be recovered fine for tomorrow. In fact, I would bet that completing Barkol yesterday was far more detrimental to my performance tomorrow than a light CF session today will be. :joy:

Crossfit is in fact a Kind of HIT intervall Training.
So I would replace high intensive bike training with sustained effort workouts. Maybe one VO2 Max or anaerobic workout a week.
And take your restweeks serious…means only low intesity workouts in CF and TR. Maybe replacing CF with swimming is cool for joints and bones.

Thanks for your reply and agree here. Have been adjusting the last couple of weeks and seems to be working well.

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