Planning for a cx season, with other goals first…

I’ve just finished sweet spot base low volume. My ultimate aim is cyclocross with the 2021 season starting in September (would like to do better than previous years).

Using plan builder I’ve got short power build and cx specialty coming up followed by more sweet spot base, short power build and cx delivering me neatly in hopefully race ready mode at the beginning of September. However, I have other broader ambitions beyond just racing cx: riding centuries/fondos/sportives, fast rides with friends, a few multi day trips etc during the spring/summer.

So my question is whether the complete focus on short power/cx specialty is going to be to the detriment of my broader ambitions earlier in the year . I’m thinking of switching the first short power build to general build and the specialty to something else. Once they’re both done I’d go back into SSB/short power build/cx specialty to take me into cross season.

So what do you think? And if I do this what specialty should I go for?

Cheers in advance

I’m in a similar boat. Am doing trad base then sustained power build. Then will do another base period early summer, probably sweet spot this time followed by short power build. Won’t hit speciality until I’m firmly into the season with the aim to peak for Nationals.
Whether this is optimum or not doesn’t bother me. It’s more important to keep things fresh and interesting.

This year I did two cx races in October after a summer spent bikepacking intermittently with whole weeks off sometimes in between. I did a few sharpeners in the two weeks prior to racing. It was eye opening how well I performed.

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Similar boat here, albeit the return to Cx will be after a 15 year+ absence.

But the old-school logic (waaayyy before TR :rofl:) was always base miles with sharpening work (and, importantly, technical and bike-handling practice) closer to the time, and it always served me well.

Things have moved on since then, but I think a solid base (for which centuries/fondos etc will be perfect) with a power focus for 4-6 weeks before should see you hit the season in pretty good shape.

Thanks guy, food for thought. Keeping it fresh is important I’m sure. I build in skills sessions and make sure to ride off road over the summer. No point having a load of fitness but zero bike handling

you might make bigger gains if you work on FTP and Vo2max as opposed to short power (assuming short power is like sub 1m in this context?).

CX, even though you’re surging out of corners, is a big FTP race also once things settle in. Also, the higher your FTP for this, the less lactate you’ll accumulate after the surges, therefore making the race a big easier. If you don’t have a big FTP, I’d start here, because it really lines up with your goal for sportives, group rides, and definitely multi-day trips.

after your workouts, work on bike handling skills and a few short runs. you’ll save more time there being able to execute rather than just getting bigger short power IMO

good luck!!

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