Taking two weeks off of CX

We’re about a month into CX here in CO and I had a pretty solid road season. Finished the crit season strong at Gateway Cup in St. Louis. But, with all of that, I sadly quit doing long endurance rides and by long I mean 90 min to 2 hours.

CX is here and while my :30 to 2/3 min power is great, my stamina is horrible and by lap four or five I’m not really giving it on the flats/slight uphills but still hammering/passing people in the power sections and run-ups.

I’m also doing the CX speciality mid volume plan, but races on the weekends I tend to not do those workouts because of the races or do one or not the other.

So my question is - would taking two weeks off of racing and fully concentrating on the plan for those two weeks help make up some of my fitness? Should I squeeze in some endurance stuff as well? I feel I’m fit enough - have been racing CX/road/XC for a few years, that I could go do a long endurance ride and feel fine - I know it has benefits. I also just finished building a small mock cx practice loop at my house to help on those days to practice skills.

I’m a cat 3 who is probably back of the mid pack currently. Should I mix in more sweet spot too?


I’m in kind of a similar situation as you. After road season, my anerobic power is great but my vo2 and areobic is crap basically due to not doing long rides. However, 2 weeks ago my cx bike had to get the front brake warrantied so ive basically only done LSD and a few group rides in the interm. I’m going to race again this weekend will let you know how it goes.

1 Like

DMC - you pretty much summed up my CX season this year as well. Looking forward to feedback from the forum.

1 Like

Coach Chad has mentioned many times that the specialty plan is more about refining current fitness rather than building fitness, and that’s held true in my experience also.
Without knowing your training history, and going by my experience and results (XCO mtb) - I’d consider incorporating some long rides into your current training if that is something that you’re lacking. For me - long sweet spot intervals work really well… and if I were in your shoes, I’d probably race CX on the weekends and see if I could fit in some sweet spot or long slow distance midweek.

Alternatively, enjoy the rest of your CX season and assuming you aren’t just rolling right into another season focus on endurance on your next training block.


@Wayne - thanks for the reply. I do remember Chad mentioning the speciality plans were there to hone and refine your fitness; not build. Having said that, I feel very fit, but agree on the sweet spot which seems to be lacking. I may switch over this week to a non concrete plan and swap the cx workouts to long slow distance, sweet spot, and/or long intervals like 15-20 mins.

Very encouraging to hear about racing still on the weekends. I love racing regardless of the finish and just enjoy it.


1 Like

@mroth - I decided to abandon my cx specific plan and take some plans from general build/base phase and some sweet spot stuff to use during mid-week workouts and probably still race once on the weekends. Mainly sweet spot intervals and endurance stuff on the trainer. Will still try and do one cx workout as well.

@DMC - I’m still working through the CX low volume plan and trying to work in some sweet spot rides outdoors… I guess time will tell how it works out. Good luck the rest of this year.

Thanks Wayne

1 Like

Glad I’m not alone! Sounds good and have a good race this weekend!

So I raced this weekend and felt pretty good.

I think there were two things I noticed. First, I felt like I was able to go pretty hard for longer than I could a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if this is due to decreased intensity throughout the week or maybe just having the competitive drive rekindled due to not racing for 2 weeks but I felt good.

Second, I did notice my start wasn’t great, even with my standard criterium warmup it took a while for me to feel like I was firing on all cylinders. Maybe this week I’ll try and do some openers Friday night or something.

I’m curious how the SS work goes I figured that it might be too much to do SS all week and race on the weekend but doing a few hours of endurance tues/wed/thurs does take a lot of time.

That is encouraging to hear @Saganoky. Thank you for sharing your results on this. I hear you on the warmup. Mine are so scattered. Sometimes a few preview laps and then spinning and some practice starts. Definitely not as good as my crit warmups.

I also took this weekend off and have spent this week and a half on endurance/threshold/sweet spot - my TSS workouts have only been about 60-70, but honestly I feel almost as tired during these efforts as the higher CX style stuff I had been doing the three weeks prior.
I did do a vO2 workout Friday followed by more endurance and then a zwift race tonight - holy shit did that hurt but also felt sort of stronger.
Anyway, mostly sweet spot/threshold/endurance with one or two vO2/punchy workouts. I’ll continue this path for a few more weeks I think.
I may get back into racing this upcoming weekend and see how I do.