Wednesday night worlds - Cyclocross

It seems common in most regions to have a wednesday morning/night cross race, in the Boston area they start mid summer and we have a few options as well.

I’ve always followed a “plan” where I would do Sprints or VO2 work on tuesdays, cross racing on wednesday nights (2 or 3 x 20 minute heats on a tight twisty course seems common), and if I had it in me I would do threshold work on thursdays. I find most of them to be much more punchy than actual cyclocross racing (which appears to be a weakness of mine anyways).

I’ll be attempting to follow the trainer road plan for the first few month or two of this season, as I have found it to be very efficient. How should I go about fitting these wednesday night/morning races in? I have found for most these races it works out to about 80 or so TSS, so its not super taxing, previously I was trying to do morning and night to get the volume required for UCI racing. I also find them awesome for the social aspect, and good to work on cornering.

My thoughts for this season was to try to be more relaxed and focus more on technique on wesdnesdays, and executing my tuesday and thursday workouts to better completion, although am worried about losing the volume from years prior. Any thoughts on what best to do with these?

Thanks,
Sean

Are you racing one or two days on the weekends in addition to wednesday? Build your schedule around 3 days of intensity max regardless of TSS. The rest of the days should be recovery or endurance days. If you find that doing an interval session on TR is more useful for fitness than hot laps on wednesday, then use it as a skills session and dial the intensity way back and work on technique and cornering and don’t hammer on nontechnical sections

Just posted a similar thread myself. I to am trying to work in a Wednesday night race into my schedule. I’m approaching it in a couple of ways depending on how I feel and what I want to get out of it. First and foremost these Wednesday races aren’t meant to completely destroy myself—working on pacing and technique is the primary goal, but not at the expense of a quality workout.

This is before the actual season starts…

I usually take Sunday off so Monday shifts to a sweet spot ride, Tuesday is easy, Wednesday is race, Thursday is threshold, Friday is skills, Saturday is another threshold day, Sunday off.

When the weekend races start I’ll have to modify this a bit and probably take Monday off.

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I’m jealous. I’m in Scotland and we had 1 summer race this season before the official series kicks off in 4 weeks! Training by yourself just isn’t the same as racing a field of 80 for an hour

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Hi Sean, I’m a Boston local CX’er too, although not as accomplished as you are! Last year was my first proper season and I didn’t do any of the weeknight practices, hopefully I will this season. The thing I started to see after a couple of weeks last year was that 2 days of intense training plus weekend races were leaving my legs a bit lifeless, so I’d definitely echo the thoughts of the guys who suggest just working on the skills and not the fitness for the practice stuff. Once I finish this block of training in a couple of weeks I’ll probably do a sweet spot day, a harder interval day and endurance. I can personally handle a lot of TSS, but if I had in vo2 and anaerobic work that seems to take a bigger toll on me than higher TSS endurance/sweet spot stuff

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Are you talking about stacking these races so that you can replicate back to back days of weekend racing or multiple races in one day type of thing?

What are you worried about? Declining aerobic fitness? I would aim for quality over quantity and find a way to work in a 2-3hr endurance ride in if possible. Or take a week off of racing mid-season if you can and touch up the endurance and threshold side of your fitness.

if it’s punchier than CX racing it sounds like really good, and specific, training. I’d keep them in there, and scratch the Thurs session’s FTP intensity.

Do work Tues and Wed (Cx sim), endurance Thurs, Recovery Friday, then race Sat/Sun. If you don’t have a race, you could do some FTP work on the weekend.

Recovery Monday and get after it again!

Best of luck! What’s the first race for you this year?

Brendan

I sometimes do a morning set of 2 x 20’s on a CX course, as well as an evening set. I also like riding with both the groups. Its not so much replicating the back to back weekend, to me that just naturally happens through the season (it is long, I usually do about 20 races a year, from september to mid december) with quite a few back to to back weekends. Its more to do with the effort, even when doing threshold on the trainers, early summer I start with 3x12’s or so, then work up to 3 x 20’s. I’m often racing for an 1:00 to 1:10 (unless I get pulled).

Honestly, not sure what im worried about. I just know I feel best when i’ve stacked up quite a few weeks of this three day cycle. I would bet in the past, on double race weekends that I care about, I swap the thursday threshold for endurace, ranging from 1.5 to 3 hrs depending on the importance of the race.

I sense Im am naturally a bit more steady state anyways, so your probably right to keep them in. I used to use them to basically replace FTP work, which I think was wrong, since its probably closer to Tabata type workouts, sprinting out of every corner for 20 min heats.

I’ll do a few local races leading up to the first big UCI weekend in Gloucester (new england world championships, ha)

yeah, i’ve often tried to do freeform cross workouts in a park, but I find it really hard to hit the same sort of intensity for the same length. We have it very lucky here in New England.

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good luck! I have an athlete going to Gloucester, always a big target!!!