Which type of workout to stay sharp during CX season?

It’s the middle of CX season and I’m either doing two races or openers and one race every weekend, together with cross practice on Weds nights. That leaves me with one day of ‘real’ training per week. VO2 max workouts are probably the closest to what I see on race day, but between races and practice, I’m already getting a ton of that. I usually do a mid-level SS workout as openers. So I’m wondering which type of workout is best during the week (SS/Threshold/VO2). I feel like this isn’t the time to push my limits, more just to stay fresh and maybe work on weaknesses? What do you all think?

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Looking back on last year I realised that the season was so long that I’d lost some of my base fitness by around Christmas time… and I find I don’t need a lot of VO2 stuff to stay sharp. So this winter I’m making time to keep up a fair volume of long Z2 work (especially on non-race weekends).


Actively in season is time to maintain form by holding on to your fitness and being fresh for races. I do mini builds in 3 week cycles by increasing reps on my key workout, but otherwise I just go easy. I do something like this:

M off
T 1.5hr z2
W 30/30 workout at around 150% ftp
R 1.25hr z2
F 45 min easy with 2x1min at ftp
S race
S 3hr z2

If your Wednesday night is a practice race, then that is your workout. If your just practicing skills, I’d switch that to Thursday and do a 30/30 type effort for n Wednesday. Skip the SS openers, don’t see any point in that besides losing some freshness for race day. Good luck

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