The cyclocross preparation plan focuses on developing and training the areas that a rider need to be successful in cyclocross. The preparation phase is between base and specialization and works to lay a foundation for the most highly focused workouts to come as racing begins and becomes more frequent. The Plan assumes the rider has a solid summer period of base already in, and transitions an athlete into cyclocross season.
For weekend when an athlete plans to race, follow the [RACE] workouts instead, with openers on Friday and
The most important rides are scheduled on Tuesdays. These rides improve a riders capacity for for harder rides to come. Thursday’s rides are the next most important. These also help the athlete prepare for burst workouts later while also maintaining the base work. The skills and endurance rides, while important can be moved around to accommodate an athlete's schedule.
This plan is most suited for experienced racers looking to take their racing to the next level, in category or aspiring category 3 racers. The plan requires a little more time commitment that a beginner, but still aims to use that time as efficiently as possible. Athletes have to flexibility within the plan to race any weekend they want to by following the [RACE] workouts on the week they plan to race.
Warm Up, 6x6m TTs, Cool Down
6 Minute TT efforts are a good early season or maintenance workout to help you make the transition from base and longer threshold work into harder and more intense maximal workouts. These efforts should be done as hard as possible for each effort, but trying to put in a consistent power throughout.
Approach each workout with a power target or a distance target. Do your best to meet the target, and look for a 1-2% improvement each week. If you are able to hit the targets, try to g o even harder.
Treat this like a recovery ride from an effort stand point.
There are two ways to approach this workout:
1. Identify weaknesses
Get out and just ride around, look for fun areas to ride or hit up your local park, trails or course. Push your tires and have some, keeping the effort low, but looking for areas where you could improve. Come away from this workout with an idea of where you need to work on, based on how you were riding, or what races or events you might have coming up.
2. Take a list of skills, 2-3 skills and get to a park or area where you can practice them. Look for drills on youtube, recreate race course scenarios, or email me for drill ideas. Practice each skills for 10-15 minutes and then move on. Come away with an idea of what techniques were working and not working and an idea of what you want to work on next time.
Keep the power and HR easy
The focus of this workout is to improve your ability to recover from above threshold efforts, and to increase your endurance at that level. It also does a fantastic job of helping you maintain the threshold improvements made during base.
Warm Up, do 2x15 minute Dirty 30s, Cool down.
Dirty 30s are a great CX specialization workout. They are designed to keep you on the back foot and challenge you to composure while completing hard efforts and technical dismounts and remounts.
The best way to complete these is not based on time, but on a predetermined course. A soccer field works incredibly well. The 2 long and 1 short side of a field are about 30s long, then rest and run the 4th short side, remounting into the long side starting the next rep. Regardless of where you do these, having a course with markers will make them easier to complete as watching the clock becomes difficult.
Worry less about hitting the exact power targets and more about going hard, and maintaining good form.
Endurance Rides are about having some fun and getting in the volume of work to properly stress the body which will trigger adaptation.
Focus on challenging yourself and don't be afraid to up the pace as you feel. There is a lot of flexibility here, as long as you get the time and stress in, the rest is up to you.