Cyclocross Race Cat 4/5

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:47

Cyclocross race plan are plans focused on athletes that are in the thick of racing season. These plans help you find a balance between racing, recovering and training, with a focus on the most highly focused and specialized workouts. This plan is all about getting faster in your races. The training takes a very on/off approach. The hard days will be hard, and the easy days need to be very easy. There is a mix of fitness and power focused workouts, race simulation workouts and easy skills days. Each weekend has room for a race, but if you choose not to race or can’t race, there are workouts to follow either way.

The plan is written with no racing on the weekend, if you plan to race, follow the workouts labeled with [RACE] in the title.

This 8 week plans takes the simple form of Tuesday/Thursday are hard, Monday/Wednesday/Friday are easy, with either racing or longer rides on the weekend. Special care needs to be taken to recover well from the weekend so Tuesday can be done hard. If the athletes feel too tired for tuesday’s workout, they should be skipped, generally moving them to Wednesday will continue to pile on fatigue and lead to overtraining.

Cat 4/5

This plan is specifically designed for beginner and entry level racers, who plan to race Category 4/5 or those who are looking to upgrade to Category 3. The plan is designed around 30 minute race times, athletes who are able to ride 6-8 hours a week including races on the weekend. To be best prepared, athletes should have a Chronic Training Load of 40-50 or more.

The plan is highlighted by 4 key workouts:

Cyclocross Interval Series L1 - This workout is designed to simulate the effort of a cyclocross race across multiple different effort types and styles. These are maximal efforts, so they should be treated like a near race type effort. There is a lot of freedom in how you choose to do these. Doing them on grass is idea, but challenging to do well. Doing them on gravel will help make them a little easier to complete as written. Overall the workout challenges you to put down hard efforts for a cumulative duration similar to CX race, the recovery time between interval sets can be extended to make hitting peak efforts a little easier.

Cyclocross Drills L1 - This is a combination race effort simulation and skills work day. This workout challenges you to apply power in race like efforts while working on your skills. This workout requires specific terrain features so take the time to find a good place to do the efforts before hand. The recovery time between sets is less important, this time should be spent getting from one area to the next to start the next set of drills. The workout is based on distance more than exact time and effort. Use terrain features to mark transitions from one effort to the next, and try to keep count of the number of each effort and work to increase the number of laps or efforts you do from session to session.

Tempo with Bursts Reduced - This workout is awesome at training you long sustained effort and will help you maintain high power through an entire race with minimal recovery. To maximize the effectiveness of this workout it is important to not drop your effort from burst to tempo too much. That is where the magic training happens.

Microbursts Reduced and 2x10 - Microbursts are a very dense workout, getting a lot of work done in a short amount of time. For this reason they are perfect for the time crunched cyclist and for Cyclocross races who are looking to keep the workouts short and very challenging. Although it is very challenging, do your best to keep the pedals moving on the OFF periods, this is good habit for racing, because in the long run it helps you recover faster.

Sample Day 1
1:19:00
68.7TSS
CX Race Intervals - L1 - Power Based

CX Race Intervals are designed to prepare you for race efforts while giving yo ua chance to practice skills at high effort levels and run through common race scenarios.

These can be done on the open road, in gravel, but ideally they should be done in the grass or on a course. Parameters or soccer fields and large open grass areas work pretty well, but so can a simple trail or course that you find or make. The more realistic the better. When doing these off road, set marker (either real or remembered) as points where you would change effort levels, and worry less about exact times.

Any way that you can make these efforts to more closely resemble your racing the better, including inviting friends along to join.

Sample Day 3
1:13:00
77.3TSS
Dirty 30s - 2x10m - Power Based

Warm Up, do 2x10 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.

Sample Day 4
1:27:15
63.7TSS
Leg Openers-STD-PowerBased [RACE]

Sample Day 5
1:27:00
85.6TSS
Tempo w/ Bursts - Reduced

Tempo with Bursts are designed to improve endurance and fatigue resistance. Focus on maintaining good tempo and maximizing the bursts

Sample Day 6
2:20:00
79.5TSS
Endurance (2 hour)

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.

Sample Day 8
1:19:00
68.7TSS
CX Race Intervals - L1 - Power Based

CX Race Intervals are designed to prepare you for race efforts while giving yo ua chance to practice skills at high effort levels and run through common race scenarios.

These can be done on the open road, in gravel, but ideally they should be done in the grass or on a course. Parameters or soccer fields and large open grass areas work pretty well, but so can a simple trail or course that you find or make. The more realistic the better. When doing these off road, set marker (either real or remembered) as points where you would change effort levels, and worry less about exact times.

Any way that you can make these efforts to more closely resemble your racing the better, including inviting friends along to join.

Sample Day 10
1:13:00
77.3TSS
Dirty 30s - 2x10m - Power Based

Warm Up, do 2x10 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.

Joseph H Maloney
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JM Coaching Services

I provide coaching for all levels of endurance cyclists. I specialize in Off-Road training with extensive experience racing at a professional level in both XCO and CX. I want to help you reach your goals and I know that the key to this is targeted purposeful workouts, and engagement. I take care of the numbers, you focus on giving it 100% towards you goals.