Cyclocross: Intensive Aerobic Base (8-Week Power Plan)

Author

Kent Woermann

All plans by this Coach

Length

8 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Run, 1 Other, 7 Bike

Longest Workout

1:45 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling cyclocross intermediate advanced power based

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Summary

Includes Structured Workouts

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This is an intensive 8-week plan designed to optimize your aerobic capacity (VO2max) and lactate threshold (FTP). The first week is used to establish a baseline with cyclocross specific testing, then moves into a progressive interval plan. Weekends are flexible to allow for racing, group rides, or individual interval training.

Cyclocross is all about repeated high-intensity anaerobic efforts within a 30-60 minute race (depending on category). In order to be successful in cyclocross you'll need to spend plenty of time developing your anaerobic energy systems, but having a well developed aerobic base is still important for multiple reasons:

1. A higher aerobic threshold (FTP) will all you to ride harder before tapping into your limited anaerobic energy stores.
2. Strong aerobic conditioning helps improve your recharge rate of anaerobic energy, allowing you to pedal hard longer and more frequently.
3. Improving general conditioning will allow you to recover faster between workouts.

The goal of this plan is to build a cyclocross specific base, which means developing your VO2max and Lactate Threshold with a focused 8-week progressive interval training plan. Since this plan is very intensive, it's recommend that you build a general aerobic base with 8-12 weeks of consistent riding before starting this plan.

What you need for this plan:
• Power Meter
• Access to a practice cyclocross course (a homemade course near your home will do)
• Good running shoes (optional)

Stats

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 07:44

Kent Woermann

Move Up Endurance Coaching

Move Up Endurance Coaching is a Kansas City based company geared towards helping competitive and goal driven cyclist reach the next level. We offer 1-on-1 coaching, monthly coaching plans, consulting, skill clinics, and personal training.

We currently work with athletes pursuing the following cycling disciplines;
--> Road
--> Mountain Bike
--> Cyclocross
--> Gravel / Ultra Endurance

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

0:15:00
12.5TSS
5-Minute Run

Warm-up:
5 minute brisk walk

Main Set:
5 minute run at self-selected pace
--> Choose a comfortable pace and focus on running form.
• Your running posture should be tall with a gentle forward lean. To understand the lean, stand with your feet hip width apart and lean forward at the ankle, keeping your knees and hip locked into position. 5-10 degree is all you need here.
• Keep ground contact time short. A good way to practice this is to run with a metronome set to 180 bpm and to match your step frequency to the beat. You only need to do this for a couple runs to start getting the hang of it. This little trick will help fix a lot of other running form errors as well. 
• Make sure you have a set of good running shoes. 
 
Cool-down:
5 minute relaxed walk

Sample Day 2

1:06:30
70.1TSS
NP: Power Stomps / Cyclocross Starts

Warm-up:
30 minutes; gradually increase intensity throughout duration of warm-up. Include (3) x 5-8" sprints to prepare the legs for the work ahead.

Main Set: Priming the legs
(3) x 10" Max Sprints w/3' recovery
---> Starting from 15+ mph, jump explosively out of the saddle and sprint for 10-seconds at your max effort. Spin easy for 3-minutes between each sprint.

Main Set 2:
(3) x 20" Cyclocross Starts w/7' recovery
---> Setup at an imaginary start line just like you would at a CX race. When the "whistle" blows, jump off the line, clip in as quickly/smoothly as possible, and sprint for a hard 15-20 seconds like you're trying to hit the first corner in first position. Technique is just as important as power here.
---> Performing this workout with a friend is a lot of fun. Trade off who says "GO" so you get that element of surprise to your starts.

Cool-down:
5-10 minutes easy spinning

Sample Day 3

1:15:00
61.3TSS
Aerobic Endurance

Aerobic endurance ride today. Practice keeping steady pressure on the pedals going both uphill and downhill, with minimum fluctuations in power output and minimal coasting time.
----
Ride for 60-90 minutes at a steady pace. You can ride your CX bike, road bike, or MTB, just make sure you don't turn this into another hard effort. It's better for this ride to be too easy than too hard.

Sample Day 4

0:49:00
70.2TSS
Test: 1 & 5 minute

Warm-up:
5' easy
5' fast pedaling drills
8' power ramp
3' easy w/sprints
10' easy, cruise to line
--->Details for each section of the warm-up are in the workout builder.

Main Set:
1 minute test
---> Find a good hill with a steady grade around 3-6% and smash up it with everything you have. Afterwards spin very easy for 10 minutes in preparation for the 5-minute test
 
Main Set 2:
5 minute test
--> Get up to speed quickly in the first 10-20 seconds then settle in at a comfortably hard pace. The first 2 minutes should feel challenging but manageable. If you're not starting to feel some serious burn by the 2 minute mark then you need to bump up the power just a bit. When you hit the 3:45 minute mark you should be deep in the pain cave. During the final 75-seconds you have to grit your teeth and start pouring everything you have left into the pedals. If you're exploding in the final 10-20 seconds you're doing it right! Don't stop until you see 5:01 on your lap timer.

Cool-down:
10 minutes

Sample Day 5

1:00:00
25TSS
Active Recovery

Ride for 45-60 minutes at in Zone 1 HR/Power (very easy pace).

Sample Day 6

1:23:00
114.6TSS
KPI: Cyclocross NP40

KPI = Key Performance Indicator. This session will mimic the demands of your key event and will be repeated multiple times during your preparation. Enjoy!
-----
Warm-up:
10' easy build
8' build from 70-105% FTP
(3) x 5" Sprints w/55" recovery
5-10' easy spinning before start of test effort

Test Effort:
40' @ Max NP
--> Using the longest cyclocross course possible near your home, perform a mock 40-minute race effort at max intensity. Your goal is to hit the highest 40-minute normalized power possible.
-----
The ideal course will include varied terrain, 1-2 obstacles, and be repeatable for future test. Try to space the obstacles 3-5 minutes apart. You get to choose the obstacles, but try to make at least one of them a sand or hill run of 5-10 seconds.

Cool-down:
15 minutes easy spinning

Sample Day 7

1:15:00
61.3TSS
Aerobic Endurance

Aerobic endurance ride today. Practice keeping steady pressure on the pedals going both uphill and downhill, with minimum fluctuations in power output and minimal coasting time.
----
Ride for 60-90 minutes at a steady pace. You can ride your CX bike, road bike, or MTB, just make sure you don't turn this into another hard effort. It's better for this ride to be too easy than too hard.

Cyclocross: Intensive Aerobic Base (8-Week Power Plan)

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