1.5 - CYCLOCROSS : CX Race 8 Weeks/10-14 Hours for Advanced Riders by H. Allen - Power, HR

Average Weekly Training Hours 10:25
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 10:25
Training Load By Week

This training plan is made for cyclists who train with power, heart rate, or perceived exertion. We have provided an additional week at the beginning of this plan that contains testing protocol and explains how to set your training zones within TrainingPeaks. That will allow you to know exactly where you are starting with the plan and provide the correct information for testing in the future.

This is for the cyclocross rider with 10-14 hours a week to train. Note that on the weekends (Friday - Sunday) you will have multiple workouts listed. You need to choose ONE option based on your race schedule. Also note that because of the options, your time listed at the end of the week will appear higher.

You probably have not done any cross races yet or you've done a limited few. This plan is more than adequate for your first season of cross and you should expect some results!

This plan is a great way to get you involved in the sport, to learn more about it and to be ready for the racing season.

This plan is for the recreational cyclist all the way up to a Category 4 road racer or beginner mountain biker. You are excited to give CX a try this year and don't know where to start.

This is the plan for you if you would like a bit of instruction and are not afraid of doing some hard work and getting muddy.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Pre - Race Short

WU: 15 Minutes in the Endurance zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3). Get in 2 or 3 fast pedals of about 1 minute each.
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MS: Prerace effort is about opening up the legs and keeping the lactate processing plant sharp. As part of the 30 main set do 3 x 90 seconds “Hard Effort” (80% of MAX), rest for 5 minutes in-between. Focus on tomorrow’s race during effort, breath deep and pedal smooth.
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CD: 15 minutes easy pedaling in Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2)

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
Threshold Plan – FTP 20 minute/ VO2 Max Test

WU: 10-20 minutes working into Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) with 3 x 1-minute fast pedals to wake up legs.
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MS1: 5-Minute Hard Effort. This 5-minute effort should be done at maximum. Start the effort at a high pace, but not so hard that you cannot finish strong. Really hammer out the last 45 seconds. The goal is to generate a max 5-minute VO2 Max test while really opening up the legs for the test and really dispense the initial freshness to help produce more accurate power in the 20-minute test. Once complete, spin easily for 15 minutes of recovery, working back into Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3), and then go on to MS2.
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MS2: 20-Minute Time Trial. Try to do this on a road that is fairly flat and allows you to put out strong, steady power for the entire 20-minute effort. Don’t start too hard! You can do this on a steady climb or into a headwind to help produce steady power throughout the 20-minute effort. Once complete, spin easy for 10 minutes in Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3). Your FTP is the power average for the 20-minute effort minus 3-5%.
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CD: 10-15 minutes of easy spinning.

Sample Day 4
1:30:00
ACTIVE RECOVERY - Easy Spin

MS: Today is an Active Recovery day targeting ONLY Active Recovery (Power Z1, Heart Rate Z1, RPE <2). Focus on relaxing on the bike and enjoying the ride. If you have to climb some hills try to use easier gear and spin easy. Today is about recovery, so go for easy spin!

Sample Day 5
1:30:00
AC and NP Testing

WU: 10-20 minutes working into Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3)with 3 x 1-minute fast pedals to wake up legs.
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MS1: 5-Minute Effort at FTP. To better warm up and open up the legs, let’s put in a 5-minute effort at the tested FTP number from the Day 1 test. This should be hard, but not too hard! Once complete, ride for 10 minutes at Endurance Zone (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) and then go on to MS2.
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MS2: 1-Minute Test. Find a quiet road, flat or with a slight uphill grade. Start from about 20 mph out of the saddle HAMMERING (self-selected cadence); go as hard as you can go in the beginning! Sit as you need to and try to push out the entire minute. This is hard! Once complete, spin for 5 minutes and then repeat the test. When your second effort is completed, spin easy for 15 minutes and then go on to MS3.
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MS3: 3 x NP 10-Second Sprint Max. Find a clear stretch of road, start from a slow speed of around 15 mph, and sprint as hard as you can for 10-15 seconds. Really focus on your JUMP from the line! Rest for 2-4 minutes between sprints (3). Try changing up your gearing a little to hit higher max numbers in each effort.
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CD: 10-15 minutes of easy spinning.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
ACTIVE RECOVERY - Easy Spin

MS: Today is an Active Recovery day targeting ONLY Active Recovery (Power Z1, Heart Rate Z1, RPE <2). Focus on relaxing on the bike and enjoying the ride. If you have to climb some hills try to use easier gear and spin easy. Today is about recovery, so go for easy spin!

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
ENDURANCE Ride

WU: 10-15 minutes working from Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2) training zone into Endurance (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) with 2-3 x 1 minute fast pedals to wake up legs.
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MS1: Endurance ride. Set a pace at Endurance (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3) and hold this pace for the prescribed workout time. Focus on riding smooth and staying relaxed. Vary your cadence. Vary terrain.
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CD: 5-15 minutes of easy pedaling in Active Recovery (Power Z1, HR Z1, RPE <2).

Sample Day 9
1:15:00
FTP 4 x 10 w/ Bursts

WU: 15 - 20 Minutes working Endurance (Power Z2, HR Z2, RPE 2-3)with 4 x 1 minute Fast Pedals to wake up legs
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MS: CX takes greater muscular power to maintain high level efforts and working on your sustained power is key to building our Function Threshold Power (FTP), but to keep ensure we also maintain leg strength; we need to add “bursts”. Complete 4 x 10 Minute Intervals at 89% - 92% of FTP (Power Z3.5, HR Z3.5, RPE 3-5), during each interval put in 5 “burst sprints” of 10 – 15 seconds at 150% of interval effort
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CD: 15 Minutes