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Cyclocross 6 week Build Race Program (Advanced Level)


Drew Edsall

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6 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling cyclocross

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Plan Description

If you're an advanced level road(Cat 1,2) or mountain bike racer(Cat 1) looking to do cyclo-cross racing this year then this program is for you.

This program will get you ready to crush your competition at the start of your CX race season this year. Specifically this program will build and fine tune your high end cyclo-cross fitness and take your performance to the next level with workouts aimed at short/hard efforts combined with cross specific race efforts and light running to build your muscular system for the running involved. The focus is on quality, CX specific, shorter workouts with a maintenance of your longer aerobic rides.

The entire program is 6 weeks long. In the first week you will establish your LTHR and set up your HR zones. The weeks following that will include a combination of CX specific technical work(barriers, stairs, running, turns, etc), high intensity work which is needed for CX racing, and maintenance workouts to keep anything you built in terms of aerobic base prior to this.

This program can be easily added into your current program if you feel it fits what you are looking for. A great follow up to this program is either my CX In Season Race program.

You will need access to a heart rate monitor and will need to know how to use it. You can do the training on a road, CX or mountain bike. However, I do recommend that you get as much training in as possible on your CX bike since you will be racing on that.

With this program you will also receive nutritional information, a detailed description of heart rate zones, and a start-up guide that introduces you to interval training.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
10:19 hrs 4:00 hrs
0:26 hrs 0:19 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
10:19 hrs 4:00 hrs
0:26 hrs 0:19 hrs
—— ——

Drew Edsall


Mountain Bike Coaching and Training Plans. My name is Drew Edsall, I am a mountain bike head coach with and also a former professional mountain biker. At Mtbfitness we work with all mountain bike athletes and specialize in mountain bike one on one coaching, and mountain bike specific training plans.

Sample Day 1

Ride 50% Zone 2 Endurance Ride

Ride Zones 1-2 today. Get 50% or more of the time in Zone 2. This is an easy ride. You will establish your training zones tomorrow and know what Zone 2 means.

Sample Day 2

30 minute LT bike test

Warm up well by spinning for 20-30 minutes easy to moderate. Then ride a 30 minute time trial on flat course or up hill course. Punch HR monitor 'lap' button 10 minutes into Time Trial. This course needs to have no interruptions allowing for a ocnsistant hard effort with no stops.

Average heart rate for last 20 minutes predicts Lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). You lactate threshold heart rate can now be used to calculate your training zones by going to your My Settings in Training Peaks, clicking on the Zones button, and putting your LTHR in the threshold box(clicking the down arrow and picking Friels Cycling Zones). You now have your HR zones to use for the entire training program. Please refer to the startup document for training zone details and info.

Finish the workout spinning easy on your way home.

Sample Day 3

CX technical work

Warm up with 20 minutes of easy spinning. Then perform 30 minutes of technical work on a CX like course (grass field if possible): include all the following cross specific work; dismounting, re-mounting, and running with the bike. If you have access to barriers, use them by practicing running with your bike through them. Also, try to find a short/steep hill. Practice dismounting, running up the hill, remounting, and getting back into the rythm on the bike. Become comfortable and smooth with these exercises. Finish the workout with easy spinning zones 1-2 for the rest of the time.

Sample Day 3

Easy run

Run easy Zones 1-2 only.

Sample Day 5


Warm up 30 minutes of zone 1-2 spinning. Then go to a course that is as close to a CX course as possible (should include a field with multiple turns, one forced dismounting area, and some road/fireroad within it). If you don't have a course, do your best to create your own with either mtn bike singletrack and/or cones. After your warm up, perform the following on the course. 3 x 10 minute TT efforts on the course. Take 5 minutes rest between efforts. Practice your turns, and proper pacing. Look into the turns, brake before (not into) the turns, and accelerate when coming out of the turn. Experiment with different lines and try to get faster and more efficient. This doesn't mean going harder! It means riding/racing smarter! Brake only when needed, and approach the turns with the proper speed. Being efficient on the cross bike is very important, so practice it now. Finish the workout with easy spinning zones 1-2 for the remainder of time.

Sample Day 6

Easy run

Run easy Zones 1-2 only.

Sample Day 6

Endurance Moderate Effort

Ride Zone 2-3 today. Keep the pace steady and consistant at a comfortable cadence(80-90rpm)

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