4 Week Cyclocross Pre/Early-Season Plan

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4 Week Cyclocross Pre/Early-Season Plan


Drew Christopher

All plans by this Coach


4 Weeks

Typical Week

6 Bike, 2 Run, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

3:30 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling cyclocross

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This plan is designed to be implemented in the weeks leading into or at the beginning of a cyclocross season. There are workouts designed to be done on the road as well as specific workouts to do offroad and on the cyclocross bike. Additionally there is instruction for some running to help the body adjust to those specific rigors of the sport. Hours each week vary between 8-12 hours on the bike and 1-2 hours of cross training.


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 11:22

Drew Christopher

Inspired Training Center

Thanks for being here!

I am a cycling coach focused on working with athletes in all Road (Road Race, TT, & Criteriums), Track, Cyclocross, and Gravel disciplines of the sport. My priorities are outside the realm of just building training plans. More importantly, the riding skills, racing tactics, bike handling, and balance with other aspects of life on a whole are what produce effective and skilled bike riders. It's about building towards what is sustainable, not just what is attainable.

Sample Day 1

Afternoon Spin

This can be done outside or on the trainer. Really easy pedaling in Z1 HR. Z2 max. Just getting the legs spun out as part of an easier week or pre-race preparation.

Sample Day 2

Anaerobic Intervals 40-20's 2 Sets

Here is a good ride to do on the road or on a trainer.
10-15 warm up. Zone 1-2
Then do 2 sets of these. Alternate between being seated and being out of the saddle.
40 seconds ON all out. Max Zone.
20 seconds OFF Recovery Zone 1, Super Easy.
10 minutes rest in between sets.
Finish the ride spinning easy the last 10-15 min

Sample Day 3

Zone 2 Ride. Spin Legs out.

2 hour ride focusing on staying in Zone 2. Ride the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes in zone 1. Keep this Aerobic for the whole ride. Do not go above Zone 2 if possible.

Sample Day 3

Cross Prep Run

EASY, EASY, EASY. This is a run specific to your cross racing. Do not worry about distance. Walk at least 5 minutes of the total time. This can be as simple as going around the block 2 or 3 times.

Sample Day 4

5 x 3 min at Tempo

Warm up 20-30 minutes Zone 2 During this workout do 5 x 3 minutes at Mid to HIGH Zone 3. Recover for 10 minutes between Cool down to 75 minutes total. During this workout keep cadence at 90+

Sample Day 5

5 x 4 x 3 Opener Efforts

Warm up with easy spinning. First do 5 x 1 minute high cadence 120+ rpm with 2 minutes between reps. Then do 4 x 1 minute hard all out effort Z4/5 with 4-6 minutes between reps. Last do 3 all out sprints of 6-8 seconds with at least 5 minutes between sprint efforts. Leave 15-20 minutes to ride light and easy to finish.

Sample Day 6

Threshold Setter

Easy warm up.
During the first hour:
5 x 1 min high cadence (110+ rpm), 1 minute Rest in Between.
Then do 3 x 3 min at Power Zone 4 with 5 min rest in between.
Then do 2 x 30 seconds all out pace, Power Zone 5/6
And finally one more set of 5 x 1 min high cadence (110+ rpm) with 1 minute rest.
Then, roll to a steady climb to start a 20 minute all out effort. Pace yourself well by not going too hard in the first few minutes of the effort and trying to empty the tank by the end of the 20 minutes. You can gauge power and heart rate based off your current zone 4s but most importantly you should be gauging your perceived effort as all out for that timeframe.
Finish your ride with a nice easy spin down and remember to drink well and eat throughout the whole ride.

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