British Cycling 8-week Cyclo-cross Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:54
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:54
Training Load By Week

The eight week cyclo-cross plan is suitable for riders who want to develop fitness specifically for cyclo-cross and have been cycling consistently through the summer. The minimum requirements are that you have ideally completed the 25-week beginners' training plan, recently completed a 60-mile (100 km) ride or most weeks ride three times, including a ride of two hours or more.

It is also suitable for more experienced riders, who may have followed our intermediate/advanced plans and our modular plan through the summer, or regularly ride longer sportives or race. With training intensity prescribed using heart rate or power, every session is effectively tailored to your own fitness level. There are also optional bonus sessions suggested each week which gives you the scope to increase your training volume if you want to.


Sample Day 2
1:10:00
Threshold Test

Warm-up: http://bit.ly/20minwarmup Ride as hard as you can for 30 minutes, recording average heart rate and/or power for the final 20 minutes Cool down for 20 minutes

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Bonus Session Indoor: Pyramid Intervals 1 Cross Training or Rest

Turbo/Rollers/Static Bike: Pyramid Intervals Session
Time: 1 hour
Warm-up: http://bit.ly/20minwarmup
Ride: Cadence 95rpm+ during the efforts and drop below 95rpm for the rests 
Zones: Threshold zone for TT efforts and active recovery for rests
British Cycling 20-minute warm-up
1 minutes Threshold Effort 
1 minutes Active Recovery
2 minutes Threshold Effort 
2 minutes Active Recovery 
3 minutes Threshold Effort 
3 minutes Active Recovery 
4 minutes Threshold Effort 
4 minutes Active Recovery 
5 minutes Threshold Effort 
4 minutes Active Recovery 
4 minutes Threshold Effort 
3 minutes Active Recovery 
3 minutes Threshold Effort 
2 minutes Active Recovery 
2 minutes Threshold Effort 
1 minutes Active Recovery 
1 minutes Threshold Effort 
Cool down routine

Sample Day 6
3:00:00
Endurance ride with climbing and tempo intervals

Warm-up: WU R http://bit.ly/WU1_warmup
Cadence: 85-95 rpm
– Choose a rolling route which will provide you with some longer hills and some flatter sections for recovery and solid tempo riding.
– Try to keep with HR/
PZ1-3 but don’t worry if a challenging hill puts you in to HR/PZ4.
– On the hills, alternate between seated and standing.
– Keep average cadence as high as you can – aim for 90 rpm over the course of the ride.
– On longer, flat sections, hit these hard with high cadence and HR/PZ3
– 10 mins cool down to HRZ1, easy gear and comfortably high cadence.
– Smooth pedal strokes through the whole revolution.
– Keep leg speed high.

Sample Day 7
1:00:00
Cyclo-Cross Skills

Tight Turns 
Warm-up: WU R http://bit.ly/WU1_warmup
Cadence: Self selected
– Find a suitable grass area,
it doesn’t need to be large, and devise a course with multiple tight turns, including 180 degree turns in both directions.
– Ride 10 mins round your course. Keep the intensity high, imagine you’re racing.
– Recover with 5 mins of easy riding.
– Repeat X3.
– 10 mins cool down to HRZ 1, easy gear and comfortably high cadence.
– Shift gears into the corners, anticipating your exit.
– Brake before you turn into the corner.
– Keep your head up and look where you want to go.
– Push down through your outside pedal.
– Sprint hard out of the corners.

Sample Day 9
1:15:00
Indoor: Big Gear / Low Cadence

Turbo/Rollers/Static Bike: Big Gear / Low Cadence Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Warm-up: http://bit.ly/20minwarmup Ride: All efforts are seated, select a gear/resistance that just allows you to maintain a cadence of 50-60 rpm. For recoveries, pedal easy with a light resistance.  Zones: Not applicable, stick to cadence targets. RIDE GUIDE British Cycling 20-minute warm-up 5 minutes 50-60 rpm 3 minutes Active Recovery 5 minutes 50-60 rpm 3 minutes Active Recovery 5 minutes 50-60 rpm 3 minutes Active Recovery 5 minutes 50-60 rpm 3 minutes Active Recovery 5 minutes 50-60 rpm 3 minutes Active Recovery 5 minutes 50-60 rpm 10 minutes Cool down

Sample Day 11
1:00:00
Bonus Session Indoor: Pyramid Intervals 2 Cross Training or Rest

Turbo/Rollers/Static Bike: Pyramid Intervals SessionTime: 1 hour
Warm-up: http://bit.ly/20minwarmup
Ride: Efforts should be 100% so cadence should be high, 100rpm+ but there should be enough resistance so you’re not spinning out.
Zones: Maximum efforts should not be gauged by power or heart rate, they should be instinctive. Ride in the active recovery zone for the rest sections, where you should keep pedalling
British Cycling 20-minute warm-up
10 seconds Maximum Effort 
10 seconds Active Recovery 
20 seconds Maximum Effort 
20 seconds Active Recovery 
30 seconds Maximum Effort 
30 seconds Active Recovery 
40 seconds Maximum Effort 
40 seconds Active Recovery 
50 seconds Maximum Effort 
50 seconds Active Recovery 
40 seconds Maximum Effort 
40 seconds Active Recovery 
30 seconds Maximum Effort 
30 seconds Active Recovery 
20 seconds Maximum Effort 
20 seconds Active Recovery 
10 seconds Maximum Effort 
10 seconds Active Recovery
3 mins easy spinning recovery. 
Repeat for a total of three repetitions Cool down with 10 mins of easy spinning

Sample Day 13
3:00:00
Endurance ride with sweet-spot intervals

Warm-up: WU R http://bit.ly/WU1_warmup
Cadence: 85-95 rpm
– Choose a rolling route which will provide you with some longer hills and some flatter sections for recovery and the intervals.
– Within the ride, include 3 X 15 minutes at “Sweet-spot” Intensity. This translates to HRZ/PZ mid Z3 - mid Z4.
– Allow at least 10 mins. between each of the efforts.
– Aim to ride the rest of the time in HRZ/PZ 2.
– Make the “Sweet-spot” efforts as consistent and even as possible.
– Try to avoid letting your cadence drop as you fatigue