By Elliot Reinecke, Source Endurance Associate Coach. Photos compliments of Source Endurance.
The majority of amateur athletes, and even a lot of pros, have jobs outside of training and racing bikes that limit their ability or opportunity to train. For the time-crunched, heavily-worked cyclists focusing on cyclo-cross (CX) as their main passion, this isn’t such a bummer.
For those who focus on racing road and mountain bikes, where the season is during the summer, there is a huge stress of trying to log base miles in the wintertime. One problem with winter base miles, for those with jobs, is that it doesn’t get light until 8am or so and it gets dark at 5pm. This is a problem if you’re working a 9-5 job.
The other issue with winter base miles is, well, its freaking winter time!
The other issue with winter base miles is, well, its freaking winter time! It’s cold and if you live almost anywhere beside Texas, Southern California, Florida, or Arizona it probably just got done snowing, is currently snowing, or is going to snow in the near future. It’s hard to maintain a positive mental attitude towards training during these winter months.
But cyclo-crossers race during the winter! This makes it great for logging miles in the summertime with friends when the days are long, warm, and the group rides plentiful. It’s easier for the time-crunched cyclist to get in some extra hours before and/or after work to help build their aerobic engine.
If you would like to get the most out of your racing this winter its important that you don’t look for a coach three days before the first race of the season. It’s good to start building the athlete coaching relationship through the summer, learn your strengths and weaknesses, then using periodization, work on building your base while the days are long and you have more time to ride before or after work.
What can you be doing during the summertime to get ready for CX? Well, as long as you don’t get burned out mentally, it’s a great time to incorporate road or mountain bike races into your training. These races are usually longer, sometimes waaay longer, than CX races and help to develop the aerobic system as well as keep your threshold and Vo2 max. higher. Incorporating on and off the bike strength training as well as some plyometric type exercises a few days a week will help strengthen the core and get your body ready for the demands of CX.
We used this approach, or something similar, to great success for our clients in the previous CX season. But more importantly, we’ve used our approach across multiple athletes in multiple age groups.
National Champion Tom Price, Men 55-59
Zach McDonald, Men Elite, 3rd
Natalie Koncz, 4th, Women’s Masters 35-39
Heidi Wood, 10th place, Women’s Single-Speed
Shadd Smith, 11th, Men 40-44
Keep an eye out as we have some exciting things planned for CX 2016! CrossVegas is only 160 days away!