2021 Cyclocross Training

I want to start a thread for everyone doing cyclocross this fall. I was thinking we can help keep each other motivated through these TOUGH workouts and hot weather. I’m doing the 6 weeks to Cross plan right now and then we do CX intervals plan. First CX race will be Oct 3rd.

I did the 7 minute “hot lap” workout last week and WOW that felt awkward. My legs did not want to smash out of each corner. But then I did the 2x 7min hot lap workout this week and it felt much better. So I’m glad I’m knocking the dust off now so I’m ready to smash in the fall.

What’s everyone else got going this summer?

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Hi @tgoods. Thanks for starting this thread! This is my first full year using Fascat. I’m not starting the 6 weeks to CX plan until literally 6 weeks out from the first race on Sept. 18 then I’ll go into the CX Race and Recovery plan. Maybe I should have started sooner which I can still do. I look forward to these workouts and reporting back here!

James

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I always look forward to those CX workouts - short, hard, satisfying. This year I was planning to start the 6 weeks to CX in a few weeks, but I’ve been busy with work and kind of let my base get away from me, so been thinking about doing the a month of a SS plan and then do the 6wCX…gotta decide soon.

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i’m about 75% through the off season 24 week plan. i was skeptical at first, but now i’m a believer. frothing for cross

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I’m working through redoing the Summer CX SS plan. I’ve felt a difference so far! Planning on hitting 6 weeks to cross on Aug 1, my first race is Oct 3rd (are you racing the Ga CX series by chance?) also so I’ll hit the CX intervals plan mid Sept. Hoping for some mud this year! #crossiscoming

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I will be doing the series out of Tulsa, OK.

I did my first session of dismounts and remounts yesterday. Only racked myself twice. That is pretty good!

Tgoods what class you in? I’ll see you for sure at Ruts n Guts.

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Dude the remount struggle is real… I had to unlearn some bad habits, namely stopping the hopping on the left foot when getting back on the saddle. Still got some work do to on that.

I’m racing P/1/2 this year, moving up from 3/4.

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Hi All

Thanks for starting this thread. I finished Sweet Spot 3 and now I’m two weeks into Six Weeks 'Til Cross. Targeting a first race on September 18th in Boulder. It feels great to work on skills and sprint efforts finally!

Currently my focus is 1) dialing in my race bike with new wheels and tire selections 2) working on handling skills and sprints and 3) starting hot laps on a mock course. Finding good courses where I can practice without other people around is challenging but doable when started in early morning.

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What tires are you going with this year? I’ve got sets of the Vittoria Terreno Dry/Mixed/Wet (tubeless) for the season. I raced the Dry/Wet last season. The Dry have good grip, even in mixed conditions. I found that the Wet should only be used in true wet conditions because they clog easily and need wetness to clear 'em out. Looking forward to trying the Mixed this year for some extra cornering grip.

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I am going with tubeless Donnelly PDX WC. The maker touts this tire as an all 'rounder even though the original PDX debuted as a mud tire. The knobs are quite open and there is a narrow tread centerline for fast rolling. The WC is 240 TPI and gives good feel underneath. I’m training on it now and plan to race in September (Boulder). I do like this tire and am playing with pressures for grass and loose/packed surfaces…

Haven’t tried the Vittorias but will take a look at them.

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Sounds good. Let us know how you like it!

Tires! One of my favorite topics! The tires you choose can be based on many factors: How much time you have, how much money you’re willing to spend, and what your goals are. If you were looking for just a one-tire option that would cover all your bases, I would go with something like the Donnelly PDX or similar. This will cover you in all conditions. Sure, it won’t be the greatest tire to have on your bike when you’re sprinting your arch-nemesis on a paved finish line section but this tire will hold up in variable conditions of all kinds (dry, snow, mud) and is great in off-camber grass. Just because you live in a dry climate area does not mean you need a dry conditions tire. A dry course can be wet in the morning because of morning dew, or overnight sprinkler system, or perhaps a section of the course is near a wet drainage/stream area. If you’ve got a dry conditions tire on and your crashing or going slow around a slick corner every lap, what’s the point? My take home message is if you’re going to get one tire that will cover you for as much as possible go with something like the PDX. During my last years of racing cross I had three sets of tubualrs glued up with the PDX. One for my A and B bike and a back up set. Even though I had access to other tires and wheels, I wanted to take the brain damage out of this part of cross racing. I had tires on that I knew would work and I didn’t have to question my tire selection before every race. All I fussed with was tire pressure.

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+1 for the PDX’s for all those reasons Coach Brandon mentions. I’ve experimented with the MXP’s but crashed less, could corner with more confidence with the PDX’s - even on hard pack dirt.

T0 quote Jeremy Powers from Cross Camp: “no one should be on file treads” -I tried them and can confirm - more crashing :wink: and less braking power.

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I’ve been training during the summer on some Specialized Tracers that were stock on my bike when I got it. Planning on mounting a set of tubeless Grifos this week that I have from last season. Love the tread pattern and they grip pretty darn on any surface in my experience. Might pick up a set up Limus tires for late season depending on this year’s weather!

Thanks for the tips on the tires. Are you going to do a whole podcast on CX race strategies? I can’t get enough of the comments and ideas you have on this. Along with tips from Coach Allie, most of my learning has been from friends (and even spectators on occasion), trial and error (very slow process), and watching other racers. Your comments spark lots of new ideas about things to try.

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The secret to tires is tire pressure. Once you get that dialed in, it changes everything. The style of the tread is irrelevant if you have too much pressure. You will be all over the place. Learn to ride a flat tire.

Push it hard if it is tubeless. If it doesn’t burp, go lower. Figure out the least amount of pressure you can run without burping in aggressive corners. Then you will know your lower limit and can then adjust according to conditions.

+1 on tire pressure. I often suggest people go out to their local CX training area or maybe even a spot where they have races and bring their race wheels, floor pump, and tire gauge. Start your tire pressure at a high level and do a few laps. Drop a few pounds of pressure do a few more laps. Then drop a pound of pressure, do a few hot laps. Repeat this until you feel like you’ve gone too low. You’ll know when this is because the tire burps if it’s tubeless, or feels dangerously too mushy with tubular. Once you reach that point add a pound of pressure and try it again. Basically what you’re trying to find is your sweet spot and that will be more or less what you’ll be able to use for 98% of your races. You’ll be able to show up to a race and never need to ask the question “I wonder what tire pressure I should run?” Now if it’s muddy and you don’t have the risk of slicing a tire on rocks, etc. then you can drop the pressure significantly. Again you need to experiment with this. I’ve offered this advice for many years and I don’t think anyone listens. :wink:

When Katie Compton won nationals during the mudfest in Louisville Kentucky a few years ago she was running 11 psi.

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In other news, if you need back up tires for the cx season and you have access to purchase them now, I would suggest you do so. Word on the street is there’s very limited supply and I’d hate for you to not have tires to race on your the end of the season.

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Has anyone else had surgery for a separated shoulder and been okay with shouldering the CX bike. I’m afraid to do it and have the top tube resting right on the hardware. Should I be concerned or not?