How to Have a Cyclocross Race Season

and improve your skills: give our latest podcast a listen

This podcast is for the cyclocross community because with the right attitude and approach you can make your own cyclocross season. Today we are going to describe how to have your own cyclocross season. This is the lemonade out of lemons cyclocross season.

And for future seasons what we describe here is how to improve your cx skills pre-season and tune up before the real racing begins - like our six weeks till cx plan which this approached can be used with if you do not have a local training race series.

In today’s podcast I am going to tell you what you need and then how to have your own cyclocross season. This podcast is going to describe how to have your own cyclocross season and the training plan to use for a day-to-day description with the six week progression

Week 1: Set Up Your Practice Cyclocross Course

Warm up in zone 2 by riding over to your local cyclocross practice area (course, park, school, etc.) and lay out a ~ 5 minute cyclocross practice lap. Features to include, if possible, are:

  • A bazillion corners
  • Mixed terrain: grass, dirt, pavement, sand pit, singletrack, ditches, gullys, stairs, logs, retaining walls, etc.

The course you design needs to be one that is easily replicable for the next 4 weeks because you are going to repeat this course each week to gauge your improvement.

Use this day to re-familiarize yourself with getting ‘crossy: bike handling, getting on and off the bike, accelerating, tire pressure, etc.

Week 2: 5 Lap Strava Segment CX Set Up

Head back over to the CX course you designed last week to set up your Strava segment.

Make sure you have an adequate warm up.

Ride 5 laps for time at about 90-95% CX race pace. Make it fast, yet fun.

Afterwards upload to Strava.

Create the 5 lap (not 1) strava segment per this training tip, podcast & video.

This ride will establish the ~ 25 minute segment so that you have a time to race against using live segments next week

Star this segment and sync your Strava account to your bike computer to use the live segment next week.

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Week 3: Strava CX Race

3rd week progression: Warm up in zone 2 by riding over to your cx course and this week you are going to race your 5 lap strava segment for your best time. This should be a cyclocross time trial.

Use Strava’s live segment feature to verify you are ahead of your 90-95% pace from last week – but this week let it all hang out: GO FULL GAS, as fast as you can at your CX race pace for roughly 25 minutes!

Afterwards upload to Strava and this should be your PR/KOM !

Week 4: Heart Rate Ceiling of 150bpm

By now you’ve got your “Svenness” and have every nook and cranny of your course dialed

Today you are going to work on riding faster by being smoother. To force you to slow down and ride smoother we are putting a governor on your engine!

That’s right: You may not exceed a heart rate of 150 bpm for these 5 laps. It will feel slower and probably be slower on Strava, but the point is to carry more of your momentum and speed out of the corners. This prevents you from riding like a bull in a china shop and bashing your way around the course by brute force.

Carve those turns and carry your speed and we’ll go back next Wednesday with the very same 150 bpm criteria to measure your 5 lap Strava segment improvement not in watts, but in smoooooothness

10 second penalty for each time your heart rate exceeds 150 bpm!

Week 5: Ride at 150bpm MAX – try to beat last week’s time

Try to beat last week’s Strava segment time, but you must ride at a heart rate of no greater than 150 bpm. Remember: smoother is faster !

The key to riding your segment faster is by cornering smoothly, dismounting and remounting smoothly and handling your bike smoothly.

Week 6: Strava CX Race!

Week 6: Finale – put all your cornering skills and watts together and absolutely annihilate your Strava PR/KOM from week 3. Use Strava’s live segment features to check if you are ahead or behind your segment PR as motivation and as a carrot to dig that much deeper. Upload your ride data to the strava segment leaderboard and voila – there’s your race result!

Bonus: If at any point along these six weeks you want to share your cyclocross course with your friends, teammates, community: simply share the link to the strava segment and let the leaderboard take care of the heckling, podiums and results

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