Cyclocross is filled with lulls and firestorms, ebb and flow, yin and yang.  Indian Lakes last weekend was a great example….slow, twisty little section that allowed a bit of recovery followed by a power-fest coming out of the corner and onto a long straight.  Each jump burns at least part of a match and so ultimately costs something.

We created these sessions with Criterium racing in mind and they translate very nicely to cyclocross.  They’re pretty wicked and worth the effort because they help create the type of high short-term power that will get you from slow to GO in a hurry.  They also help prepare the body in a way that will limit power losses from the start to finish of a cross race.

Most courses have 5 or 6 sections that fit this description.  If you save just 1 second out of each corner by getting to speed at a faster rate you’re looking at 30 – 60 seconds during a race depending on your category.  That’s a lot of places!

Warm up for at least 20 minutes in zones 1-2

One Set:

As one continuous effort:  50 seconds at FTP (best 60 minute power) right into 10 seconds at the high end of your 1 minute power x 5 with no recovery between efforts 

When you first try these take 6 minutes off between sets.  As you become more accustomed to them decrease the amount of recovery between sets.  3 – 5 sets over a 1:30 – 2 hour ride is a good session.

As with some of the other drills we’ve covered within this forum, the recovery between these efforts is as important as the wattage you push during them.  Be disciplined in relaxing and bringing your heart rate down.

Two….more…..races.  Don’t just hang in there, get faster!

Rob Kelley