Walk Before you Run. Coaches love this expression and never could it be more true and beneficial for cyclocross athletes. Send any cyclist out on their first run since the last cyclocross race and I guarantee they come back wicked sore! Here are 5 ‘trainings’ you can do year round especially in May, June and July to prepare your legs for cyclocross specific running.
Five Elements of Cyclocross Running to Undergo before you Actually Run:
#1 Hiking: a great way to train with the family, bring some balance to your cycling and accentuate lateral side to side movements that occur off the bike in a cyclocross race. I have all my athletes go on at least one hike before they take one run step.
#2 Yoga: Yoga stretches and opens up your hips which will really take a beating if you don’t prepare before the cyclocross season. When you incorporate yoga into your training the running will have less of an impact and you’ll recover better so that you can get back to on the bike intensity without being whacked. Here is a 22 minute quad and hip stretching yoga routine. No excuses not to do this! We also recommend YogaGlo’s Cycling Series (YogaGlo also sponsors a bad ass Cyclocross Team).
#3 Strength and Mobility: this is the traditional gym work that all cyclocross athletes should integrate into their pre season cyclocross training. Squats and hip thrusts are my two favs – its all about glute activation! Activate the glutes, run stronger and pedal more powerfully.
#4 Footwork: Picture in your head football players running thru tires. High steps, light on the feet, quick quick quick. Actually what’s better for us ‘crossers is the ladder run where you are placing your feet inside each box and moving thru the ladder with quick, short steps as fast as possible. Watch HERE (hokey video and music but the content is spot on). This is the essential footwork that teaches short quick steps (not full strides) that will ‘save’ your legs in the cyclocross racers.
#5 Plyometrics: Explosive Movements for jumping on and off the bike, jumping over barriers and giving you legs the ability to sprint, not just run. My favorite plyometrics for ‘crossers is the single legged split squat jump + box and depth jumps.
Once you’ve done your homework (the above five) you are ready to run in a cyclocross specific manner. Read about that style of cyclocross run training HERE.
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Frank is the head coach, founder and owner of FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO. Talking the talk and walking the walk is one of FasCat’s Core Values and you may find him hiking up Sanitas, doing strength and conditioning at REVO Physiotherapy and Sports Performance and going to the YogaPod. To talk with Frank about your pre-season cyclocross training please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire or call 720.406.7444 to set up a Coaching Consultation. Otherwise do your homework as described above!