It’s still unclear when cyclocross season is going to start. I have no facts to back this up, but my prediction is we will have a late start to the season and Nationals might move to January. I could also see some CX time trial events happening, so keep that it mind. Regardless of whether cyclocross season starts in September or October you should be doing some intense training as you prepare for the upcoming season. And, if all is going according to plan you are strong, flexible, hydrated and well-recovered. If not, no problem. There’s still plenty of time to get ready for the ‘cross season. However, the clock is ticking so let’s get cracking.
1.#FTFP (Follow The F@$#ing Plan). If you have a coach or a plan, follow it! If you don’t have one, get one. The Fascat plans are ready if you are. With a potentially delayed season it late t’s not too late to start an abbreviated Summer Sweet Spot plan, then follow it up with the Six Weeks Till Cyclocross plan. This would get you ready to rumble. Remember #crossiscoming so #FTFP ! Let us know if we can help you dial this in!
2. Don’t forget to practice your race starts. Make sure you are practicing your starts. You should be able to pounce off the start line like a cheetah, clip in to your pedals smoothly all while shifting to a harder gear and accelerating to race pace. There’s nothing worse than slipping a pedal at the start and watching the pack swarm in front of you. You’re only five seconds in to the race and now have a ton of work to do to get back in the race. This is an easily avoidable mistake if you practice… a lot!
3. Work on your cornering. Dismounts and remounts get all the attention leading up to cross season, but in reality it should be all about cornering. How many dismounts do you do per lap? One, maybe two? How many corners do you have to navigate per lap? Dozens! If you can be smooth through all kinds of corners then you’ll be faster, conserve energy and get better results. How do you practice cornering? Go ride your ‘cross bike on mountain bike trails or set up very twisty mock ‘cross course at a local park and do it over and over and over again.
4. Practice bunny hops. Hear me out. Learning to bunny hop is not easy. It takes practice, lots of practice, to do a bunny hop. Don’t say it’s hopeless and give up before you try. Incorporate some hopping practice in to your weekly training. To learn how to bunny hop check out our video >>.
5. Don’t cut corners. When an interval calls for certain duration make sure you dig deep and complete the entire interval. For example, if an interval is for 4:00 minutes, do not stop at 3:59. Stop at 4:01. Somewhere out there one of your competitors is doing the same interval and is stopping at 3:59 and when you race against them some day you will beat them!
6. Stay strong. This is the time of year when most cyclocross racers start to do far less strength, balance and coordination training. This means all the strength, balance and coordination you built in winter and spring is starting to fade away. Trying to work full time, do intervals and strength train can end up tough, but that doesn’t mean you should stop. Bust out a 20 to 30 minute full body workout a couple times per week. Basically you are just trying to hit your whole body with some stimulation it might not be getting with just riding and running. Here’s our suggested workout >>
7. Train on your race wheels. Once a week or so do some training on your race wheels and tires. This would be good to do during the aforementioned cornering practice (#3). Getting the feeling of how your race wheels/tires feel and flow on different terrain will pay off during the race season.
9. Don’t stress about the numbers. Some days you feel good and some days you feel bad. Don’t worry about a bad day on the bike. Everyone has a bad day now and then.
10. Sweat the details. If you’ve been reading our tips you now we stress the importance of keeping up with your stretching, hydration, core strength and sleep. Don’t slack off in these areas or it will come back to bite you in the butt soon.