It’s November and the cyclocross season is nearly over! Hard to believe. I always loved this time of year because I knew the weather was getting worse and my competitors were starting to crack. The more harsh the conditions the better I did. I think that’s because of what I lacked in fitness I could make up for with skill! I also knew if I adhered to my plan and really paid attention to all the little details I would have the best chance of finishing off the season well. So, with that I bring you the #secrettraining tips for November. It’s time to sweat the small stuff.
- Walking the tightrope. Right now you are walking a fine line. Tip over to one side and you get sick. Tip to the other and you peak. You all want to peak and you don’t want to get sick. If you ever feel like you are coming down with something like a cold or sinus infection this time of the season, it’s best to take the day (or days) off.
- Stay hydrated. Thirst is diminished when it’s cold outside. However, that does not mean you are not thirsty. Keep drinking your water.
- Stay strong. Don’t be afraid to do a few push-ups, shoulder, back and core exercises this time of year. If you have not done this throughout the season, start off easy. The effort level for this stuff at this time of the season should never be more than 60% in my opinion. We are just trying to maintain.
- Stay flexible. Keep up with your stretching and yoga. No explanation needed here.
- Sleep. Treat yourself to one more hour of sleep per night. Shut off your phone and go to bed one hour earlier.
- Ride in the snow. I know this tip will not work for everyone, but if you live in an area where it snows, go out and ride in it! This the best simulation I have ever found for what it’s like to handle your bike in mud…without the mud, of course!
- Put down the cookie. The holidays are here. You made it through Halloween, hopefully, now you just need to stay away from too many treats this holiday season. Be sure to have fun and don’t live like a monk, but do you really need three slices of pie?
- Time for a bike check. This is the time of season when ‘cross bikes start to break down. Take some time to go through your bike thoroughly and make sure everything is working flawlessly. No time for this? Take it to a bike mechanic!
- New rubber. Treat yourself to some new tires. Trust me, it’s worth it.
- Check those cleats. Have you checked the integrity of your cleat recently? Are they on correctly? Are they loose? Is it time for new cleats? If you need new ones, get ‘em now and not the week before the last big race of the season.
Read all the not-so-secret #secrettraining tips here! There are a bunch of great nuggets in these posts anyone can benefit from. Don’t get overwhelmed. Pick a few things you can accomplish and check it off the list!
Did you stumble upon#secrettraining a bit late? Don’t worry, just start following the plan and modify the calendar to catch up. Make a plan and stick to it. Need help? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
About Brandon Dwight: Brandon was a professional mountain bike racer from 1999 – 2001 and professional cyclocross racer from 1999-2007. He is a four-time U.S. Masters National Cyclocross Champion. For more than a decade, Brandon has provided thousands of people with cyclocross skills and training advice. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two children.
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