Our fingers are crossed (no pun intendeed) that ‘cross season is just three months away! It’s time to do some work! The effort you put out during these next three months is critical and if done properly will reap great results on race day. Seriously, my best seasons were a result of creating a plan and doing the hard work in the summer time. With that being said, head over to the FasCat site and sign up for our Cyclocross Season Training Bundle. In addition to a great plan here are 10 tips for to incorporate into your June #secrettraining life. If you have been sticking to a plan chances are your workouts have been structured and you’re on track to ramp up the intensity. If you didn’t have a plan, don’t sweat it. There’s still time to prepare. As mentioned previously if you do your hard work in June, July and August, you’ll have a lot more fun once the season starts. Trust me, I know from experience!
Here are my Ten #secrettraining Tips for June:
1.) Keep on keeping on. Hopefully you’ve read our previous posts and have incorporated some of my#secrettraining goodness in to your life. The previous tips like stretching, working on your core strength, running, eating well and drinking lots of water are things you should continue to do throughout the entire season.
2.) Ramp it up. It’s time to start doing some intervals. At least one day a week you need to be ramping up the intensity. Not sure what to do? Consider getting a coach or a training plan preferably the#secrettraining plan for June to the right here >>
3.) No slacking. You’re busy and there’s no time for mediocre training days. On the days you’re supposed to ride at high intensity make it so. Don’t slack off. Try to avoid cutting a workout short or not giving it your all. These are the days that will pay off in the fall.
4.) The skills that pay the bills. Along with elevating your heart rate, you should up your skills on your bike. What are you bad at? Are you terrible at cornering? Well, you’re not going to get better riding in a straight line. Set up a simple twisty cyclocross track at local park or school. Ride it over and over. As you build confidence increase the speed. This is just one example. Think about your weaknesses and look for ways to improve them. (Examples: race starts, dismounts without braking, smooth remounts, shouldering your bike, riding ruts, pedaling through sand, balance, etc.)
5.) Time to lose a few pounds. Get a scale. Weigh yourself. Write it down. Start eating better with less, useless calories. Try to lose a few pounds this month. Don’t go extreme because you will just get weaker. Weight loss is not rocket science. There is no magic bullet. It just takes will power. We advocate healthy food choices and “winning in the kitchen“.
6.) Let’s stretch more. You’re going to be pushing your body a bit harder these days. When you train harder you need to recover harder. Can you up your stretching routine to 15 minutes a day? If you have problem areas, get them looked at by a professional. Otherwise, focus on your hips, back and shoulders. Remember, when you are on your bike, at your desk or in the car you hunched over and curled forward. Think about stretching all of those areas are contracted while in the riding position. Start with this and add more.
7.) Get your gear. It’s never too early to get your equipment dialed. Maybe it’s time for a new set of pedals or new wheels. Start shopping now so you’re not scrambling at the last minute for race gear. Is it time for a new bike?
8.) Tire pressure. This is a huge topic when it comes to cyclocross and we will offer more guidance later on, but for now you should play around with different tire pressures on your cyclocross bike. The goal is for you to ride your cyclocross bike with very low pressure without the risk of flatting, rolling a tubular or ‘burping’ a tubeless tire. Go to park with a pump and tire gauge. Play around with different pressures for a few hot laps to see how it feels.
9.) Who’s your buddy? I’m a big fan of training with a partner. It’s even better if you can train with someone who is faster and stronger than you. By just trying to keep up, this will inevitably make you faster and stronger. It’s like legal doping.
10.) Pick one. The above 9 tips are suggestions. Don’t worry if you can’t incorporate them all in to your life and training. Pick one you think is doable for you and get it done. Then move on to the next one. Baby steps, baby steps.
Oh, and don’t forget your planks!
Looking for a plan? 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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Every month there’ll be a new#secrettraining plan built upon the previous month(s) that puts to practice exactly what I’ll be preaching about here. If you’re just discovering#secrettraining and we are already a few months into the program, don’t worry. You can jump right in and we will help you get up to speed as quickly as possible. Remember it’s all about quality, not quantity.