May is here and Spring has sprung. With days getting longer and temperatures warming up, there are no more excuses….wait, yes there is: Covid-19. I know it’s tough to stay motivated and focused right now. The future is unknown and it’s hard to know what to believe. Here is one truth: it’s much harder to get back into shape after falling off the rails rather than staying on track and dealing with slight twists and turns that inevitably come up.
That being said here are our Ten Cyclocross Training Tips for May (COVID-19 EDITION).
1.) Stick to your plan (#FtFP). If you plan to get up at 5:30am to hit the gym or ride your bike, stick to plan. If you plan to cut out some sugar from your diet (which you should), stick to the plan. If you plan to stretch 15 minutes a day, stick to the plan. If you plan to skip a workout to drink a few beers with your buds (6 feet apart), stick to the plan. Don’t have a plan? Get one. It will make all the difference in the world.
2.) 7-Way Hips. As some of you know I love podcasts and one I rarely skip is The Tim Ferris Show. Last year Tim recently had superstar trainer Ryan Flaherty on the show and I took away a few nuggets including this great one that you can incorporate into your workout routine. Regardless of whether or not you race a bicycle, this is something anyone can benefit from. Go ahead and try 3 sets of 15 reps per movement….you’ll be amazed at how weak you are in certain areas. Do this a couple times per week when you are at the gym or after a ride or run.
3.) Did you get that new cyclocross bike yet? No? Now is the the time to buy. So many good deals out there!
4.) No sugar for one week. Give this a try and see how you feel. I know you will sleep, think and perform better. This is not hard to do if you put your mind to it. You can even find some healthy food for long rides like a banana or homemade energy bars. Win in the Kitchen!
5.) You don’t need electrolytes or food for rides less than an hour. One could argue this may vary based on the intensity of the exercise and if you are working out in extremely hot temperatures. However, I believe the energy you have stored in your body should be enough to get you through any one-hour workout. Don’t forget to drink water though!
6.) It’s time to lose a few pounds. If you can shed a few pounds without losing muscle and fitness you will be faster. That is fact. What worthless calories, like chips, soda or crackers, can you cut from your diet? Even a small reduction in calories will pay dividends later on in the season and in life. Do you really need a soda with lunch? Try a sparkling water. It’s what the pros drink!
7.) Sleep more. You need more sleep. We all do. Try to get to bed an hour earlier. I can’t stress the importance of good rest. Ask any expert and they will tell you the same.
8.) Keep running. This is a tip from previous months, but it still needs to be done in May. However, this month I might suggest finding a short steep hill that allows for some intensity. After a nice warm up run do a couple sprints up the hill at 60-70% effort, then do 10 repeats at full gas. Think about quick foot speed. Don’t make super long lunging strides. Remember, running is not that important in cyclocross races until it is. Check out our previous post about running if you’ve got some time to kill.
9.) Can you bunny hop? If you don’t know how to bunny hop your bike yet, you should learn. Check out our video on “How To Bunny Hop?” Everyone can learn how to bunny hop. It just takes some guidance and lots of practice.
10.) Time to pin on a number. Uh, nope. Not yet. Since there is no racing to be had at the moment, we strongly suggest you hop on to Zwift or go out and test your fitness on some Strava segments. It’s a good idea to get your legs, lungs and mind into race mode a few times per month.
Oh, and don’t forget your planks!
About Coach 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. To hire Coach Brandon to make you faster start by filling out our new athlete questionnaire. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two children.
Copyright 2020, SecretTraining