May is here and Spring has sprung. With days getting longer and temperatures warming up, there are no more excuses. It’s time to do some work. Here are our Ten Cyclocross Training Tips for May.
1.) Stick to your plan. 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, 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 recently had superstar trainer Ryan Flaherty on the show and I took away a few nuggets including this great one to incorporate into your workout routine. Regardless of whether or not you race a bicycle, this is something anyone can do and 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? Read this.
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.
5.) You don’t need electrolytes or food for rides less than an hour. One could argue this could 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 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?
7.) Sleep more. You need more sleep. 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. Plenty of great videos on YouTube 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. Since it’s summer chances are there are plenty of races in your area now. Whether it’s mid-week mountain bike race or a weekend criterium, 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!
Did you miss my Tips for March and Tips for April Plenty of great recommendations for things you should be doing to get ready for the season. Need a plan to get started? This 3-month plan is the perfect way to get moving!
Did you stumble upon #secrettraining a bit late? Don’t worry, just start doing it and modify the calendar to catch up. Get 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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