Cyclocross season is in full swing! Depending on where you live, you have the opportunity to race nearly every weekend. Sure, it’s fun to compete every weekend and if your goal is to race as much as possible, then go for it! Racing is fun so don’t let me hold back! If your goal is to consistently get better with each race and be on your best form then you need to be a bit more strategic. Trying to balance life, work, training and racing, week in and week out, will slowly wear you down if you don’t take a break now and then. However, there are many things you can do to stay on top form and be your best for important end of season races such as series, state and national championships.
1. Take it easy. Look at your race schedule. Find a couple weekends to take a break from racing. This doesn’t mean to stop training. It just means you should unplug from the hustle of race day. Ideally, these weekends away from the race course should coincide with your overall training plan. Which brings me to the next tip…
2. Stick to the plan. If you are working with a coach now is a good time to take another look at your plan and make sure you have carved out some off weekends as well as some good training blocks to get you ready for the rest of season. Discuss what is going well and what needs improving. Work on your weaknesses and refine your strengths.
3. Hire a coach. I know this may sound like a sales pitch, but it’s not too late in the season to hire a coach. A structured plan and strategic decisions will help you navigate through the rest of season smoothly.
4. Sleep more. You are getting more tired with every race you complete. Try to go to bed an 30-60 minutes earlier every night.
5. Drink more water. I preach this quite a bit, but it’s even more important now. As the weather gets colder you will feel less thirsty. Keep drinking that water! Four liters a day for most or 1 oz per pound of body weight is a good benchmark.
6. Put down the cookie. #WWAD? We are rolling in to the holiday season and soon there will be treats everywhere. Don’t live like a monk, but show some restraint. You’ve worked hard up to this point. No need to blow it on repeated trips to the break room to stuff your face with co-workers left over cookies from their kid’s Halloween party.
7. Stretch. Yep, it’s still important and maybe now more than ever. Your body is taking a beating on weekends. Take care of it after races and during the week.
8. Check yo’ self. Actually, check yo’ bike. This is time of season when bike 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!
9. Core for more. Don’t skimp on your upper body strength training. The best riders are working on their core and upper body strength throughout the entire season. You should be, too.
10. Have fun! Even the top riders know how to have fun throughout the season. If it weren’t fun, then we wouldn’t be doing it.
Read our previous #secrettraining tip as well as past monthly Tips for March , April May June , August and September! 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!
Good luck this season! Oh, and don’t forget your planks!
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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