Monday, November 21, 2005

Training Methods for CX 2005

This year I had very little time to train for CX. Here are the adjustments I made:

1. Having a good base of fitness for the past few years, I would do as much easy base work as I could over the summer. Normally this would be long riding, but this year I could not take the time to drive out to good roads so I had to swim instead. I swam 2-3 days a week at a low HR and this helped with base and also burned a lot of fat (which I did not expect).

2. I would not run at all. I made this decision because I have had calf injuries the past 3 years and they have always occurred from running during the summer. This was a risk, but I just could not work running in with such low training time.

3. I could not do any intense group rides (normally Thursday) so I substituted a spinning class instead. I usually did my own thing in this class when the others were doing long climbs and such, but I was able to get some intensity. Thus was only 1 day for 4 weeks and on other days I did other intense intervals listed below.

4. Basically, I went into CX this year with no expectations-different from years past. I had no idea how I would do, but I wanted to be injury free and have fun.

As the summer progressed, every workout was dedicated to some concrete skill or purpose. Mondays and Friday's I usually swam, and I chose 2-3 days to ride under various circumstances.

My main concerns were building up my sprint efforts (because CX has many changes of pace) and building up my time trial efforts (since I had not been up there since May). I had to do this slowly so I started out with 2x15sec sprints and 5 minutes of Middle (TT pace) worked into my ride twice a week. The goal was to build up to 12 sprints and 45 minutes twice a week. The rest of the rides were focused on aerobic efforts and recovery.

Later in the summer (August) I began to do 1 CX practice a week. This was nauseating at first and the hard efforts left me feeling pretty weak.

In September I started my intense phase. This meant VO2 max efforts on Tuesdays where I did a countdown interval from 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, and 30 seconds of all out misery-fast as I could. Puking was optional. I also did 5-10 sprint efforts for 15 seconds. Wednesday continued the Middle efforts either CX or on the road, and Friday I did the spinning class. Sunday mimicked Wednesday. I did this for 4 weeks.

One of the main problems I had in years past was peaking too early during the season. I did not think this would happen because I was not in as good aerobic shape as I was then. I also would have at least 1 week off because I was not going to the UCI race in NC.

Once racing started, I would limit my riding to Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (easy), Saturday (opening up for Sunday) and the race on Sunday. Opening up consisted of 30 minutes tempo, 5 minutes at TT pace and 2 VO2 max efforts.

Only time would tell...

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