Finding Your Cyclocross Warm Up.

Finding Your Warm Up. 9/21/2016

After years of coaching, if there is any truism about cyclocross (and sport) is that no two athletes are the same.  Today here are a few “cross findings”  to help you out on your next CX warm up.

Below is an example I provide many of my CX races as a good start dialing in your warm up.  You will see many elements that I mentioned in my last installment of cross findings.  The big thing here is to understand if you are going to warm up on your bike only or bike and trainer.  You will need to allocate some more time and logistics if you are add a trainer to the mix.

Sample Warm up: From my own workout file.

Here is a sample that you can use for a race warm up. If the weather is good, trainer can be optional. If the weather is bad, cold or wet; a trainer is a good idea.

Do 1-3 Laps of course preview.
-First Lap- SLOW SPEED.
Preview. Look for any spot that might be dangerous or good places to pass, make up time etc.
During the first lap if you find any spots that are very technical, STOP and practice them out. Try to work out the sequence.
-Second lap should be slightly faster with focus on corner and barriers. CHECK TIRE PRESSURE.
-Third lap should be close to race pace or a “hot” lap.
-Then move to trainer or paved roads for Tempo Z3 pace. Do ~3 x 3min with 1-2 min RIB.
-Then do 2-3 x 30 seconds ALL Out with 1-2 min RIB.  Add more if you think you need more openers.
-I also recommend some simple shoulder jogging.  Maybe 2-3 of 50 meters at a time on grass. Just to get the feel for the shouldering carry.  Key especially if you know you will be doing a lot of running today.
-Spin your legs out for a few minutes if you need to.
-You should have this wrapped up by 10- 15 minutes BEFORE your start. Get to your start with extra warm clothes on and peel them just after your call up.




As you can see, there are a lot of steps in this process.  The key is to make it yours.  Many of my riders may opt for variations of the above protocol and add some more Temp/Sweet Spot and more or less jumps at the end.  Everyone is different and need a different physiological trigger to become race ready.  Also, some athletes like to jump on a trainer and get to the start hot and some would rather just ride outside.  Much of this can depend on venue and weather conditions of where you live.  I find that is California, I have seen more folk opting for no trainer then in Colorado.  Maybe the weather or maybe just the traffic around the course etc.

See you at the races!


Cross Findings. Course Inspection

Course inspection.  9/7/2016

So last week’s cccx cyclocross race posed a great topic for this week’s “cross findings” around cyclocross race course inspections.  

First off, many racers make the mistake of not showing up to the event early enough to get registered, set up, warmed up and inspect the course.  As a good rule, I encourage my athletes to get to the about 2 hours prior to start to get race ready.  

Using the 3 lap theory of course inspection is a great way to get started.  Keep in mind that during your inspection (especially lap 1), stop if you find a technical spot that may trip you up, and re ride that particular spot.  Stopping and observing others taking a turn, downhill or off camber help too.

Lap 1 is ridden at a reconniacse pace, looking for any possible spots that may need some more practice.  During lap 1 is a good place to check tire pressure and tread selection.

Lap 2 is a bit faster and working on flow or consistency pacing.  

Lap 3 faster than lap 3 and thinking about the places you may be able to pass other racers.

Then go checkout the start.  I suggest a few runs at the hole shot.  Mostly look for the best lines and where you may grab a few spots prior to getting on the course.  Pace, pace, pace!



In cyclocross, every race course varies even if it is held at the same venue week after week.  This makes getting on course vital.  Race promoters try to abide by the CX rulebook by keeping 3 meters wide course, places to pass, and starting standardization, but sometimes it just isn’t safe or make logistical sense. This week the original start was a bit short and would have bottlenecked the race in the first few minutes, so it got moved.  Good thing teammates and racers were talking; we got to the place where the start moved to and got to do a few trial runs of the start prior to the gun and the rest of the warm up.

See you at the races!