What You Need to Know to Prep for Cyclocross Season

August 21, 2014

It’s nearly that time of year again – cyclocross season!  Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.

As the season approaches, what do you need to know?  The best approach is a comprehensive one.  Meaning, now is the time to begin planning your season  using goals, monthly progressions, and setting a weekly schedule. For those athletes who want to focus their efforts and manage their time, a good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week.

But what does that look like?  While training time, heart rate and power zones vary, a typical training week usually includes a variety of focused activity. As an example, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan.

– Transitioning – this generally takes 4 – 6 weeks so you’ll want to account for that.
– Running – running can be an important part of the race. Incorporating running into your training activity is essential, especially if you aren’t comfortable with it.
– Race Specificity – focus on race intensity and include workouts and drills to prepare yourself for the cyclocross season.
– Bike Handling/Cornering – consider practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor is racing efficiently.
– Equipment choices matter – dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts is important, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.

With a little pre-planning, your 2014 cyclocross season can be very rewarding.  Sure, cyclocross races are very high intensity and extremely demanding; yet, cyclocross as a sport is meant to be fun, otherwise, there wouldn’t be beer handoffs, money pits, crowds heckling the pros, or pros heckling the crowd!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re gearing up for some cowbell cheer!