For this week’s Cycling Workout, I again focused on intervals that are a good complement to cyclocross racing and training. With cyclocross, you have a variation of speed, intensity, obstacles, terrain and course types that will keep you on your toes (sometimes literally) throughout the course. The hard part is you repeat the course multiple times during a 45 – 60 min race all performing at “redline” or 90+% of your max Heart Rate.
Enough of the background, time to get to the workout. Start off with :20 sec bursts of 110+ RPM followed by :20 sec recoveries in an easy gear at 90 RPM. After 3 minutes, add a gear and continue the :20 sec on/off. This should get the legs and the heart warmed up and ready for the next set. A descending ladder set is next with 2 sets of (1) 2 min at 100+ RPM in your flat road gear +1 (2) 1 min at 100+ RPM in your flat road gear +2 and finally (3) :30 sec at 100+ RPM in your flat road gear +3. 1 minute recoveries between each of the “on” efforts.
Next is 2 sets of hills to help build the leg strength for the climbs or off the bike efforts that are always fun when racing cross. Start off in your flat road gear, then add a gear every :30 sec, up to 4 additional gears. RPM’s should drop by approx 5 rpm for each gear you add. Spend the next minute standing at 60+ RPM, then back down in the saddle and drop 1 gear every :20 sec. 90 sec easy spin for recovery between the sets.
Finish up with some :30 sec and then some :20 sec intervals to work on accelerations when coming out of turns, off the bike efforts, etc. (1) 4 x :30 sec efforts in your base gear +1 @ 105+ RPM, :30 sec recovery in the same gear (85-95 RPM) (2) 3 x :20 sec sprints in the same gear (base +1) and the same 105+ RPM Pace. The key with this set is consistency across the intervals. Maintain the same RPM (+/- 2 RPM’s) or if you use a Power Meter, keep the Watts (+/- 5 watts) in order to continue to build the muscle memory.
Good luck with this workout and Happy Training!