Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Inside the beltway
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Training for cyclocross is basically like training for criterium racing, with some added emphasis on technique, and some running. Burney's book assumes you race on the road as well. If you're starting from scratch, you need some base miles in first or you'll easily overtrain, burn out, or possibly hurt yourself (knees!). You really can't shortcut on this, the volume and intensity of your hard training you are capable of in the weeks before the season starts will depend on your base miles. There are lots of sources on the web for training, and you might also look at Chris Carmichaels book for a fairly simple do-able plan for your first couple of years. There are other books like Joe Friel's, that are interesting for learning how to train, but I think it's too complicated and regimented for your average amateur just starting out- just my opinion. I also like Coach Carl Online- he's a bit old-school geezer, but has a common sense approach that doesnt require expensive power-meters and the like- good for a beginner. I bought his online book, it's simplistic but good for a beginner. You can also get lots of tips and ideas free online- check out velonews, bicycling, slowtwitch.com, cyclocrossworld, and lots of others. I think it's best to keep it simple at first while you're learning, with a couple of important reminders-
Your hard days should be harder than you think
Your easy days should be easier than you want
Your rest days should be more frequent than you think
Your technique days are more important than you know.
Lots of strong beginners start out as one-speed wonders. They "train" by always doing the same ride at the same intensity (hard, but not hard enough), then start racing. OK for general fitness, but not the best strategy for race results. They lack top-end power (from intervals), sprints (from speedwork) and of course, havent paid enough attention to learning how to get over barriers and tricky track (hopping about in schoolyards and offroad) You'll see lots of riders who are able to hammer all day on long road rides that get dropped in races as soon as the pace picks up- one speed wonders. You need rest and light days so you can make your hard days harder. So put some purpose in your training rides-
Last edited by ZenNMotion; 08-02-05 at 09:21 AM.