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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-01-05, 10:39 AM   #1
islenska
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Training a la Simon Burney

Just wondering if anyone has followed the training regimen in "Cyclocross -- Training and Technique" by Simon Burney, and if so, did you see results?

It seems like a decent training plan, but it also seems a like it could be a little more intense, no? I think it would be ok for someone who is coming off of a mountain or road racing season (which is exactly who it is designed for, I guess) with an already high level of fitnes, but what about for ppl who didn't race all summer?

Anyone have any other good 'cross-specific training regimens?
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Old 08-01-05, 10:45 AM   #2
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check cycle-smart.com, they have some good stuff
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Old 08-02-05, 09:11 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-02-05, 09:33 AM   #4
islenska
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I have been racing MTB all summer and i have been putting on base miles since january, so i think i'm going to go ahead and try out the simon burney method. the workouts just seem so short compared to the long hours i've been speding in the saddle up until now. i'm afraid i'm going to lose some of my endurance, but i guess now is the time to really focus on intensity and 'cross-specific skills. this will be my second 'cross season and i'm hoping to be more competitive than i was last year!

i have been dreaming of cross season ever since last year's season ended. really, the most important thing to me for this years mtb races were to get in shape for cross. i am hooked!
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Old 08-02-05, 01:02 PM   #5
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Yes, the workouts are short, but intense. Like the races. You cannot train for endurance year round without hitting a plateau, and you can't train for both indurance and power at the same time. You get cross benefits from either, but you can't optimize both. After cross season, you will need some rest before gearing up for your XC season next year. You endurance will return quickly
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Old 08-02-05, 06:53 PM   #6
islenska
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Simon Burney refers to the "threshold HR" as...

"the rate that your heart beats during efficient aerobic effort, when the production of lactic acid is equal to the speed that it is removed by the body. In simple terms, this is the rate that your heart beats at when going flat-out over a 20-30 minute ride, say, during a 20k time trial. Use the HRM for a time trial, either in competition or training, and make a mental note of your HR during the middle section of the ride -- from 10 to 20 minutes is best. This will give you a very accutare measure of your threshold HR, and from this you will see how to train at the four main levels."

My question is ...is the "threshold HR" essentially the upper end of one's target HR zone? That is, if my zone is from 125 - 165 bpm, is my "threshold HR" 165 bpm? If this is true, then the "threshold HR" would be about 80-85% of my max pulse?

Does this make sense or am I way off??
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Old 08-11-05, 07:48 PM   #7
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ok, i take it back, its hard.

after about 2 weeks of following his training program very strictly...i think it's pretty darn good.
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