Cyclocross Racing and Training


Hi Coaches! Can you outline your recommendation of how weeks should be structured when racing cyclocross every weekend? Sometimes the races are on Saturdays, some on Sundays, some on both days. This last week, I tried to go a little bit easier at the end of the week and given, the race was long wet grass, but it felt like I should’ve been able to go harder and just couldn’t. I was not pinned the entire race but man, were my legs sore and I was toast for a few hours, afterward!

PS. I also have my last sprint tri in two Sundays and looking to podium!

Thanks, -Angie


Hi Angie,

If there is a particular CX race you want to be as competitive as possible, you will need more rest. But in general, you could structure your weeks with no more than TWO intensity workouts/week (the two with the higher TSS, or one high TSS and one lower depending on how you are feeling), doing an easy spin or day off in between. Day after a race is also a day off or easy spin, and day before the race you can do an easy spin with a few leg openers (for example 2-3 high cadence blocks of 4 min each at 80% and a few very short threshold/VO2 efforts adding up to no more than about 3 minutes).

If you are looking to podium in two weeks, that week prior will need to be a taper/recovery week- so no hard workouts 2-3 days prior. Also, I would not do 2 back to back CX races the weekend preceding that race.

Hope this helps.

#CX #cyclocross #cxrace #cxtraining


Alright everyone… in the topic of CX… who else is giving it a go this season? @Stefanie? @meganherzog?

I already committed to trying it this year! Here is the schedule in my area:

#chicrosscup #chicagocrosscup


OUTSTANDING!! So. Much. Fun. Here’s my pic from last week:

So. Much. Tape.


wow- gorgeous! how do you even know where to go? LOL


Kudos @Coach_Theia for giving it a go and trying something new! That’s so fabulous! I’ve got a bit too much on my plate at the moment to immerse in anything else just yet. I’ll have to live vicariously through you :grinning:


In spite of encouragement from multiple directions, I am not doing CX this year. I haven’t had time to practice learning dismounts and until I can do that with some confidence then I feel like I would be a danger to myself and others. Something to aim for next year!

So exciting you are giving it a go @Coach_Theia! Have fun!


Whoa! That is a lot of tape!


I used to set up and chip time these races. It’s so wild. Love the backdrop!


@Stefanie. I have a few rolls of that tape in my garage if you need some. You can set up a course in your yard!


I’m hoping to get a few races in- most likely November And December. I’ve got a lot of gravel races and mountain bike riding in September and October. There are a few fun cross races in the area. My son also races cross, so I’ll be watching a few too!


@Coach_Theia - How are you liking CX racing?! I was dreading the races but my teammates have been so encouraging that I’m back to loving it! :blush:


I am giving it a go this fall, too. I’ll be on my mountain bike, though, as I don’t have a functioning CX bike…yet.


@anon30517170, I have a feeling YOU are going to LOVE the suffering and tactics and time trialing!


Thought you’d never ask!!

I did my first race last Sunday and loved it!! There is something special and fun about racing in grass and dirt. Even better when you know you are a complete rookie, because it gives you permission to make a fool of yourself and there is no pressure or expectations (not that there should ever be, even when you are more experienced, but that’s another topic).

I went to my first CX clinic on Saturday and raced on Sunday. Falling is no big deal when you are riding slow and on “soft” terrain. It seems that there are more riders willing to try CX than riders trying road races. Meaning, there are lots of newbies. The energy is great- families and teams spread out around the course cheering everyone. I got lots of cheers even when I was sucking big time.

The start line is seeded according to points so of course I was in the last row with zero points. Passing others is tricky on single track and hills, and several times I got stuck people slower than me or who could not ride up the hills when I could, so I had to get off the bike. It was also funny finishing a race not feeling tired at all. In looking at my power files, this was almost the equivalent of a rest day (well, with some short, sharp VO2 efforts in there from the hills). That was obviously because I was going slow… Being new my only goal this season is to learn the skills.

I finished 23/32 and had a blast! Will be going back for more!!

PS - I recorded the race on my GoPro (showing also power, speed etc.) It’s hilarious! I will post that soon.


Here is the graph showing time spent in the different zones in the cyclocross race (note a change as I get more experience- a few comments below in the thread):

Compared to the graph from a crit race:

And for the Zwifters out there, a graph of a Zwift race would be heavy in the middle (threshold) zones.


Sharing the link to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Waterloo Live Stream - happening on Sunday, September 23rd! I know a few female and male pros from the area who will be competing:


@Coach_Theia . So glad you liked it. The whole vibe at cyclocross races is so different than road racing. With everyone spread out and riding laps, its difficult to figure out who is in what place. (I used to time these events). It is truly don’t take yourself too seriously. Mountain bike racing, especially short track, is similar where you are challenged by the terrain and obstacles and can only pass at certain times. Can’t wait to see the video!


Here is an update since my 1st CX race. Yesterday I did my 6th race, and as suspected, as I learn the skills better I am able to spend more time in the VO2 and explosive zones. And I got a podium finish! Here is the time spent in zone graphic for comparison to the one from the first race posted above:


Well, I’m with @anon30517170 in that I cannot race once it gets cold. My last unofficial race was our Halloween race, where many CX teammates picked Mario Kart characters (see photo). It’s a bummer but my season is probably over, I’ve gotten through my grief stage, and now ready to stay active/hike/gravel. I’m even helping start a new women’s cycling “adventure” team (up for anything), even though I’m a “short courser”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Living vicariously through your escapades, @Coach_Theia!