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CX Training For Next Season?

crossedcrossed Posts: 237
I've done a little bit of CX racing in the past (badly!) and fancy giving it a go again next season.
When I raced previously I was fairly fit and was also racing MTB and doing reasonably well in local races.
Now, I've not raced at all in about three years but fancy having something to aim for this year. I don't fancy MTB racing as I wasn't enjoying it when I stopped but I enjoyed CX racing.

Question is, without going into full on training plans, lots of turbo training and expensive power meters, what's the best way to train for CX racing?
I commute regularly, 2-3 times per week about 17 miles each way, and have a reasonable amount of time to ride midweek when I'm off work.

Am I better off just doing plenty of long rides for base then building up to tempo and interval sessions?
What's the best way to get fit for CX without sucking all of the enjoyment out of riding?


  • I think the most important thing for a first season is to be able to commit to race every weekend, put a lot of focus on technique esp cornering, and look to progress as you race. Definitely look to be generally fit going in, but I'm not sure a deep training commitment is the order of the day when you're starting out. It's actually quite a long season - Sept till end of Jan, see quite a lot of people raging through Sept, Oct then falling away.

    If you can race some discipline in the summer, at least a bit, it will give you some mental preparedness. I like a bit of time trialling - different sort of effort, but that same 1 hr of total pain toughens you up. Although my issue is the opposite to what I wrote above, raced like a snail this season early on, and only got going once the mud properly came in. So I guess you just need to find what works for you.
  • joeyhalloranjoeyhalloran Posts: 1,070
    I'd agree with the above, experience of conditions and courses counts for a lot in CX. Racing is a great way of doing this while also getting in the physical work to improve.

    I'd say doing some sort of tempo/sweetspot work at least up to the start of the season would be useful to make sure you're ok doing hard work over ~60 minutes. It's too long a season to being (properly) doing super high-intensity intervals throughout so for a beginner i'd say it's best to keep up the sweetspot work and let the racing be the high-intensity stuff.

    In summary, I think my advice would be:
    - be aware of too much intensity, the races are hard and you don't need much else
    - do enough 'base' that you can ride hard for 60 minutes, either sweetspot or traditional longer rides
    - do enough conditioning, off the bike weights, runs, etc...
    - work on experience and technique, either through clinics or enough races, but do it consciously
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