Cyclocross racing brings with it very specific physical demands for the rider. As the season progresses, we’ll be bringing you ideas for drills, interval sessions and other ‘cross specific training.
This seems to be a bit of a marmite activity for most cyclists- either you love running or hate it! But if you intend on improving in cross, we believe you do need to add some running into your programme.
Don’t worry – you don’t need to be running a marathon, running in cross is usually limited to short efforts, often up a gradient.
If you haven’t run for a while, a good way of introducing it back in is to run (jog) for three minutes, then walk for three minutes, and repeat this for around 20 minutes. Avoid running down hills and preferably run on grass or soft surfaces. Over a period of a few weeks reduce the amount of walking you do and increase the running, up to a maximum of 30 minutes or so. Later in the season, you can introduce hill intervals into your run sessions – find short 30 second uphill stretches, run hard up them and jog slowly down. Repeat up to 10 times.
Another useful technique is to build into your training running straight off the bike – often referred to as “brick sessions”, then back onto the bike. This will allow your body to adapt to the changes in muscles used.
More cross-specific fitness coming soon.