Richard Sachs Cyclcross Workouts
As we all know, cyclocross racing is about strategically balancing your all-out efforts with those times you should be coasting and recovering to do go all out again. So out of utility, interval training for cyclocross is about big efforts, minimal rest, and more big efforts.
Here are some of Richard Sachs Cyclocross Elite riders go-to workouts.
Dan Chabanov shared a killer workout that mimics the race. By doing repeated hard efforts (20 second maximum effort sprints) with a very minimal amount of recovery time (just 10 seconds) in between you will simulate the strain of a cyclocross race and create an appreciable adaptation to this type of effort. While this workout is uncomfortable, it will make racing more comfortable. Enjoy. Or at least keep the eye on the prize.
Similarly (but different) Sam O’Keefe is all about repeating efforts as if in a lab with his 20-second max effort repeats. Yes, they hurt. Yes, they’re hard. But the stricter your process and greater your attention to detail, the bigger the impact and greater the result.
The workout: Lab tested, ‘Cross approved, max effort repeats
These intervals are designed to train and develop a repeatedly high 20 second output. In a cyclocross repeatable efforts are everything. Think about a course with corners or a run up that you’ll need to ride up each lap. Each feature requires an effort, usually short, but that will stack up over the course of a race. If you can’t push through the efforts required by each feature, likely at a output considerably higher than your threshold, then the course is going to beat you, never mind your competition. From Sam the man, himself: I always think about those crux moves like being able to ride a run up lap after lap. If you can’t repeat that max power output then you won’t make it every time. This is a workout to help you crush those efforts.
Greg Gunsalus’ workout is all about Vo2Max.
These intervals are designed to train your ability to put out repeatable Vo2Max efforts which in cyclocross happen more or less any time your pedaling. If you’ve ever looked at cyclocross race power break down, you’ll notice that the majority of the race is spent either not pedaling or doing Vo2Max so it’s important to train this zone heading into the season and throughout the season as well.
After a good long warm up, you’re going to pin it at the top of Zone 5 for three minutes. You’re going to do this four to six times, and this workout will automatically build in your calendar to Gunsalus’ max effort of six total efforts. Enjoy… we can’t say it will be enjoyable, but it’s going to get you ready to suffer!
If cadence work is more your speed we’ve got Michael Owens workouts. This Vermont native and stalwart New England ‘crosser has been on the scene in full force since the 2011 season; he was racing the junior 10-12 division, then. Having such experience on his home region courses, he now focuses a majority of his training time on the goal of fine tuning his motor. This specific workout specifically deals on cadence within a high output effort. During this workout you’ll be riding at your threshold as evenly as you can, but the training comes with the variability of the workout’s cadences.
And if you’re just ready to get up and get going, then it’s time for Brittlee Bowman’s workout, Openers.
BrittLee Bowman’s pre-race openers should be done the day before race day. These intervals are meant to get your body ready for the pending pain without dipping into your reserves or hampering your ability to go all out in the next workout.