Will Black Training Tips / 8-22-2011

Most of us fall into one of two categories when it comes to making the transition to cyclocross season: either you have been racing your road or mtn. bike all summer or you have been waiting patiently for the first signs of fall and are ready to start preparing for the coming cross races.  No matter whether you are one of the lucky ones who has been racing all summer or are coming out of hibernation, now is the time to start laying the groundwork for what will be a successful season.

I always start each year with a 4 week block of nice long intervals.  The idea is to get the body back into a routine of structure as well as lay a solid foundation of fitness before you really crank it up. A typical long interval day would be three to four 10 min. intervals done just at your threshold HR or power with up to equal amounts of rest between each one. The objective of these is to roll into them nice and steady so it might take a couple of min. to get the HR in the correct zone.  You want to keep it as steady as possible and avoid the feeling of hanging on for dear life the last couple of min. of each effort. After the first interval, you might find the HR responding a bit quicker but keep it controlled and avoid letting the HR creep up.  You may even find that you have to back off a bit to allow this but that is fine.

One or two of these work outs per week is plenty.  Allow a couple of nice easy days after you have done one before you attempt the second.  Once you have completed this four week block, you will want to take a short break to allow the body to fully recover before you start the next training block.  I will usually take a nice easy Mon. – Fri. then start up the following week fresh and ready for more hard work.

Phase two will be similar but the bar will get raised slightly to help ready you for the higher intensity work that follows.

Will has been kind enough to throw out these tips for all you racers.  If you’re truly interested in taking your bike racing to the next level shoot Will an e-mail at  He has several different coaching programs available.