Threshold and sub-threshold intervals.
Your best bet is get a training plan from many coaches that will guide you to being faster come cross season. Last season I went with 12 week training plans from www.jbvcoaching.com I am getting back on with them asap!
My thoughts are volume right now and some C type racing and some intervals once a week. Dont forget to have fun!
I'm sure everyone was a favorite coach, but Kenneth Lundgren at Elite Endurance helped me win an overall series title and the state championship race. He built on my strengths and worked on my weak areas. He's a great coach.
my coach: http://www.eliteendurance.com/
my story: http://www.paincavecycling.com/
Another vote for JBV here been using them since March or so and my fitness is better then it has been in years past.
I am using a modified version of the Cyclo90 Base and In-season plan (http://cyclo-core.com/CYCLO90/) which are not Cyclocross-specific - but contain a wide range of High-intensity intervals plus off-bike core work. It got me in my best cycling shape ever. I also do a Sufferfest (http://www.thesufferfest.com/) trainer ride once per week. On the weekend is more running or longer-distance, w/cross skills. I don't have time to ride outside during the week due to my job and commuting - so the intervals on the trainer are key, and both programs keep me focused while offering good overall threshold-level work.
Since a lot of cross riders are still racing on the road around here, a handful of us meet in a park to do skills and drills on an "easy" night. We just practice cyclocross skills such as dismounts and remounts, low and high speed cornering, sand riding, play follow the leader etc without going too hard. I'll ride the same sequence of corners or a specific line through the sand pit dozens of times to get a feel for the edge of the tires and work on balance and muscle memory. It's like playing scales for a guitar or piano player, so when the heat is on your muscles remember what to do.
It's a nice way to work on cross without taking away from our other sports and it made a huge difference to our technical skills last season. Once the road season starts tapering off, we'll start doing cross-specific intervals. Also, in a group it's way more fun and sustainable to do drills than by yourself. In these parts, a weirdo in a park riding a "road" bike around trees by him/herself is liable to attract the police...
I took over a decade off. Literally stopped racing CX, and the anything else over 10 years ago. '99, or '00 IIRC. So I started out with a spring of MTB, and some easy road as well as a few Grass Grinder type rides in a large park. June started the real training with a day of Sprints or Run-ups, and a few days of Z3(road), and Z4(cx). 6 to 11 hours a week with 2 or 3 days of upper body weights and 15 min treadmill runs for warm up those days.
Simple, and hopefully effective. No real hard intervals until Sept. Worked very well for me when I was 29-30, we'll see about 44!!
Hey everyone, obviously cxmag is the place to be for all your cx needs, but we just put together a collection of other resources to help us out in our complete training guide for the upcoming 'cross season! check it out!
Hill Sprints and intervals. Also, hitting the gym a bit to keep the muscles strong and more explosive.