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Just curious how folks incorporate some running into their training to prepare for those run-ups.  We see some pretty steep ones here in the NW.

 

I've heard some folks say "you're not going to win in the run-ups, but you sure can lose it".   So, they were recommending some hill sprints, so it's not a total shock to the system.

 

I'm approaching it a couple ways:  
1) Run-ups with bike during barrier practice.  Probably the best since it simulates a race.   1 time/week
2) Hill sprints on pavement for 15-20 minutes.   I walk down the hills.   Any horizontal/downhill running messes up my knee. 1  times/week.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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A few off the bike runs early on are a good idea to prep the legs for the pounding, but keep it on the grass & easy. The hill reps that have worked best for me are a short(20-40 sec) run followed by a 20-30 sec hard ride, then a short rest interval riding the downhill. If you've got a grass hill, mark out a square, run the uphill, ride hard across the top of the hill, easy down and across the hill, then back into the running. The ability to accelerate back onto the bike after running (and setting a new max HR record) is just as important as your running speed. That, I would argue is where races can be won or lost. This "drill" also includes dismount/mount and cornering practice while relined which will help on race day. Everyone has different strengths though but this was a huge help for my racing.
We run on soft surfaces (trails, dirt) twice per week for about 25-35 minutes with rolling hills, sometimes steeps. We'll incorporate some uphill 'sprints' and high knee drills. We also do uphill ride/run intervals: 60 secs. hard riding followed by 60 secs. shouldered uphill run with a remount. Repeat 6-10 times and gasp for air.
I agree with the other comments. I run throughout the year (20-30 minutes, 4X-5X/week) to stay loose and boost overall health. Just riding a bike turns your skeleton to styrofoam, and leads to lots of strength and flexbility imbalances.

Come 'cross season, I practice long run-ups with remounts. This shoots your HR through the roof, teaches nerves/muscles to fire quickly, and trains you to keep the technique correct when it feels like the whole world is caving in on you. It's also fun to set practice barriers on a hill to simulate race courses that require high-stepping the run-up...Also, I run a little less during the week before a big race. Without rest, workouts are pointless.

Note: I used to run competitively. If you've never run farther than a couple hundred yards, or havent laced up running kicks since Junior High PE, be very careful and look online for expert advice on how to kick-start a cross-training regimen.
I like to do stair sprints 3x5x10-15 seconds as an intensity workout starting right before and going through the season. Find a set of stairs 2-3 stories long, sprint at max effort, and jog down, repeat 5 time or until you want to puke, rest and then do a few more sets. I find this is great for training both the legs and the lungs as its really hard to do that kind of intensity on a bike outside of a race

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