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As the summer is finally here in New England and the base miles are starting to pile up when should a novice CX racer flip the switch to CX specific training?

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I definitely don't have a good answer, but there are the beginnings of Cx clinic plans starting out here in Colorado....

I'm sure there are different schools of thought on this, so any pro's or coaches please chime in...That being said, I'd say whenever you feel like.  There are some areas that begin skills camps around August, because typically racing begins around September.  I for one think the more comfortable you are with 'cross specific skills the faster you'll be, and you can only be comfortable with plenty of practice. 

Thanks JesseD,

We begin cross clinics in August here. I did the 6 week long clinic put on my my LBS last fall and it was very helpful to learn the basic skills needed. I figure I will focus on my skills starting in late July or early August. For the time being I am working on my base fitness level on the road as well as plyo/strength training (P90X).

Right now, I'm focusing on a nutrition plan and base miles, which with lack of motivation, work and other commitments is not that easy. Any updates Jeff?

Hey Jesse,

Base miles for me as well and strength training. I use P90X for strength. Really tough workouts but great results without a lot of equipment. 

Joe suggested The Time Crunched Cyclist program so I picked the book up a couple of weeks ago. I highly suggest the book for those with not a great deal of time to train. I will begin the training program sometime around the first of September and should peak the middle of October.

I had really good success last season loosely basing my training on The Time Crunched Cyclist program. I started hitting the intervals hard around 2 months before the season and continued with that through most of the season.

As a clyde I made the decision awhile ago that I would focus on short / high output races (CX, Enduro, Crit). I now use almost every ride to focus on that style of riding. On rides I try to focus on 60 min rides w/ lots of rolling hills and sprints. I really try to emulate the demands of CX by getting my heart rate up and down & I ride in big gears to simulate the extra effort of CX.

I'm also a big fan of

Awesome Joe,

I tried to get the book on my Nook but it is only offered as paper. I will pick it up tomorrow. Went to and found it useful. Good site.

Jeff ~

Loosely based = I'm not hard core and I don't have a power trap so I did some research on my own for HR training. 


One way that worked for me while getting started (getting a feel for how my body responds at different levels) was to find something with a loop ~ High School running track,  corporate parking lot, park, etc...  I would go out to a place and figure out my sprint time between points and then I would start my 4 sets of 8 sprints using the points as referances (no timer / HR monitor / etc).  For example:  HS running tracks work great (when no one is there).  For example: Sprint the whole lap and spin for 1/2 lap - then sprint again...  I liked doing this because I didn't have to think about it or look at a timer / HR monitor / etc.

After a couploe weeks you'll start to get a feel for how your body responds and then start using your HR monitor more and maybe a Gym Boss.


I was able to follow the Time Crunched program pretty close using this ~ I just didn't spend all the time on power files, tracking heart rate, etc... Even without that I went from a top 10 to a top 5 rider.


I'm a strong beliver in total body fitness ~ which is why I suggested using all of Bikejames stretching and strength routines.  I found the TCC program got me really fast ~ but I struggled with hip and back issues toward the end of the season because I let a bunch of other stuff go ~ CX is hard on the body ~ so get a day in of plyo's w/ focus on those weak spots like hips.



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