Thursday, 18 September 2008


Simon Burney was the inspiration. And I'm not talking about stretching. There is a sentence in his book, Cyclocross Training, that suggests time pressed individuals can fit in 2 or 3 sessions a day if they plan specifically to cram bits of training in here and there. It caught my eye and got me thinking.

It seemed far fetched at the time of reading, and to be fair I haven't the energy or sufficient access to the washing machine to get 3 sessions done. But 2 are doable, and need be no more than a 15 min run before breakfast, followed by a 45 min interval session on or off road during a lunch break. Two good sessions done, and minimal disruption to other responsibilities like kids, partner or even work!

The downside - I never get much distance or base work in, either before the season, let alone during it. However the literature is full of research on junk miles vs sweetspot training and the like. Rule of thumb to be gleaned? Ride/run either dead easy or dead hard. Coast along or blast out some intervals. It is possible that I struggle to hang on in the last 15 mins of a cross race as my base fitness fails to support my overall pace, but I usually get away with it.

This morning was a case in point. Faced with a day of work based training followed by an evening birthday present shopping, the only solution was an 8.30am rendezvous with the local football fieldsnear to work. A 10 min warm up, stretching, dismount/mount drills, 5 practice starts with 45 sec flat out efforts with 2 min rests, and finally more start and dismount drills gave me a 35 min session that incorporated both technical work and inerval efforts. A 15 min run would top it off nicely this evening...........

But this is the beauty of cross - 1 hour of gut wrenching effort that can be trained for in a finite amount of time, requiring lots of rest after races and between hard off road sessions. The ulitmate form of cycle racing for those walking the 3 part teeter totter of family/bike/work and this is why I love it.

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