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Summer Doldrums

In classic form for me, I tapered off the racing.

I started off pretty good with several top 10 finishes and then really petered out.

Dropped off the training wagon, and really lost a lot of interest.

But CX season is less than 9 weeks away, and the desire to perform there is remounting the charge.

So, what to do?


With some miles in my legs, I really am not starting from scratch. With CX races never over an hour anyway, volume is not and will not be an issue.

So how should one prepare for CX after some time off?

One of the fastest, most painful techniques for recouping or growing IMHO is Tabata (1 [1], 2 [2]).

Much like microbursts, it targets the stochastic nature of CX really well, works on the top end and has the amazing ability of making threshold rise as well.

And as Jason [3] says, I think the real benefit of Tabata intervals is the recalibration of PE. They are so hard, it starts to make extended FTP intervals something to look forward to.

After a long block of the Tabatas, with evening roller rides to maintain some volume and clear the legs, the boys school will begin again and I will have the chance for some more outdoor riding during the weekdays. 2-3hrs for 4-5 days a week with FTP work on the hills are the prescription.

Then into some tempo work with the microbursts in the last two weeks before competition begins should do the trick.


I recently made the leap from compact back to standard 130bcd rings, and in as much, went with the wireless SRM. I had to order one special to be backwards compatible with my PCIV that has torque analysis.

Time to strip the CX bike of the wire harness. Although I have been riding wireless for several weeks now, I still try to plug in the PCVI every time I put it on the bike…I guess after so many years of doing it, it is still second nature and might take some time to unlearn it.

Also, I have a line on a direct match for my CX bike. As a privateer, I angst on having a “B” bike for cx since I have noone in the pit to clean it if I do a bike trade. But I like the idea. Perhaps if the price gets right, I might move forward.

Tires – my hodge-podge of tufo/vittoria tires have seen enough seasons. This season I hope to replace them all with a variety of challenge [4] tubulars.

Probably a combination of fangos, grifos and file treads…

Winter Projects:

I have a couple of projects I hope to finish this winter. In no particular order…

1) Non-linear cadence inspection. I have most of the parts to look at the 1-revolution variation of cadence. I am curious how much crank speed varies within one rotation. And how things like elliptical rings really effect this as well as the impact on the assumptions certain powermeters make in calculating power. I just need to find some one with a machine shop to help mount the sensor on the NDS crank. Know anyone?

2) Supplemental O2 training, or hyperoxic training. I have toyed with this, but was not in a sufficiently trained to draw any conclusions. Post-CX season, I will tackle this problem again. The idea is that this will provide greater FTP gains than merely training at the altitude I live at over the same training time.

3) Altitude training, or hypoxic training. This is the other component that Dr. Wilber said would be an optimized altitude training regime for someone like myself who lives at mid-level altitude. The idea is that while the supplemental O2 training would provide advances in FTP, hypoxic training would provide supra-threshold or VO2 level advances greater than achievable with ambient air.

I will spend some time in the near future outlining what I intend to do with all three of these projects and post results as they come.

There are always other things in the mix too with field testing, positioning and I still have a handful of funky cranks and pedals that I have not properly assesed as of yet.

So look for it in the near future, and here’s to a successful CX season!