I plan to do as many cyclocross races as I can until the season ends in early march and the next few weeks have at least one race every Sunday for the next six weeks. How should my training schedule look like after sunday, do I focus on recovery rides and mount and dismount until 72 hours after the event? Then move into had tabata style intervals on Thursday only return to recover style training mentioned about in the, or do I do it a day before on the Wednesday and enjoy a full 72 hour recovery before race day? Or am I doing way to little?

  • 2
    there are whole books dedicated to this which don't cost a lot. I picked up one called Bicycle Magazines Training Techniques for Cyclists a few years ago when I got back on the bike. Contained tips I thought were useful, but there again I don't ride competitively. But I think its such a complicated subject, you'll get more information from a book than from even a well-written answer on here.
    – PeteH
    Nov 11, 2013 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately there's no magic formula. A lot depends on your age and training base going into the race season.

There are two things you need to balance:

  1. Intervals/speed workout.

  2. Burnout/injuries.

You will see the fastest gain in the shortest time doing intervals, but you also put yourself at the greatest risk for injury/burnout. Given that you're attempting a relatively long peak, you should probably treat most of your races as simply complex speed workouts and focus on a few events.

For the events you focus on you'll need to take a rest break to allow the training benefits you're getting to take full effect. However, you can't do that every week as you'll never see the training benefits. Learning to monitor yourself and whether you really need rest or not is the hardest part of self-coaching.

You might find the book "Time Crunched Cyclist" very useful. You need to establish periodicity in your schedule if you're going to make it to March.

Here's my best guess at a schedule:

Sun- Race Day
Mon- Active Rest ( very easy 30 mins- hr )
Tues- Skills Practice ( Moderate short efforts, should be fun )
Wed- Intervals
Thurs- Intervals
Fri- Active Rest ( or day off ) 
Sat- Skills Practice or fun ride ( fun should feel like lot's left in the tank after ride ) 

That's not a schedule you can maintain long term and it's not a schedule for an older or less trained athelete. After probably 3-4 weeks, you should take a rest week. If you ever start feeling like training is a job, then that's a good signal to take a break. Remember, no training plan survives contact with real life. Recovery is just as important as stress in achieving fitness. Near the end of your season, you should start tapering off on the speed work altogether.

As to whether I know anything or not, well I've been doing endurance sports for over 40 years and I've at least learned all the wrong ways to train.

  • +1: no magic formula. I would add: mix it up - different skills, a few different interval locations, different fun rides. Plus a training buddy or two helps a LOT.
    – andy256
    Nov 12, 2013 at 4:59
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    Another thing I've learned over the years is when you ride hard, RIDE HARD and on easy days ride EASY. Those middle efforts where you don't really recover, but don't really work hard enough for a training effect will add up and lead to a quick plateau. Nov 12, 2013 at 15:24

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