As I mentioned there are several ways to approach your preseason training for cyclocross depending on your goals and your other cycling activities. In this series, I will start off with the easiest category: the year round cross country mountain bike racer.
Congratulations, you have pretty much been training for cyclocross the whole year. While cross country mountain bike is the closest type of racing to cross there is, there are still several items to work on in the preseason.
- The obvious one is mounting, dismounting. Getting smooth on this critical skill just takes reps. There are some good technical guides if anyone needs more info.
- Running. Although I don’t subscribe to the need to run a lot to get ready for cross season, it can be beneficial to get in some running. As always, work into gradually. Focus on intensity and short.
- Short Track. If you typically don’t race short track, start. This is essentially cross racing without barriers. There are often local short track series that can get you used to the high intensity of cross.
- Ride your cross bike on singletrack. Although cross country racers are used to the type of terrain and efforts involved in cross racing, a cross bike handles much differently than a mtn. bike. Getting used to your bike on the same trails you ride your mountain bike on can get you adjusted to riding on the fall steed.
- Don’t burn out. Cross season has grown in length around the country. For roadies, it is a whole new motivation. However, I know it can feel like an extension of the cross country racing for a mountain biker. Whereas the roadies or cross specific guys may want to be getting into some cross country racing to get tuned up, you may need to take a bit of time off from racing to be both mentally and physically prepared to attach the cross season.