Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CX is Upon us!

For everyone north of the Mason Dixon line, it's official: the 2010 road season has drawn to an end.  Now it's time for Cyclo-cross (CX)!  Most of us pull the CX bike off the wall, air up the tires and take it out to marvel at exactly how rusty the CX skills have become.  Some of us, okay, many of us have been looking forward to the "real" 2010 season for some time and are ready to get things started.

In the KC area CX has over 25 high quality racing days on the calendar.  This has given rise to CX as the new primary season for cycling. And why not have CX as your primary competitive season?  Two bikes, and a multitude of tires and other equipment are used.  Events are short and easy to attend for the entire family!

So just jump onto your knobby tires and it's off to CX we go right?  Well...  As the sport continues to evolve and grow, so does the preparation of the competition.  Source Endurance has been researching the specificity of CX and how best to train for it.  The process is challenging and the results show the spoils of all the hard work, both from the research and the athletes who have collected a number of top honors and a few UCI points. 

For some of these athletes, CX season started in July with some running and plyometrics.  For some athletes with goals late in the season (December- January) CX will start with a transition period with the best form beginning around Thanksgiving.  However, each SE client will agree on this statement: CX specific training is hard! 

CX is a perfect example of a sport that is decided by outliers.  So just what is this picture below?  It's a multi- file range... okay, let's just say we're using it to compare pedal forces with pedal velocity.  Green is a TT (Nationals in Bend, OR), Red is a criterium stage in the Nature Valley Grand Prix, and Yellow is a CX race; all from the same athlete.  You'll note that as a whole, the majority of the points are in the vicinity of the green.  However, if you look at how the red (criterium) and yellow (CX race) differ you'll notice that while both are difficult events, they are undoubtedly difficult in different ways.   That multitude of yellow points in the upper left of the graph are the data points that decide races.  Information like this helps us to understand what the sport specific demands to CX are, and how best to tailor a training program to the demands of this discipline. 

In the meantime, here is a brief video of Joe Schmalz as he begins his 2010 CX season preparation.

Join Source Endurance as we host our Cyclo-cross clinic this coming Saturday, September 11.