Home Forums Bike Time-constrained newbie – how can I build CX training into my commutes?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  mandopicker101 3 years ago.

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  • #3132

    mandopicker101
    Participant

    Afternoon all

    Having owned a CX bike (Edinburgh Bike Co-Op house brand ‘Revolution Cross’) for a couple of years, it took a trip to Glentress and flying round the trails (on an MTB) to awaken an interest in CX. Riding local trails and rough tracks has been a lot of fun, but I’m thinking of trying out in a race in November, just for the hell of it. No expectations.

    OK – my domestic life being what it is (just moved house, renovations, busy work life, family etc), is there anything I could be using my commute to work on? Likewise I can carve out an hour at lunchtime (often go for a spin). Dismounts/running mounts is something I definitely need to develop. But is building local trails into my commute good use of my time, or should I be focussing more on intervals on the road?

    Grateful for advice!

    #3136

    editor
    Member

    IMO, intervals will make the most difference.

    you can get a good session in in 40 minutes, although depending on the terrain available, you may be better trying to do them for half an hour – three times a week – on a dreaded turbo when you get home.

    All the skills stuff you can do on the days between the sessions. Just riding the bike on techy stuff is great for generakl handling, lunchtime in a local park, or at the weekends on fun stuff.
    Dedicated cross skills need a bit more planning, but a couple of sessions a week should see the speed of mounts and dismounts pick up swiftly enough.

    Its what i’d like to do, but real-life does seem to get in the way….

    #3145

    clover
    Participant

    +1 to intervals to make short rides more effective

    Also just practicing the mechanics of shouldering a bike over and over helped me. It was like doing a very weird cx specific weights regime.

    #3148

    mandopicker101
    Participant

    Thanks for your thoughts – much appreciated.

    Started on some intervals on the way home, but the stop/start nature of Edinburgh traffic interrupted things somewhat. Still, got a decent effort in I think but much work is required! Training for an event does at least provide impetus and a target to focus on. Getting out of the office at lunchtime can only be a ‘Good Thing’.

    #3192

    thomthumb
    Participant
    #3242

    mandopicker101
    Participant

    @thomthumb – thanks for this! Just need to find the local cycle maps and replan my route to work…

    #3274

    grumpyoldgit
    Participant

    If you’ve got stop start traffic, practice getting off and running past the stopped bits…… i’d leave this until you can remount without weaving all over the road. 😉

    #3762

    I’ve created my own track on the local playing fields, it’s just round the corner and has good steep banks to shoulder up / scoot down, you just have to dodge the local chavs / dog poo (not particularly succesful at either at present)

    #3982

    spoxehub
    Participant

    I’ll see your intervals and raise you power sprint repeats uphill, nothing mental – pick a 5-6% 1-200m long hill, approach at speed, drop a couple of gears, smash it, roll down for recovery, repeat 4-5 times. Mixed into a larger interval workout, does a great job of peaking you out.

    #3988

    mandopicker101
    Participant

    Spoxehub – I like your thinking. I have a commuting route that skirts the shoulders of Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park here in Edinburgh, which is what I’d call ‘lumpy’ and offers up a good few uphill bursts. Given that it attracts drivers trying to be clever and avoid other traffic/junctions/lights, its not one you can dawdle along.

    Hmmm, time to reacquaint myself with that one I think.

    #3998

    spoxehub
    Participant

    Good luck, be safe, and smash it up! They’re hard work, but the gains are worth it.

    #4155

    mandopicker101
    Participant

    With the cross bike now 105-ier than before I’ve thrown it/myself at hills and as much off roadroad as possible. The scraptastic triple now hangs in the shed, like a mediaeval felon. Climbing, never my strongest suit, is improving in that the same course feels easier.

    Having missed trains this morning I decided to take in a cross loop to the station, comprising a singletrack style dog walker path that morphs into a semi overgrown cobbled road. After recent rain the dog track is a swamp and the cobbled road more like a sea of mud and destroyed vegetation. Like Flanders after a zombie holocaust.

    Felt ever so pleased I decided to go that way as opposed to riding on the road. I even feel cheery going to work.

    Learning outcomes…

    – mud is good but when it’s over the rims and inching upwards you need more aggressive tyres. Memo to self.

    – don’t follow the tracks of MTBs. They have suspension. Cross bikes don’t. #ouch #adrenalineoverload

    – Forget braking in mud. It’s rim death. Prince should release a track ‘When Rims Cry’.

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