Posts in category training & skills

cyclocross training and skills


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In The Saddle With Simon Burney: Cyclocross Author, Coach and Manager

Today, we caught up with Simon Burney, the author of the seminal how to book on cyclocross, Cyclocross Training and Technique, now in its 3rd edition. He is a former professional cyclocross racer and has spent more than twenty years managing professional cyclocross and mountain bike teams, working with some of the top cyclocross racers in the world. Simon served as the Performance Manager for mountain bike at British Cycling and has raced, wrenched, or managed the national team at the Cyclocross World Championships for 28 years. He’s spoken with us before, but since the season is about to stat, we wanted to pick his brain for some tips for our new-to-cyclocross readers and get an idea of what he’s been up to lately.

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Masters World Cyclocross Championships Mol, Belgium 2009 - Kathy Sarvary wins
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Training Tuesdays: An Ounce Of Prevention, Cyclocross-Style

You already know that cyclocross is good for you — you are informed reader of Cyclocross Magazine, after all — and you certainly know ‘cross is good for your body. It strengthens your legs, and it strengthens your arms and core. It’s good for the heart, and for the lungs, and for the waistline. It’s good for pretty much everything — except the skin of your calves and ankles that your pedals always tear up.

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Female racers like Marianne Vos make us wonder just how big the gender gap really is, despite what studies may say.  © Bart Hazen
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Women’s Wednesdays: The Gender Gap, Scientifically Explored

For as long as there’s been cyclocross, there has been a separation of the men’s and women’s fields. And while women’s payouts may not rival those of the men in most races, it is doubtful that women would ever complain about not being mixed into the men’s races. There are obvious performance differences between the sexes, and today’s column looks at some of the most recent research on those differences.

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Collegiate athletics can be as demanding as academics. Patricia Drury
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Collegiate Chronicles: The Science Of Collegiate Athletics

Collegiate athletics is an interesting arena: there are both ups and downs to being extremely athletic in college, though anyone reading this is sure to point out that the good surely outweighs the bad. However, sometimes collegiate athletic programs can cause high levels of stress in students, and sometimes the demands can hurt the students more than helping them. On the flip side, according to one study, students tend to have “perceived barriers” when it comes to physical activity, that is to say, they find excuses for not getting involved in sports. Today, we’re taking a look at three different studies about collegiate athletes, and how they can relate to various collegiate cycling programs.

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When remounting, proper stretching pre-race is important.
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Training Tuesdays: Stretching for Mounts and Dismounts

It’s that time of year when cyclocross racers are pulling their bikes out of basements and garages, getting ready to do some drills. However, before you jump into the season and hit your saddle the wrong way, you might want to consider starting a stretching regimen before practicing remounts and dismounts. Contributing author David Perez has got some easy stretches to make sure you don’t suffer any setbacks before the racing has even begun. (This article was originally published in our premier Issue 1.)

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Will heat training improve your cyclocross performance?
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Training Tuesdays: Heat Training for Dramatic Improvements in Hot and Cold Weather Performance

It takes about a week to get Santiago Lorenzo on the phone, and when I do he doesn’t want to extrapolate about heat training. Lorenzo is a research scientist who, until recently, studied at the University of Oregon before picking up his PhD and moving to sunnier climes. He’s also an NCAA champion and 2004 Olympian in the decathlon, which means he’s a serious athlete (do you know the 10 events in the decathlon? I didn’t and went to look them up — anyone who can excel at all of them, and over two days, knows a thing or two about getting the most out of one’s body). He’s also published a study about heat training that may change the way we prepare for hot and cold events.

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Practicing barriers at the Rutgers Cyclocross Clinic. Molly Hurford
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Newbie News: Why Do A Clinic?

The idea of going to a cyclocross clinic can be daunting for some. It’s nerve-wracking to be confronted with trying new techniques, learning completely new skills or even just practicing old ones in front of a crowd. And for me, lining up and taking an off-camber taped-off turn with everyone else watching sounds sort of like the fourth or fifth circle of hell. However, it’s not that bad. Really. In fact, it can be pretty darn fun, not to mention extremely helpful.

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Wilichowski churns through the sand © Natalia Boltukhov | Pedal Power Photography
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Training Tuesdays: What is Creatine, and Should You Care?

Creatine is one of those supplements that you hear about with relative frequency, but what exactly is it supposed to be doing? Studies about the supplement have been cropping up for the last couple of years, and they all seem to have slightly differing opinions on the usefulness of creatine. It’s been suggested that creatine supplements help to reduce fatigue on muscles, improve recovery, and increase muscle strength. That’s a tall order for a nitrogenous organic acid. Today, we’re looking at a round-up of studies done on the topic to see what the experts have to say.

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Periodization Training for Cyclocross
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Training Tuesday: Building a Base in the Off-Season

June is here in just a week, and September and racing season are not too far behind. If you haven’t started coming up with a plan for the season, now is the time to start. We have a great article here by USAC Level 2 coach Mike Birner about how to start the season strong by building a good base over the summer. Birner believes that, “Base period should be about building the ‘engine,’” and following his advice will get you one high-horsepower motor!

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