training & skills rss

cyclocross training and skills

  • 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.

  • Newbie News: Remounting (Video)

    Learning remounts and dismounts is key for taking barriers smoothly. Molly Hurford

    Here at Cyclocross Magazine, we’re excited to launch our first of many how-to videos. In this series, we’ll be asking elite riders to show us how they perfected skills like remounts, dismounts, cornering, barriers, sand and quite a few other tricks.

  • Training Tuesdays: An Ounce Of Prevention, Cyclocross-Style

    Masters World Cyclocross Championships Mol, Belgium 2009 - Kathy Sarvary wins

    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.

  • Sneak Peak: Geoff Proctor’s USAC Cyclocross Development Camp

    Barrier practice for the junior racers. Tom Robertson

    We started each day with early morning strength conditioning—running bleachers, doing plyometric stations with power skips, lateral hops, ab work. Late morning entailed specific cyclocross training on a cyclocross circuit and, in the afternoon, we did some big training rides in the mountains.

  • 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.

  • Collegiate Chronicles: The Science Of Collegiate Athletics

    Collegiate athletics can be as demanding as academics. Patricia Drury

    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.

  • 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.)

  • Newbie News: Cyclocross Transitions and the Time-Space Continuum

    Taking barriers is a piece of cake if you practice! Erik Tonkin

    One of the best cyclocross skills to learn as a new racer is learning how to take “transitions.” (Not just barriers: transitions can mean a lot of different obstacles.) In this article, Erik Tonkin of Sellwood Cycles writes about how…

  • Training Tuesdays: Heat Training for Dramatic Improvements in Hot and Cold Weather Performance

    Will heat training improve your cyclocross 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.

  • Newbie News: Why Do A Clinic?

    Practicing barriers at the Rutgers Cyclocross Clinic. Molly Hurford

    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.

  • Training Tuesdays: What is Creatine, and Should You Care?

    Wilichowski churns through the sand © Natalia Boltukhov | Pedal Power Photography

    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.

  • Training Tuesday: Building a Base in the Off-Season

    Periodization Training for Cyclocross

    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!

  • Training for Cyclocross: How to Peak for the Big Race

    With the 2010 Cyclocross National Championships registration now open, it’s the perfect time to think about training specifically for the big event or another goal race. Which means it’s perfect time to revisit an article from Michael Birner on this…

  • The Infamous Stringdusters’ World Tour: No Bike, No Problem

    Travis Books, cross-training. Photo courtesy Travis Books

    Travis Book currently resides in Nashville, TN, but anticipates an imminent move back to his homeland of Colorado. He may not look like much (by design), but he was the Tennessee state champion in 09/10, a year he spent nearly…

  • Update: Boulder Cycle Sport / FasCat Cyclocross Training Camp Moved to August

    It’s already almost August, which means that the US cyclocross scene is right around the corner. While most of us are doing something bike-related, either on or off road, to keep up the fitness, many of the ‘cross-specific skills are…

  • Ask A Pro With National Champ Tim Johnson

    Joining us again for our bi-weekly column, Ask a Pro, is 2009 national cyclocross champion Tim Johnson ( If you missed our first reader submitted Q&A session, check it out here. Have a question for Tim? Send it to [email protected]

  • New Bi-Weekly Column: Ask a Pro with National Champ Tim Johnson

    Cyclocross Magazine is proud to announce a new bi-weekly column, Ask a Pro, with 2009 national cyclocross champion Tim Johnson (Cannondale – While winning one National Championship is impressive enough, Tim added this year’s win to the two Elite…

  • Overtrainers Anonymous – A Column by Lee Waldman

    Lee Waldman's fitness helps him lead the pack, but the training is a balancing act © Annette Hayden

    Cyclocross Magazine columnist Lee Waldman checks in on his training progress and reports on his enlisted help to reign in his obsessive training tendencies. In case you missed it, go back and check out Lee’s previous column on instant gratification….

  • Training with Power for Cyclocross: Kenton Berg’s Diary #6 – Hazardous to Your Health?

    Quad tendon - apparently important for pedaling

    Not sure if you’re training effectively? Have some ambitious goals for the season but feel like your racing has plateaued? Cyclocross Magazine’s Kenton Berg has been stuck in this situation and decided to seek professional help. This is his sixth…

  • Riding the Night Train – Tips and Tricks for Cyclocross Training at Night

    Training for cyclocross at night takes some special equipment. © Cyclocross Magazine

    by Dr. Clifford Lee Days are shorter and our lives are busy. How does training time fit in to a day with already too few hours? Even Michael Birner’s three-hour training plan featured in Cyclocross Magazine’s Issue 7 is constrained…

  • Training with Power for Cyclocross: Kenton Berg’s Diary #5 – Don’t Call It a Comeback

    Kenton Berg finds his form and power returning. ©Andrew Malakoff

    Not sure if you’re training effectively? Have some ambitious goals for the season but feel like your racing has plateaued? Cyclocross Magazine’s Kenton Berg has been stuck in this situation and decided to seek professional help. This is his fifth…

  • Training With Power for Cyclocross: Kenton Berg’s Diary #3

    Not sure if you’re training effectively? Have some ambitious goals for the season but feel like your racing has plateaued? Cyclocross Magazine’s Kenton Berg has been stuck in this situation and decided to seek professional help. This is his third…

  • To Hop or Not? Bunny Hopping Cyclocross Barriers

    Adam Craig hopping the barriers at Cross Vegas 2009. by Cyclocross Magazine

    Sven Nys’ early days of BMX racing developed his mad bunny hopping skills, and his ability to dominate races by hopping the UCI’s 40 cm barriers single-handily changed cyclocross courses and rules forever. Wonder why we see so few high-speed…

  • Making the Leap to Coaching: Kenton Berg’s Training Diary

    Not sure if you’re training effectively? Have some ambitious goals for the season but feel like your racing has plateaued? Cyclocross Magazine’s Kenton Berg has been stuck in this situation but this summer he’s been motivated to do something about…

  • Tough Love Cyclocross Training with a Personal Trainer

    Lunges build leg and hip flexor strength

    Yesterday we brought you Michael Birner’s article on planning your pre-season training for cyclocross. But putting it all together is easier said than done. Perhaps you need a trainer to help you stick to your plan? Hector Finely tells us…

  • Training for Cyclocross – An Off-Season Plan for a Strong Next Season

    Done for the season? Put on a few holiday pounds? Want to race better next year? In this fourth installment of our Training for Cyclocross series, USAC Level 2 coach Mike Birner of Mid-Maryland Coaching helps guide you through your…

  • Euro Cross Camp 2008-2009: Arriving at the Kingdom Hall

    by David Hutton Crossing the Pond with Euro Cross Camp 2008 For many ‘crossers, the season came to a close last weekend on the frigid knolls of Kansas City. ‘Cross fanatics are already starting to stockpile parts for next year,…

  • Race Winning Diets: More Than Oatmeal?

    The Breakfast of Champions? Bacon Maple Bar from Voodoo Donuts, by firepile on flickr

    Inspired by our interviews of ALL the national champions at the 2007 Kansas City nationals (we’ll be doing a version of this again), Bill Schieken has been interviewing the winners at his local races to discover their secrets. In this…

  • Countdown to Nats: An Interview with Tim Johnson

    National Champion Tim Johnson, © Cyclocross Magazine

    This is part of an ongoing series of national championships-related articles to get you ready for KC as a racer or spectator. You can view the rest of the series articles here. National Champion Tim Johnson, © Cyclocross Magazine 2008…

  • Training Towards a Goal – by Coach Mike Birner

    We’ve continued our series of articles on training from Mike Birner. Part I was in Issue 3, and Part II is in our Issue 4. In this series of four articles, USAC Level 2 coach Mike Birner of Mid-Maryland Coaching…

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