Vos winning her sixth World Championship, Compton winning her 10th National Championship. © Nathan Hofferber / Mike Albright
Want to be a winner next ’cross season? So do we, and there’s no time like the offseason to start getting race-ready. Last week we talked about getting into running in the offseason, but that’s not the whole equation. September will be here before you know it, so be ready with coach Chris Mayhew’s top tips for getting in race shape.
Start riding a bike. Seriously, if you’re not someone who races during the summer, it’s time to start riding in a regular manner. It doesn’t have to be SUPER SERIOUS #WATTS but set some goals about number of times per week and overall volume (say, six hours per week).
Start shopping. Think about what equipment, clothing or components you’d like to get for this fall. Start keeping an eye out for that stuff now. When shopping, you can name your price or know when you’re going to buy it, but not both. Give yourself some time and you can probably get it for the price you want.
Get a schedule. It’s a bit early to know specific race dates, but start thinking about the overall shape of your season. When will it start, what races do you really want to do? Are you going to Nationals? I always want to know when clients want to come out swinging and when their most important race(s) are, and then I plan backwards from there for training.
Get a plan to address your weaknesses. Can you do 500 watts for an hour but not turn left? Do you spend all day riding in Gnarnia but get dropped on any climb longer than a log pile? Figure out what needs some work and figure out a plan to address that. Personally, I’m going to race some mountain bikes this year and dedicate one day a week to riding the ’cross bike in the woods.
Spend some time on crossresults.com. Personally, I usually have clients write an after action report about two weeks after the end of the season. I find that’s soon enough that the fire is still there, but enough of a break that you can be a bit objective about things. Write down what worked and what didn’t. What goals did you hit, miss or exceed? What would you change? Keep? Maybe you didn’t write all that down. Go look at your crossresults.com page and use that to conjure up memories from each race and think about the previous questions.
Check out our offseason training article in Issue 24 that looked at our new National Champion’s race secrets as well!