Each summer, a select number of riders racing ages 15-22 get to attend the Montana Cross Camp summer camp in Helena led by head coach Geoff Proctor. The camp provides a chance to learn new skills and make new friends while essentially doing three workouts a day and learning during the evening classroom sessions.
For those of us with real "jobs," the thought of going to cyclocross summer camp like sounds a-a-a-mazing, even if we do not necessarily have the talent to allow us to set our eyes on racing in Europe, as Proctor's Montana Cross Camp prepares young athletes to do.
Fortunately, as we start to look to the coming cyclocross season, there are drills and skills from Proctor's camp we can incorporate into our own training.
Proctor brings a background in skiing to his training regimen, and as I saw when I attended the Women's camp two weeks ago, the workouts and drills the young athletes do are varied and challenging. Running, agility, on the bike, off the bike, yoga, Proctor gives athletes a lot to think about and work on when they head back to their respective homes across the country.
For today's Training Tuesday, I declare #crossiscoming to be officially here as I share some ideas for mixing up your cyclocross training with some ideas from Montana Cross Camp. All the usual caveats apply—not a coach, not a complete list, etc.
Scroll through using the next button to read about each workout idea.
Find a Friend
Cyclocross is a community activity, so what better way to get better than train with a friend? We saw this dynamic on Wednesday morning during the Figure 8 drill.
Proctor first had the campers take turns following each other’s wheels and then work on trying to pass each other coming out of the corners.
A video from last week’s Men’s camp shows how the drill can teach you to sprint out of corners and be aggressive fighting for lines.
Working with a partner on a drill like this allows you to try taking different lines into corners and figuring out how best to set up if you are in front or trailing behind. As we saw from both camps, the drill is also a fun one as you push to take away your partner’s corners in a fun way.
Training with a partner does not just have to be for cornering drills. Holeshot starts? Sure, you can practice by yourself, but if you have someone to push you to go faster, you will get that much better at them.
Sand pit? Maybe make a friendly wager on who can ride the pit.
We all get better from competition and having a partner with similar (or slightly better) ability to push you will help you get that much better when the real racing starts when ’cross is officially here.