As mentioned in this forum last week not all training rides can be full tilt. You need easy recovery and moderate tempo as well and those are good days to make the most of your time in the saddle by working on skills. A skills day workout should be a 1 hour and 30 minute ride maximum. Push yourself not in terms of physiological cost, but rather in the handling department. These are a few basic tenets of the sport with some super cool videos that cover the basics of each:
Set up a course with turns to the right and left and at varying angles…..90, 45, 180, etc. This is a great chance to try varying tire pressures as well. Nice thing about working turns on a skills day is that you can hit them full speed without too much effort so you get the true feel that you’ll have on race day. Push it and see how fast you can go. It’s never fun to crash, but sliding out on grass once in a while is the price you might have to pay to find your thresholds.
This is not a good day for 200 meter or more “sprint” starts. It is great day though to work on form a bit. So take it slow and easy and focus on the little things that you can’t when going all-in.
Try starting with your hands on the hoods and in the drops. Left leg forward versus right leg forward. Try slightly different gearing. You may find that you’re more comfortable with something you haven’t tried yet. With any adjustments in style though be sure to get in at least one full-on session of CX starts first before race day.
Start very slowly, walking pace. If you can’t do them slowly you’ll definitely not be able to do them at speed. Try both sides also so that if a weird corner into a barrier (think Indian Lakes) or a crazy situation (think just about every CX race you’ve ever done) crop up you’ll at least have a frame of reference.
See you in Dekalb!
Director of Coaching