The End and the Beginning

November 22, 2017

Montrose! Thanks Snowy Mountain Photography

Except for a couple of really frustrating laps the season has flown by once again!  There are 2 important things to focus on over the next month; getting to Montrose ready to rip and then planning for next year.

Assuming you’ve had a proper rhythm of building and recovering to date, this week and next week are the time to knuckle down.  Wednesday is a good day for some tough intervals (tabata?).  If you’re up for a hard ride on Friday this would be perfect.  If not Big Marsh then a bandit race with some friends this coming Saturday or Sunday works as well. Do your normal routine next week and hopefully it all comes together in the city.

Unless you’re gunning for nationals  you need to take a little break post Montrose.  This transition phase , which consists largely of nothing, is an important part of your 2018 season.  Enjoy the time off and if you ride make it purely for the fun of it, no structure allowed!

If you are thinking of stepping it up next year you can find us via our website. The coaches at TrainingBible Cycling have experience in all disciplines and specialize in taking the time and tools at your disposal and helping you get the most out of the effort you put in.

See you at Montrose.


Rob Kelley


Categories: Coach's Corner

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October 18, 2017


Time to Focus on the Limiters


After some intense CX races you probably have a good idea what “limiters” are holding you back from overtaking the guys and gals you have not been able to catch these last couple of weeks. You may be getting dropped after certain obstacles or through technical corners. Maybe you’re hitting a wall before crossing the finish line, or you can’t get the recovery you need after a power section.

It’s important to recognize and focus on these weaknesses during the appropriate training days. This may seem obvious but some of us go at our intense training days with a workout that makes us “feel” like we’re making the best of our time. Maybe we feel really strong when we increase that average power week after week when we train race pace for 45 minutes on the usual training loop. Or maybe the short, intense efforts are where we exceed, and anaerobic endurance intervals are the go-to workout.  Getting out of the comfort zone while no-one is watching is what separates the podium from the rest of the field.

There is plenty of time to improve on these weaknesses before the big end-of-season races. Here are a few suggestions from TBC:

CX SKILLS – If barriers are your enemy, you think sand should only be for beach-goers, or you think bunny hopping should be restricted to small floppy-eared mammals; work on these must have skills during your recovery days. We give some good pointers in this post.

MOTHER NATURE – Do you excel on dry courses or are you a cold weather racer? Get out and play in the rain to get used to the sloppy conditions. Hopefully the hot races are over, but next season get out in the August heat in case Trek CX is brutally hot again. And now is the time to train on those cold days to prep for the potential frigid racing this winter.

WHY CAN’T I RECOVER? – Implement VO2 Max intervals or AE intervals on your hard days. Workouts like Tabata intervals will help improve the acceleration out of the technical sections, and train your body to take advantage of those short recovery sections.

THE WALL BEFORE THE LAST 2 LAPS – When the tank is consistently empty before the race is over you may need to pick it up on that hard training day. Just be careful you’re not over training and your weekly routine is making race day tougher than it should be. We recommend one, maybe two hard days a week depending on the training block. Mix in the short intervals with active recovery, and use the duration of your race as a guide for time. Here is an example of something you may try if your race is 45 minutes:

  • Mimic a start into a 4 minute Tabata interval.
  • Three minute recovery (50% of FTP) and into another Tabata interval.
  • 1 minute recovery into a 10 minute FTP interval.
  • Two minute recovery into a Tabata interval
  • Three minute recovery and into another Tabata interval.
  • 1 minute recovery into a 10 minute FTP interval.
  • Two minute recovery into a Tabata interval with an all-out finish.

Hit whatever goal is within your ability by improving your limiters during the middle of the season. Good luck and race hard.

Peter Kelley


Categories: Coach's Corner

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High Intensity Interval Training

September 28, 2016


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), also known as Tabata, has had resurgence within the fitness realm. Among other benefits, HIIT may improve VO2 Max as well as Anaerobic Capacity. HIIT is particularly good for cyclocross training because the efforts mimic the hard punches out of corners, attacks and the first lap of a CX race. HIIT is also beneficial when you have a busy week of “real life” without much time for training.

I use the term “Tabata” when referring to the HIIT workouts. Japanese Professor Izum Tabata incorporated high-intensity intervals when he trained speed skaters. The muscles that are put to work when skating are similar to the muscles used in cycling. Izum Tabata had his speed skaters use exercise bikes for their short interval training.

Tabata intervals should be performed at maximum effort. They hurt, in a good way. Burning legs, a fiery chest and a pukey feeling at the end of a set are all signs that you are doing this right. You may implement Tabata on a hard training day (3-5 sets), or throw in one or two sets on a medium-intensity training day between your Z2-Z3 efforts.

Here is a good go-to Tabata workout, but keep in mind the length of the intervals and recoveries may be adjusted:

  • Warm up for at least 20 minutes. Implement two 15 to 30 second hard efforts in the last 5 minutes of the warm up.
  • As mentioned above, 3-5 sets will make for a hard workout when done right.
  • Start each interval like you’re on the start line of a CX race. Since you’re going all out right off the bat you may as well work on your race starts as well.
  • One set is a 4 minute session of riding for 20 seconds at maximum effort with a 10 second recovery before hitting it hard again for 20 seconds. Repeat until your 4 minutes is up.
  • Keep your legs spinning during the 10 second recoveries. Complete recovery between sets, which usually takes 3-5 minutes depending on your fitness level.
  • Warm down for at least 15 minutes, eat and stretch.
Post Tabata

Post Tabata


Give Tabata a try! I won’t take it personally if you curse me during this particular workout.


Peter Kelley


Categories: Coach's Corner

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