Two Killer Cyclocross Workouts

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By PCG Founder & Coach Hunter Allen

Cyclocross hurts, and so do the workouts that matter! Head out to your local CX course (or create one at a school or park) and give these two workouts a try.

Workout One: The 30-30-30

Warm-up

Ride 15 minutes in your endurance zone with a solid five-minute tempo effort to open up your legs. 

Main set

Complete the following:

  • 1 x 5-minute blow-out with watts at 115% of FTP
  • 2 x 10-minute sets of 30-30-30: 30 seconds riding as hard as you can, 30 seconds coasting and not pedaling, 30 seconds dismounted and running fast. Repeat.
  • 5 minutes easy
  • 4 x 2 minutes AC work at 130% of FTP. Push hard and fast. Rest 2 minutes after each.
  • 10 minutes easy
  • Finish with 10 x 1 minute fast pedaling: 1 minute on, 1 minute off (cadence goal: 110 rpm).

Cool-down

15 minutes easy riding

Workout Two: Race Prep

Warm-up

Warm up for 10 minutes at 56-76% of FTP. 

Main set

Complete the following:

  • 20 minutes of tempo (85-90% of FTP) with 5 bursts (10 seconds each) to 200% of FTP and return to 85-90% of FTP. Ride at endurance for 5 minutes at 70%. 
  • Now do 4 x 2 minutes, with 2 minutes between each. Try for 135% of FTP watts on each one. Do 2 additional efforts if your fourth one is still at least 120% of FTP.
  • Now ride at sweet-spot (88-93%) of FTP for 30 minutes, smooth and steady, and do 10 bursts within this 30 minutes: 200% of FTP for 15 seconds before coming back to 88-93% of FTP.
  • Finish with 2 hard efforts, each 5 minutes long with watts at 110% of FTP. Rest for 5 minutes between each.

Cool-down

10 minutes easy riding

Be sure to get in a good recovery shake afterward!

Hunter Allen is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach and former professional cyclist. He is the coauthor of “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” and “Cutting-Edge Cycling,” co-developer of TrainingPeaks’ WKO software, and CEO and founder of Peaks Coaching Group. He and his coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes.

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