Eight tips for extending your season with ‘cross

From VeloNews

Now a dedicated cyclocross racer, Meredith Miller’s pro career started out on the road. Photo:Dave McElwaine

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the September 2015 issue of Velo magazine. In it, Grant Holicky of Apex Coaching and pro cyclocross racer Meredith Miller talk to Trevor Connor about how roadies can keep the good times rolling into the fall ‘cross season.

Set limits

If you race the entire ’cross season, you won’t be taking a break until January, which can be an issue for the following road season. “Pick a time to be done and don’t get tied up in the points race,” Holicky says. Calling it quits in November is a good strategy for many. He notes that even Danny Summerhill, a seven-time under-23 and junior national champion in both ‘cross and road, who now races for UnitedHealthcare, is typically focused on the road season by the time ‘cross nationals rolls around in January.

Take a break

Holicky doesn’t think it’s a good idea to jump right into ‘cross. “Athletes are concerned about taking four days off, but they can actually get a bump from [an extended break],” he says. Make sure you’re rested before you slap on the knobby tubulars. If you race a full ’cross calendar, you should also take another short break after the season to refocus.

Factor in the intensity

If you’re just looking to do a few races but not specifically train for the intensity of ‘cross, you don’t really have to worry, Miller says. But if you do a full cyclocross schedule, the old-school approach of ramping up intensity in January won’t work. Instead, after your break, Miller recommends backing down and focusing on longer rides…

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