Cyclocross: What you should be doing now to prepare

Howdy folks,
Holy cow, it’s mid-May already. Can you believe it? September in 4 short months. It might just be time to start thinking about cyclocross again.
Ok, maybe more than just thinking about it. How about planning for it?
Planning? You mean people actually plan for a cyclocross season?
Yes. Hell yes.
I’m not suggesting that everyone go lock themselves in a room and draw up a comprehensive training program for the upcoming season, but just a wee small bit of reflection and planning, done early and done right can work wonders on a rider’s chances for success. Early as in, well… now.
Let’s start with…

Reflection –

How did your cross season go last year? What do you think went well, and what do you think went poorly? Make a list.
How did your race calendar work out last season? Did you do too much racing? Not enough? Just right? Have you even thought about this? Make a list of all last season’s races, and start to think about it now.
What was your race fitness like last season? What areas do you need to improve on to be competitive, and what things can you further hone to increase an already extant advantage?
Yup. Make a list.
What level, honestly, are your bike handling skills at? What are the things you need to improve, and what are the things that you’re already good at?
What is the state of your equipment…  all of your equipment? Are you going to need new tires this season? New shoes? New skinsuit? An entire new bike?
Yup, yet another list.
If you hadn’t already guessed, I like lists. Here’s another one, and this one is important…

Make a list of your goals for the upcoming season, and for your cyclocross “career” in general.

This one will probably take a bit of thought.
So, give it some time. We’ll pick things up here in the next article.

Cyclocross workout for mid-May…

Pull your cyclocross bike out of the closet. Go ride it on some variable, off-road terrain.
Blast around on some gravel roads, or go shred some easy single-track. Reacquaint yourself with your CX bike.
No racing, no intervals, just have fun on the darn thing. One hour or more. No strings attached, no pressure. Go bunny hop something silly while you’re out there.
Treat yo self.
Check out other cyclocross articles written up by the Source Endurance team. 
About the Author: Matthew Hill is the author of The Cyclocross Workout Of The Day blog at, a coach for Source Endurance, and a black belt Professor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Head instructor of the long-running Cyclocross Training series at The Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome in the Seattle area, he has taught cyclocross skills to literally hundreds of athletes at all levels of proficiency, and has secretly been hired by teams he’s not allowed to mention to tutor athletes wearing stars and stripes on their sleeves.

Matthew’s coaching clients have been seen on podiums worldwide, with notable examples including:World Cup racing, The Belgian National Championship, and US Nationals results at the Junior, Espoir, and Open/Pro level.  Learn more about Matt here.