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How To Convert Summer Fitness To Autumn Wins | Cyclocross And Hill Climbs

How To Convert Summer Fitness To Autumn Wins | Cyclocross And Hill Climbs


– This time of year for many
of us in the norther hemisphere road cycling events can dry up and that can be really frustrating cause after a summer of riding this is pretty much when
we’ve got our best form. – Yeah so rather than waste that form why not convert your attention to one of the popular
off season disciplines: cyclocross or hill climbs. Coming up our GNC tips on how to make the most of your form this autumn. – Fall. – Autumn.
– Fall. Yeah sorry fall. (upbeat music) – Cyclocross is great fun I think. And personally I always found
the change as good as a rest from a long, hard summer. To do it you will need
an off road capable bike. Be it cyclocross bike like this one. A mountain bike if the
events that you’re choosing to ride will allow it. And many local ones do. Or indeed, dare I say, a
road endurance type bike with disc brakes and enough clearance to fit knobbly tyres on. Now when you do start racing a cross event lasts between
about 40 minutes to an hour. So if you’re coming off a good
summer of riding and racing, then actually the duration
will be no problem to you. So instead to convert that
summer form to cross form, you need to concentrate on two things. Short, sharp, intense
effort and your technique. Cause when you actually do a cross race, although it might feel like one long, slightly sick making interval, it’s actually loads of
short, super hard efforts interspersed with recovery that’s so brief you
might not even notice it. Particularly if you’re trying
desperately to stay upright. – And this is exactly why
microintervals are a great way of getting yourself cyclocross ready. So try this session out. Head out for an hour. Within that hour do an
eight minute interval where you’re going flat out for 20 seconds and then recovering for 10 seconds. Repeating until the eight minutes is up. Start by getting two of those
eight minute intervals done within the hour and build
up gradually to three or maybe even four as
you adapt your road form to cyclocross form. Gotta do one. – Another great way of converting
that form to cyclocross is to do longer sweet spot intervals. So you want to think on a 90 minute ride to do about two 20 minute
blocks at sweet spot. So that’s about 90% of your FTP. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor sustainably hard would
be a good description. But we’re gonna intersperse it with some real high intensity. So do 10 seconds seated sprints every two minutes. Just to get those legs working. And then as you build up and get used to it maybe add in another block or even extend it to two 30 minute ones. Just make sure you get that
all important 60 minutes in. – These two sessions should see you really sharpen up for cyclocross races. But as we said earlier, technique is as much a
part of this discipline. So reserve a session or two each week for having fun off road. We’ve got a playlist here on GCN where we tried to teach
Matt how to ride off road and we won’t say he became an expert but he certainly got better. Things to practise include
getting on and off your bike, clipping in which is something admittedly Matt always struggled with. Then attacking those
short, sharp, steep climbs. Be it either on the bike or off. And then getting used to
handling your bike in the dirt. Certainly quite different
to riding on the road. But combine that technique
practise with a little change in your training and
you will be tearing up your local cyclocross
races all fall or autumn. Depending on which one you want to say. – Another arguably even more
brutal off season discipline is that of hill climbs. Which really do what they say on the tin, ie you ride from the bottom
to the top of the climb as fast as you possibly can. Now that can span from
anything from around one minute to 15 minutes in duration depending on the length of the climb and also your own ability. It has to be said they tend
to be on the shorter side. – They do, so this means
that with your summer form, you’re gonna need to focus solely on short, sharp intervals. So unfortunately, this
means it’s gonna hurt. Much like the hill climbs
themselves in fact. But coming up there are
a couple of session ideas to help make it more bearable. – For session number one, you want to warm up for a good 15 minutes whilst at the same time riding
towards a local hill climb which is at least two minutes in duration. This session is not complicated. You simply ride the two minute climb as hard as you can six times with five to six minutes
of rest between each one. It is important to take a decent rest between efforts on this session so that you’re targeting the right system. Cool down for 10 minutes
at the end and you’re done. – Session two is more of
a pyramid style affair. So again get in a good warm up this time riding to a climb that is three minutes in duration. Your first interval is
30 seconds, a flat out. Your next one minute, then 90 seconds and so
on adding 30 seconds to each interval until you’ve
done a three minute interval. Then you reduce by 30 seconds so your last one is
another 30 second interval. Now this totals up to
11 different intervals. And you want to have
three to four minutes easy between each one. Probably rolling back down the hill. – With either of these sessions
you shouldn’t be afraid of spending quite a bit of the intervals out of the saddle like Si. After all that is how you’re
going to get the most power out up a climb if it is short and steep. And actually for some strange
reason Si and I have found it’s our arms that need
training more than our legs for hill climb season. – Now aside from this
technique is less important with hill climbs than it is in cyclocross. But you could always spend a bit of time losing some weight from your bike because every gramme counts. You don’t need that mate. – Don’t litter though. – Just give it to our domestiques. – Matt! – One of the most important parts of both of these disciplines is that you arrive at
your chosen event fresh. So with that in mind you should probably just
kick back a little bit, enjoy yourself, spend a
bit less time on the bike. Focus on those specific intervals. Maybe take a couple of
easy days before an event so that you’re fresh enough. And also don’t be afraid to
maybe take a week off your bike so that you can totally reset. Your summer form will carry you through a good couple of months won’t it? – Yeah a lot of hill climbs believe it or not are won on the sofa you have to be really fresh
for those short, sharp efforts. Now as ever we would love to hear how you get on at your chosen events. Be they cyclocross or hill climbs. Let us know in the comments
section down below. And also if you’re very experienced in either of those disciplines and you’ve got your own advice that you would like to give our viewers, please also leave that in the
comment section down below. If you haven’t subscribed to the channel you can do so now by
clicking on the globe. And if you’d like to see our introduction into the world of
cyclocross with Matt Stephens you can find that video by
clicking just down here. – Yeah and funny enough
we’ve actually avoided making a video about hill climb events. So perhaps one for the to-do list. But nevertheless we’ve a
video about how to improve at short, steep climbs so exceedingly relevant just down there.

74 comments on “How To Convert Summer Fitness To Autumn Wins | Cyclocross And Hill Climbs

  1. If you live somewhere that gets snow, buy a Fat Bike. Even if you don't, buy a Fat Bike.

    Besides XC / Skate skiing, which is baller, many of the same places you can ski XC are now grooming trails for Fat Bikes, or organizing winter rides / races. It's incredibly fun.

  2. I hate how road bikers dress up and pedal their bike around thinking they are suddenly athletes.
    No, you ride a bike. Take that jersey off, you never played a sport in your life, nerd.

  3. Did my 4 ever cross race and got 2nd place. Felt good during it and and if I started closer to front feel like I could have won it.

  4. Dan's certainly not bringing his summer fitness into the hill climb season seeing as Si is able to drop him up a climb when talking

  5. The idea of hill climbs being short and steep is mainly a UK thing where there's lots of 1km climbs at 10%+ so GCN are right: 30s to 3min intervals and lots of time out of the saddle. But in other countries it can be different: in Norway my club's hill climb is 5km at 3% so staying seated and a full TT set-up is usually required!

  6. Nice presentation, Si and Dan, and I am already looking forward to the next one, maybe five tips on how to gain upper-body strength for hill climbs with Si doing a push-up.

  7. So you recommend intervals of :20 and :10 alternating efforts for 8 reps each. Interesting. Same idea in my HIIT strength class and my Tabata/Fartlek speed runs. Hmmm… must be something significant there.

  8. Why call Autumn 'Fall'?… because that's when all the pretty leaves fall down on the ground – duuuuurrr… Thanks, but no thanks.

  9. Did my first Cat 2 climb yesterday, great ride, was a 5.8km climb with avg gradient of 7%. Managed to pace it quite well going at 250w avg for the duration of the climb, going at an avg speed of 16km/h.
    Though, I have an issue regarding training and improving times on climbs. I tend to find that my most sustainable cadence is around 90 to 100 rpm, however it seems that just going up by one gear and maintaining a comfortable cadence requires a ~20-30w increase in power. This is fine for short climbs, but for the long ones, it's quite a large power jump.

    What would be the best way to increase time on a long climb, but say without jumping up overall average by 30w, would say trying to do part of the climb faster, then easing off be a good idea?

  10. Dan, in regards to CX, you talked about a lot of what you can do on the bike, but would you recommend any running intervals or have any any running tips for CX?

  11. What's this 'fall' 'Autumn' business? If you're British then be proud of it. Please don't lapse into all those other Yankisms like 'whole bunch of' as the only collective noun known to your viewers.

  12. "I mean, they're not gonna kill ya
    So if you give 'em a quick short, sharp, shock". Am I the only one who thought about this every time.

  13. So do two Tabata sprint workouts back to back, and then do another two tabata sprint workouts back to back? I got queasy just typing that. Does throwing up after the workout count as weight loss?

  14. Finding a 2 min climb is impossible, I have a pretty good variety of climbs, but they are from 10-15 minutes to more than an hour in duration. Maybe I have to do the 10 minute one's in 2 min 😀

  15. I'm actually getting started with cycling at the moment and want to get a new bike because the old cilo roadbike I got with a too small framesize for my height and a seatpost that is stuck at one position is getting in the way of having fun climbing up hills. Now I can't decide whether I should go for a cyclocrossbike and use it on the street with small raodbike tyres when I'm feeling like it or a roadbike and having not the option to fit in wider tyres. I already have a mountain bike, but I will probably go bikepacking in the future and like to make lager distances. I know that a road bike is not for bikepacking and more made for the sport, but I really like the idea of having the option to use it as a touring bike at the same time. (not with a rack, but for example with a seatpack/framebag) Feel free to give me advice 🙂

  16. Those sessions sound awesome. Done some similar on commute home before and have seen good results. Tailed off now so need to get back on it

  17. hey gnc guys
    i really like ur videos and iam watching them every day and i got an improvement tip for ur oudoor filming: clip-on mics to erase the road noises

  18. What's wrong with an endurance road bike with disc brakes and wider tire clearance, aka a gravel bike? Si seems to have a problem with them at 0:55 in.

  19. I had my first race two weeks ago and had a flat tyre after 2 laps. I had clinchers @30psi. Was I just unlucky or should I invest in a set of tubulars?

  20. Does Si have something against endurance road bikes? I was looking at one for my first road bike as im on a hybrid at the moment.

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