Novice Cyclocross Training Plan - $29.99 USD

This is the most difficult, most intense and most exciting sport in the world. And you, friend, are going to rock it. With our Novice Cylocross Training Plan, you’re now just ten weeks away from a faster, more powerful more truly badass – and significantly muddier – you. To get you there, we here teamed up with Dig Deep Coaching director Dan Fleeman. Now, Dan happens to be a former pro cyclist at World Tour level and is currently racing mountain bikes professionally. With him, Dan brought on board Ian Field, the 2012 and 2013 British National Cyclocross Champion. Ian has represented GB 13 times at World Championship level, and has been racing the Cyclocross World Cup circuit for a few years now, regularly bagging top-15 spots. That experience has been put directly into this plan.

Together, we’ve created a plan that utilizes…

  • Indoor Sufferfest workouts that develop the attacking speed and crushing power that cyclocross racing demands
  • Road sessions that develop the endurance and speed you need to finish your races strong
  • Eight different off-road skills sessions to handle any kind of cyclocross course

And all designed in the time-crunched cyclist style of getting you maximum gains in the minimum amoung of time. You can use this plan year round, although starting it about seven weeks before your first race of the season will have the most impact.

Is the Novice Plan for you?

If you can tick the boxes below, then starting with this plan makes sense. If you feel you’re a bit stronger than this, then try our Intermediate Cylocross Training Plan.

  • You’ve been riding on the road for awhile but have never – or only recently – tried cyclocross.
  • You can ride with a fast moving group, but your fitness isn’t up to the level of taking big pulls at the front or putting the hurt on others. Yet.
  • You’re comfortable making high intensity efforts – you’ve done intervals before and know what you’re in for. You kind of like them, actually.
  • You’re used to consistent training: you’re comfortable riding frequently during the week and getting longer sessions in on the weekends.
  • Your first race of the season is in 7-10 weeks. You want a respectable showing.
  • You have very limited time to train. If you want to keep your job and the family happy, you need focused, compact training sessions.

How much time this takes

Between 5 and 6.5 hours a week, with four days riding per week (Workout mix: 2 indoor, 2 road and 1 off-road skills session).

How fit you need to be

If you’ve been riding about 3 times a week for the past several months, and can handle a heavier workload, you’re good to go whether you’ve ever been on a cyclocross bike or not.

Why you need this plan

Because you want to try cyclocross racing and don’t know where to start or how to get fit, fast and skilled in the most efficient way possible. This plan will sort that out for you.

How the plan is structured

This plan has four key blocks, incorporating both indoor and outdoor riders, over the 10 weeks to move you to that next level.

  • Weeks 1,2: Establish training routine and habits, set basic tolerance work.
  • Weeks 3, 4, 5: Ramp up the intensity and get race specific.
  • Week 6: Ease back a bit to freshen up.
  • Weeks 7,8,9,10: Very high-end work with race efforts to put on the final polish.

About the training sessions

The workouts are a combination of indoor, road and off-road skills sessions. For the indoor rides, the Sufferfest videos you’ll need to have are:

  • Rubber Glove
  • Revolver
  • Angels
  • Fight Club
  • AVDP
  • The Downward Spiral
  • HHNF
  • Local Hero
  • Extra Shot
  • TINT
  • Blender
  • Violator

The plan is about 19 pages long and includes:

  • Introduction and definitions of the different effort and workout types.
  • Fitness test instructions so you can calculate your Functional Threshold Performance (FTP).
  • A zone calculator sheet so you can map your FTP to power, heart rate and recommended perceived exertion zones.
  • An overview of the entire ten-week plan on one sheet.
  • Detailed weekly overviews with daily workouts, explanations and tips from Ian Field, as well as specific drills to do in order to improve your skills.

What you’ll need before starting the plan:

  • A heart rate monitor or power meter. Our plans are based on knowing your Functional Threshold Power (i.e., the effort you can sustain for about an hour without slowing down) and you’ll need to be able to measure your heart rate or output in watts in order to use these plans. We’ll ask you to do a fitness test (instructions in the plan) before you start week one. Of course, you can just do the plans based on our recommended perceived exertion levels, but you won’t be as specific as is possible when you know your FTP.
  • You’ll need a turbo trainer and Sufferfest videos for the indoor rides. You can find out what ones you’ll need by looking above. If you can’t get all the videos required, you can still do the plan by substituting similar videos. For example, if you don’t have Revolver, then use The Downward Spiral. If you don’t have Local Hero, do Fight Club together with Extra Shot.
  • The road rides generally require you to have a flat to rolling course that isn’t too challenging. If you’re not able to get outside for any reason, you can do the exact same workout indoors. It won’t be nearly as interesting, but at least you can get the training in. Just do 25% less volume than you would have done outside (e.g., so a 1hr session on the road = 45minutes on the trainer).
  • The off-road skills sessions require that you have access to a park area with a large open flat area, a hill or stairs and a long sloping back. You’ll also need a set of traffic cones for these sessions as you’ll be using them to help practice your corners.

And, hey, are these the best looking training plans ever?