From Training Peaks “Four Sports you should do in the off season”
According to the website Cyclova, it is believed that cyclocross originated in the autumn, in the French countryside. Racers riding from one town to another would take shortcuts through farmer’s fields, jumping over fences with an eye on the church steeple marking the next town. During this time, the sport was called “steeple chasing.”
WHY DO IT?
Long accepted as a way for road racers to stay fit in the off-season, cyclocross isn’t much of a cross training stretch for road racers. More recently, mountain bikers and triathletes can be found toeing the start line at a “cross” race.
The sport offers the challenge of riding a bike in mud, sand and grass. Combine that with obstacles and steep uphill sections that require bike carrying, this multi-lap sport is fun for racers and spectators alike.
Most races are some 30 to 60 minutes long, with the leg-searing intensity many racers savor. Fun, variety, challenge and bad weather conditions draw endurance junkies who don’t want to give up intensity in the off-season.
HOW TO FIT IT INTO YOUR TRAINING PLAN?
When participating in cross, it is best to leave any heavy weight training until after the season is over. Cut down the long rides that you’ve been doing all season and include these short, fast races instead.
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