​Do I Need to Run for Cyclocross?

by up.bike

You signed up for a bike race, not a 5K.To prepare for the short bursts of bipodal locomotion, you won’t need to become a marathoner, but it can help make the difference if you’re able to make the most of running in cyclocross. Working in a few short runs to help round out your cyclocross training can make race day more fun and improve your results.

Cyclocross Running: Does It Matter?

The amount of running you’ll do in any given cyclocross race can change dramatically based on a number of factors, including:

  • -The design of the course (more sand, steep hills, or mud)
  • -The weather conditions (rain, snow, etc.)
  • -How conditions change throughout the race

If it’s wet, a course that is 100% rideable on the first lap might have plenty of running later on in the race as the course gets saturated and riders tear up the best lines.

Still, in a normal race under relatively mild conditions, expect to run less than a couple of minutes out of a race that might last 30, 45, or 60 minutes.

Is There Cyclocross Running Training?

For most athletes, adding in one or two short runs per week in the weeks leading up to cyclocross season is plenty of training to be prepared for the running required for a cyclocross race. There are a few tips we’d recommend to make sure you’re getting the most out of your running and to prevent injury.

How to Start Running for Cyclocross

Start small. Think one or two fifteen minute runs per week to start off. In the beginning, these might work well to incorporate on what would otherwise be a rest day. If you don’t run at all, the first few sessions may leave your legs very sore, don’t plan on very intense training the next day, either.

Run for what you need. In a cyclocross race, most of the running you’ll do is essentially sprinting. As your running improves and your body adapts to the impact of running, work to include shorter, more intense efforts. Mimic the short 5, 10, or 20 second bursts of running that you’d likely take on hopping over barriers or running long stretches of sand.

Get up. Some of the toughest parts of running in a cyclocross race are up steep hills that just aren’t rideable. Work these types of efforts into your training by finding a steep hill and running up it a few times as a part of on of your two weekly runs.

Cyclocross Running Workout

Once your body is ready to take on more focused running training, try to work in the following cyclocross running workout once a week.

  • -Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • -For five minutes, sprint all out for roughly ten seconds, then run at a comfortable pace for a minute and 50 seconds. If it helps, sprint between mailboxes if you need a finish line to aim for.
  • -After the first 5 minute set, run at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.
  • -Repeat 4 more times.
  • -Cool down for 5 -10 minutes.

This workout mimics the short and intense bursts of running that make cyclocross so challenging. To keep things fresh, try to work in hills for parts of the workout and consider running on grass or trails to make it feel even more like cross.

Cyclocross Racing: Running is a Small Part of the Race

When it comes to cyclocross, running is a very small part of your performance. Be sure to spend time working on your skills, notably your mounting and dismounting. There are plenty of ways to focus your cyclocross training and improve your fitness.

Cyclocross Training Barriers

The Portable Cyclocross Training Barrier is a no-risk solution to work on your cyclocross mounting and dismounting skills. Easy to set up in a park, they make it easy to work on your skills. Order a set today and hit cyclocross season at full speed.