Saturday, August 19, 2006

Cross crash course


(right, Mike Stoop does the January Trashmore Cross run-up. He was high school Beach district cross country champ a few years ago. Photo by Wes Cheney.)

Along comes cross season, always too quickly, forcing me to ask myself when was the last time you ran? I answer back, I can't remember the last time I walked, really walked, let alone ran. How much running is really necessary to get ready for cross?

Michael said why train for any more than one minute sprints since you'll never run longer than that in a cross race? That sounded like my kind of plan, so I grabbed whatever I could find to back that up. I skimmed this article, basically picking out the short run parts. Here is a paragraph from the article (my comments in blue):

"Once they begin, a mistake many riders make is to go for long, extended runs. Who exactly would do this? That's one pitfall I can easily avoid. That's great if you're training for a 10K, but in 'cross you have to be specific. I like that word specific. Take a look at the length of time you're typically on foot in a 'cross race. I guess we need to ignore the Ironcross crawl-up for this quiz. Normally it's for stretches where you're at maximum intensity for about 15 seconds or so, and the longest a run should be in a well-designed 'cross course is 80 meters. Would someone tell Hosang that the Trashmore steps are longer than 80 meters? Sounds more like a short sprint to me than a 10K… 'Cross races might be lost on the runs, but they're rarely won. Yes, I get the rarely won part. It's still mostly about who can pedal their bike the fastest." So true.
--from "Running for Cyclo-Cross" by Adam Hodges Myerson

4 comments:

kevin said...

I just started running for cross recently. I go for about 30 to 40 mins and try to go off road to keep it fun, different and a bit softer than the pavement. The sprints are a great idea for the bursts of energy and speed needed in cross. But the fitness gained from a good run workout cannot be equaled on a bike. Just listen to me breathe whilst running... Some folks don't like to run, or it's painful. In that case, you don't have to run. No one's telling you in order to cross, you better start running. Overall, typically, in a cross race you'll be off the bike and running approx 2 mins, so I would put the focus on some skills workouts in place of, or in addition to running. Dismounting, run, jump over barrier, run, jump over barrier, remount etc...
We as a group will be geting together sometime soon and going over these skills.
Now let's get our rides ON!!!

Rob said...

Liz- I know how much you love that Ironcross crawl-up!

Anonymous said...

800 meter track runners run 40-60 miles a week....I'm not saying, I'm just saying...

Liz Schleeper said...

Oh, I know what you're saying darnit.

Yes, that crawl-up is ridiculous, but I think running this fall will help along with a different pair of shoes. I did run the other day, ok on a treadmill, but there I was able to get 25 min in whereas on pavement right now I'd probably only survive 15 min.