Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Closest I'll Get to Running This Cyclocross Season

I'm not vehemently opposed to running as part of a cyclocross training program, but I think a lot of people consider it more necessary that it really is. For example, Adam started his fall running program yesterday, but I think that it's just because it's something he likes to do this time of year. Plus, he has a lot of triathlete friends, so I think it gives him a chance to have something in common with them. However, I will never fully buy in to running as effective training for cyclocross.

The fact of the matter is that running for 30 minutes at aerobic pace in proper running shoes has very little to do with carrying a bike and jumping over stuff while wearing mountain bike shoes. I don't think of it as running, so much as I performing a complicated task while your body is racked with lactic acid. So you're better off either increasing you cycling fitness so there is less lactic acid to complicate matters or practice the specific action you will be performing so that you're so good at it that the lactic acid won't matter.

Whatever. If you like running, go for it. If you don't, it's not necessary.

However, all of the not-running that I've been doing lately doesn't detract the anticipation I feel for my autumn favorite college sport kicking into gear. While the logical conclusion for most people would be football, I still have way more interest in the good ol' Oklahoma State Cowgirl cross country. It's not much of a spectator sport and it's been a few years since I've known any of the remaining team members, but even at 27, I still check the weekend's results every Monday morning.

I am one of those losers that never gets over their teenage glory days, even though mine weren't even that glorious. Being a college athlete was the coolest thing I've ever done and running simply didn't hold much appeal to me after it was over.

Anyway, in my search for pre-season polls etc., I've stumbled over a couple of pieces of great sports journalism that I couldn't stand not share. I just hope I'm not the only one who finds them funny.

"The bottom line is this: Kovtun can run and she could emerge as a leader this cross country season." - OSU website

"Oklahoma St. is like a mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows where they got all this talent, and darned if they know how to use it. They are the wild card this year, could be the champions, could be 10th." -, in reference to the men's team

So forgive me for sharing yet another bit of nerdery; it seems to be the theme of the week. Saturday is my next FTP test and I'm hoping for some good results (or at least results). After that, I'll start transitioning back to big girl training again, and it definitely won't include running. Scary.


Cyclocross Magazine said...

nice post. we agree with your sentiment about the value of running...if you look at our interviews of the nats winners in issue 2, not many of them (tim johnson) spent much time running.

but I'm surprised to read that from a past runner!

perhaps the biggest value in going for a slower, steady flat run is building some tolerance for all-out hill sprints that might cause injury if you haven't done anything? as a runner, thoughts on that?

don myrah, a 'cross legend came back last season to do some races. he apparently used to do laps on the track with his bike on his shoulder. a bit extreme perhaps.

keep up the good work...and if you ever want to contribute or link to us, we'd be honored.

Lindsay said...

Mostly, I was aiming to shut down the thinking of "It's cyclocross season, I have have to run now" or "I don't want to race 'cross because I hate running". I can see how doing a little bit of aerobic running might prevent injury for some people. It's definitely a personal decision.

Personally, running tends to make my legs very sore, which keeps me from training on the bike they way I would like. Also, I feel bad because I'm so much slower than I was in college.