Use the “Rule” of 3 for Better Training During Cyclocross Season

Several of my coaching clients and I currently use the “Rule” of 3 for our training during cyclocross season.

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Preparing for race season means more intensity and specificity

Coming into cross season, most riders have a pretty good base of fitness from road, mountain bike, and/or gravel riding.

Intervals should try to mimic racing

For training during cyclocross season, our goal is to do intervals that mimic the demands of racing.

Skills practice is still an important part of training during cyclocross season

Most areas have some kind of organized weekly cross practice, usually on Wednesdays.

Strength training and yoga still need to be a part of your cyclocross training during the season

Even if cyclocross is your main sport, you still need to do at least one strength training session a week, typically on Tuesday morning.

You still need to maintain your endurance

Finally, you need to keep up with doing endurance pace rides while you are training during cyclocross season.

The most important part of training during cyclocross season is recovery

The quickest way to lose speed and performance is to not take recovery days while racing and training during the cyclocross season.

Nutrition plays a key role

Fueling becomes a little different during the cyclocross season.

How do you put all of this together?

Here is the hierarchy of cyclocross training during the season:

  1. Recovery. You have to be fresh, not only for the next weekend’s races but this week’s workouts.
  2. Endurance rides. You get a lot of intensity when you race. You need to maintain your aerobic capacity.
  3. Skills practice. You need to sharpen your skills and prepare for the next weekend’s races.
  4. Intervals. If you’re racing a lot, you really don’t need much interval work! But when you do intensity, go really, really, bleeding out of your eyeballs hard.

How does the Rule of 3 work?

The Rule of 3 for cyclocross training during the season means you should have no more than three intensity sessions per week.

Want to know more about what you can achieve?

This is a lot of information in a short article.



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Paul Warloski, Simple Endurance Coaching

I help everyday endurance athletes reach their adventure and challenge goals through personalized, holistic training, strength work, and yoga.