It’s September! This month seems to signify the end of summer and the start of Cyclocross season. Cyclocross has been growing steadily in the last few years particularly in North America. If you haven’t tried this awesome sport maybe you should! It’s a great way to stay connected with endurance sports while doing something entirely different. Cyclocross can be an incredibly beneficial part of your year. Here are three reasons why.
Change of Stimulus
Cyclocross will challenge your physiology in a very different way especially if you are coming off a season of longer endurance events like Ironman or Gran Fondos. Few sports tap into your high-end energy systems like cyclocross will. If you’ve ever seen a power/heart rate file for a cross race it’s extreme. There is nothing moderate or boring about it. If an Ironman file is like a bland piece of white bread with butter, a cross file is like a chocolate cake loaded with coffee beans. Changing stimulus is a good thing throughout the year. Your body loves change. It may not be the exact stimulus you need for your goal race next season but it will challenge you in a different way which is a good thing.
Cyclocross is great for your skill development on a bike. Cyclocross involves cornering, mounting, dismounting, negotiating obstacles and picking smart lines. There are times when you will be moving quickly and times when you will be moving slowly while you negotiate a tight corner. It‘s also done on soft surfaces meaning the consequence of a fall is often less than it would be on a road with cars and hard pavement. After a season of cyclocross your comfort level on a bike will skyrocket.
Cyclocross is FUN. Unlike many endurance sports that involve going in a straight line for long periods of time, cyclocross is incredibly engaging. Your body will be challenged in different planes of movement and you have to be fully engaged mentally. Cyclocross is like playing on a bike. Don’t be surprised if you feel like a 10-year-old kid at the end of a race or training session. Constantly rediscovering the “joy” factor is a must for longevity as an athlete.
If you’re looking for something different to do through the fall/winter season try cyclocross. You won’t be disappointed.