It's U.S. Cyclocross Nationals week and all eyes are on Tacoma, Washington! The course looks good, the weather forecast calls for rain and Gage Hecht and Lance Haidet will be ready. We checked in with both riders for a quick pre-Nationals Q & A to learn about their preparation for the big day.
What have you been up to since your last race? Upon returning from Europe, I had some time to spend with the family for Thanksgiving. It was really great to get back to normal life for a bit and reconnect with my relatives. After the holiday I went over to Grand Junction to train with my good friend and former teammate, Brannon Fix, in some marginally warmer weather.
Looks to be some serious running on the Nationals course. Have you incorporated more running into your training? Definitely. I think running will be a big part the race. We will see if the training I have been doing will be enough. You never know what race day will bring.
What are some the workouts like you have been doing on the bike? I put in quite a bit of volume after recovering from Europe and then slowly started working towards more skills based rides.
And, off the bike? Recently, I have been doing a bit more core and specific body weight training. I know these little things can make a big difference.
Have you added anything new to your routine (training, nutrition, etc.) in the lead up to Nationals? I have not. Although my nutrition may not be perfect – I don’t count calories or really plan out meals - the current diet I’m on has worked for me in the past. There’s no reason to change it and risk a negative result just before a big race.
What kind of course conditions are you hoping for? I am definitely hoping for some mud!
If you were a betting man, what Donnelly tires do you think you’ll be using in Tacoma? With the amount of rain the area gets I’m guessing we’ll be using the tires named for the airport just a few hundred miles south of Tacoma – the PDX.
What is on tap for you after Nationals? Right after Nationals, I head over to Belgium for the last big block of the season.
What have you been up to since your last race? Since Ruts n’ Guts I have been training and grinding away on school projects and studying for finals week.
Looks to be some serious running on Nationals course. Have you incorporated more running into your training? Heck yeah! I saw a little course preview about of month or two back and noticed there could be a lot of running. I’ve been heading to the beach at least once a week to do some runs on the sand and repeats up the dunes as well. It’s been brutal!
What are some the workouts like you have been doing on the bike? This past week was my last week of serious training so after racing Ruts in Guts I also did a couple days of intervals. This close to Nationals the training volume hasn’t been huge, but rather super intense and focused. The workouts I have been doing recently have either been 9 minute sets of what I call “CX 30-30-30s” - 30 seconds all out on the bike, 30 seconds all out running while shouldering the bike, 30 seconds recovery - and a ton of 2 and 1 minute all out efforts.
And, off the bike? I have tried to cut back a bit on the gym work this past week, but have still been doing quite a bit of core and stability work on my own. And as mentioned I have been getting out for running workouts 2-3 times per week.
Have you added anything new to your routine (training, nutrition, etc.) in the lead up to Nationals Nope. I’m going with what I know.
What kind of course conditions are you hoping for? I think I’m well prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us. However, my favorite course conditions are slick and challenging mud where technique and skill come into play rather than straight-up raw power.
If you were a betting man what tires do you think you’ll be using in Tacoma? I’m throwing my chips in on running the PDX WC (tubeless clincher). Seriously, those tires are rad! Plus, it looks like there is going to be rain there for most of this week, so there is definitely going to be mud.
What is on tap for you after Nationals? After Nationals I am headed back home for the holidays. Depending on how everything goes I will either be prepping for making a trip over Cyclocross Worlds or I’ll be taking some time off to reset before preparing for the 2020 road season.
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Team Schedule (Tentative)
Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY
Jingle Cross World Cup – Iowa City, IA
Trek CXC World Cup – Waterloo, WI
Fayettecross - Fayetteville Arkansas
US Open of Cyclocross – Boulder, CO
Cincinnati UCI Cyclocross - Cincinnati. OH
Silver Goose - Midland, ON
Pan Am Games - Midland, ON
Ruts N Guts CX – Broken Arrow, OK
USA National Championships – Tacoma, WA
UCI World Championships – Dubendorf, CH