Hills hurt. Throw in the intense and unrelenting effort that is cyclocross and they’re worth some preparation specific to that sport. They might not be too bad on the first go around, but by your last couple of laps they’re gonna get tough! They don’t need to be long or incredibly steep. But when you add in the cost of going all out to the base of each hill they become more substantial and will have an effect on the outcome of your race.
As with sprinting on the road you’re wise to simulate the total cost of the effort during your training, and not just the relatively short trip from bottom to top. The training can be done on the road or off road. They are tough, so consider this one of your hard days on the bike.
Warm up for at least 20 minutes in zones 1-2 heart rate/power
This is one interval, and do as one continuous effort: From a standing start ride at 100% effort for 200 meters, just as you would for a race start. Then settle into CP30/ftp HR (this is your best 30 minute power or ftp heart rate) and hold it for 3 minutes to the base of a 200 meter hill (longer if you have access). 100% effort up to the top of the climb.
3 minutes recovery between intervals.
X3 intervals = 1 set.
Take at least 8 minutes off between sets.
Warm down with at least a 20 minute spin in zones 1-2 heart rate/power
Do 1 or 2 sets if you are doing the category 4/5 races, 2 or 3 sets if you’re doing the cat 3 races, and 3 sets for the 1/2/3 bunch.