Switch­ing dis­ci­plines and ben­e­fit­ting from cross-train­ing has been mas­tered by the Dutch triple world road race champ

Cycling Plus - - CONTENTS -

This month we have ad­vice on how to mas­ter mul­ti­task­ing like Mar­i­anne Vos, go for a ride with for­mer Canyon Eis­berg pro Chris Opie, ex­plain the ben­e­fits of spe­cific cy­cling shorts, why you should get more eggs in your diet and dis­cover how cy­cling saved Michael Gane’s life.

If you want to be a rider who can ex­cel across a range of dis­ci­plines, you’d be wise to look at Mar­i­anne Vos. Vos has won over 300 races across four dis­ci­plines – road, track, moun­tain and cy­clo-cross. She’s a three-time world cham­pion on the women’s road race cir­cuit and seven-time world ti­tle win­ner in cy­clo-cross. She’s just had one of her more suc­cess­ful road sea­sons in 2018 – win­ning the BeNe Ladies Tour and Ladies Tour of Nor­way, as well lead­ing the UCI Women’s World Tour, at the time of writ­ing.

The 31-year-old Team WoawDeals rider started out as a ju­nior moun­tain bike cham­pion, be­fore tak­ing up cy­clo-cross in 2004 and road rac­ing a year later. In 2008 she be­came the first woman to have held world cham­pi­onship ti­tles on the road, track and cy­clo-cross cir­cuits. Widely re­garded as the finest cy­clist of her gen­er­a­tion, Vos has re­turned to cy­clo-cross this au­tumn with a view to com­pet­ing in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in No­vem­ber 2018. Here’s how she man­ages the switch so smoothly… VA­RI­ETY IS THE SPICE Fol­low Vos’s ex­am­ple and ride as many dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines as you can to be­come a bet­ter road racer. Vos has won more than 300 races across four dis­ci­plines. Track brings ex­plo­sive power, cy­clo-cross is all about thresh­old and VO max (for an hour), moun­tain bik­ing gives you han­dling skills and keeps your legs turn­ing over. Bring all of this to the road and you’ll be lead­ing the way. BUILD BASE MILES Vos is known for do­ing hour on hour of base miles; even skip­ping re­cov­ery days to go and ride her bike. She de­scribes her­self as a full-time hobby cy­clist and just loves go­ing for a ride. Build the base and the rest will fol­low. The big­ger the base, the big­ger foun­da­tion you have to pull the fit­ness from when you start train­ing for races. DO YOUR HOME­WORK One of the rea­sons Vos can switch from one dis­ci­pline to an­other – and the podium – is that she adapts her train­ing to be event spe­cific. Just be­fore a big race or com­pe­ti­tion, she knows she has the en­durance to pull from all of her base miles. So she fo­cuses her train­ing on sprints and at­tacks. Look at your next race: when might peo­ple at­tack? When can you at­tack? Is there a hill you can at­tack on, how long is it? How long will you have to at­tack for? Then build these strate­gies into your train­ing.

Don’t do it for any­one else. Vos is on record ac­knowl­edg­ing the fact that her suc­cess is down to her work ethic, she skips rest days in favour of more time on the bike, and she clocks up hour upon hour of base miles through­out the off-sea­son REPLI­CATE RACE CON­DI­TIONS Don’t for­get the sprint fin­ish. If it’s a 60km road race you’re com­pet­ing in, do your sprint train­ing on tired legs. When asked what she thinks about when rac­ing gets hard, Vos said, “make it worth it, you are go­ing to suf­fer any­way, so suf­fer well and get a good re­sult from it”. MAKE TIME TO RE­FINE Don’t just go for one-rep PBs at the gym. To be a good all-rounder you don’t need big mus­cles, but a good strength and con­di­tion­ing ses­sion at least once a week will make you stronger and more pow­er­ful. When oth­ers around you are fall­ing apart you can power on. Learn to squat, as this uses more than just legs.



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