Training Plans

Marianne Vos Shares her Winter Training Tips

We ask the ultimate all-rounder for her training and nutrition advice.

Marianne Vos shares the Revolution Series 2014 podium with Katie Archibald and Laura Trott

The list of Marianne Vos’s accomplishments is pretty insane. So when you’ve only got a minute to speak with her, what questions do you ask?

In the moments before she went head-to-head with Laura Trott during the Revolution Series this past weekend, we asked Marianne for an insight into her training schedule and diet. We also reckoned that since Vos is the ultimate all-rounder, we’d ask for some Cyclo-cross tips. Now we can’t wait to get muddy this season!

What key sessions do you do before a big race to gauge your form? And what do they involve?

For me, most of the training I do is about those base level miles. I really spend time doing hours and hours on the bike, especially in the winter but also during the road season, to keep my base level high.

Winter Training: Base Miles for Road Cyclists

When I’m coming up to a big race I like to do some scooter sessions – training by creating a simulation of the race with sprints and attacks behind a scooter or derny. I’ll ask my Dad to help and we’ll go to a quiet place to train. For me, that’s the last stage of training before a very special or important race.

Vos competing at the World Cyclo-cross Championships 2013

You are a seven-time World Cyclo-cross Champion. As we come into the winter, do you have any advice for a Cyclo-cross novice that wants to get involved? 

It’s difficult because bike handling is really important and you can’t really tell someone how to handle their bike! For Cyclo-cross I do most of my training on the roads to keep up my speed, with not too many intense training sessions on the actual Cyclo-cross bike. If you’re on the Cyclo-cross bike, do it once or twice a week. But don’t do it every day because then you’re only working on the higher zones and not on the lower zones. Also, find a good trainer who can help you.

Everything you Need to Know About Cyclo-cross

And look ahead! That’s the best tip I’ve ever had: normally you just look in front of your wheel and you don’t see the path ahead. But the bike goes where you look! If you look further ahead the bike follows.

What are your food and diet tips for winter?

That isn’t a question than I can answer in a few minutes! Of course nutrition is an important issue for an athlete, along with training and rest. My advice would be to try and really think about what you’re eating, and try not to have snacks in between meals. Just have proper meals and a good breakfast, because that’s really important. In Holland we’re more used to bread, but I know you like your oats and porridge here – that’s good!

Recipe Collection: Fuelling Breakfasts

Also try to keep your fat intake low and watch your protein closely, especially when you’re doing more intense training sessions.

Like Marianne Vos shares her Winter Training Tips? Try these on for size:

Interview: 60 Seconds with Marianne Vos

Eat Like a Pro: Lizzie Armitstead Shares her Diet Tips

Video: On the Bike Action with La Course Champion Marianne Vos


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