PRQ #9: Marla Streb
This instalment #9 of the PRQ (Pro Racer Questionnaire) Series.
Marla Streb has got to be one of the most recognizable personalities in mountain biking. She is one of those athletes that has transcended a cubby hole and branched out in several different disciplines all at the highest level of the sport. First in downhill and now in the single speed and endurance events. She has a reputation of being highly analytical in her approach to racing which I something I can identify with.
From her advanced degrees and former career as a research scientist, to footage of her running into a tree before races. She is one of a kind. She has a Blog over at Mountain Zone that is a fun read. It is very personable, and one of the things that strikes me is Marla's accessibility and friendships with so many 'regular joes' in the mountain bike world. This is but one aspect of her incredible awareness of marketing and promotion of her sponsors and cycling.
I'm quite honored that she has taken the time to answer the PRQ. To read more about Marla there are tons of interviews and articles on her. Here are a few.
Blue Collar MTB *incidentally, I had requested that Tim as the question on tips for descending faster.
Marla has a new book coming out soon as well. Bicycling Magazine's Century Training Book . Marla is also having a baby this year!! Now she can join our club.
-Who are your sponsors that you’d like to recognize?
-What makes an athlete a 'good investment' for a sponsor?
The whole package- a racer who not only can go fast, but is articulate and can convey the sponsor's message to the press and people. A racer who enjoys many types of cycling (from BMX to road crits), not just one event. I think it's also important to be very accessible, and to stay in constant contact with the industry.
-How long have you been racing mountain bikes, how long as a pro?
I've been racing bikes for about 14 years, 12 as a pro.
-What are your goals for 2006?
I'd like to win the national downhill championships, a few Super-D's, and the single speed worlds.
Bike Geek Stuff.
-What bikes do you race on? What other bikes do you own?
I have raced on Santa Cruz's , but now we're switching to Orbea for '06 . I haven't ridden one yet, but I hear they're nice. I own several Santa Cruz's, a couple Yeti's , a Marin, and a Foes
-How do you see XC technology changing over the next 5 years?
I see the full-suspension xc bikes getting even lighter, with longer travel that locks out easily
What component or cycling gear would you pay full retail for if you had to?
-How many hours a week do you train (min, max, average)?
min 8 hr, max 18 hr
-Do you have a coach?
No. I've gone through a few in the past, but now I feel like I know what I'm doing now and I don't need any extra motivation to train
-Do you follow a scientific periodized cycling specific training program or ‘just ride’
I follow my own periodized training program, which is a little of both. But I time all workouts and they have to be in at least 30 minute increments.
-Do you strength train?
yes, I'm a big fan of it during the winter. I like watching the boys grunt
-How do you recover after a hard ride or workout?
An easy spin, usually running errands, but never a day off
-What is your nutrition protocol during a 2-2.5hr XC race?
water bottles full of Clif Shot green apple, some Clif Shots , and a Red Bull for the final lap
-What is your pacing strategy for an 2-2.5hr XC race?
I stay as close to anaerobic threshold as possible.
-How do you balance the stresses of regular life with training and recovery? Training and racing usually take priority over my husband, family, and friends. Although now I hear that may change now that I'm going to have a baby this spring!
-Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yes. I've gotten away with racing mountain bikes and traveling the world full time for 12 years. And I have absolutely no talent whatsoever.
-What advice do you have for those of us with families, and full time jobs who want to race our best?
When you can ride, ride extremely hard with people that are faster. On days where you can't really train, ride to work or run your errands on your bike at a recovery ride pace (HR 60% max).