Training for Vätternrundan Part one
Vätternrundan is a reasonably well known in a cycling event around Scandinavia, located in Sweden. For others outside of Scandinavia or Europe, not many people hear of it. Being part of the “Swedish classic” it brings more than 40 000 riders from all around the world to the event. The event is ridden 300km around Vättern, which is Europes 6th largest lake. There are also smaller events based on the same principles such as halvvättern and for only women, Tjejvättern.
While this sounds like a typical cycling event. Riders are rather sent off at certain times, with most of the riders being part of a group or team. This for elite or amateur cyclists becomes more of a 300km team time trial, rather than a bunch event.
The sole aim for most people during vätternrundan is beating their pre-established time, for which most have set with a group of riders. Some of these groups or teams ( Skoda cycling team ) train together, while other groups riders train solo for the event and meet up with their respective group or team on the day. The event is spread over 2 days, with groups starting the journey around the lake (vättern runt) both through the night and during the day. Typically the fastest groups (sub 7-8-9hrs) are inclined to start during daylight hours, slower riders start much earlier on Friday, and ride through the night.
How to train for Vätternrundan
As a coach, I have looked after over 50+ cyclists that have ridden around vättern at numerous levels of fitness, from your sub 7hr vättern cyclists, up to your sub 12 riders and above. The event itself is relatively an easy event to train for, being mostly aerobic and steady-state riding. Vätternrundan for the beginner (vätternrundan nybörjare) relies on more mileage or aerobic fitness for the 300km journey. On the other hand for the experienced cyclist or Elite rider, the event itself takes some planning and relies more on just mileage to get through the event.
For the Elite vättern rider
I hear often enough with vätternrundan, its all about getting in as many kilometers as possible before. While this strategy does work to a point, I often see this strategy fail time and time again. Why? because they spend too much time riding above their threshold or their fitness level isn’t able to sustain the 30 sec efforts, which is repeated over and over again when taking your turn at the front of the group. Most Elite cyclists aren’t dropped because of the distance, they are dropped because they cannot sustain the power needed. These riders typically have a large enough mileage base to get around the lake on any given day.
How much mileage is needed?
For the best part of 6 years coaching cyclists around vätternrundan. We have typically worked on increasing threshold power throughout the winter period, mainly through indoor trainer workouts, and move into the mileage once the weather turns. This allows riders the ability to work on the weaknesses during winter, start the season with a higher threshold power. Allowing us to incorporate some harder efforts into the later part of the long ride. While I personally am not a big fan of hours and hours in the saddle, we typically aim for around 5 long rides of 4-6hours in Duration before the event for the elite rider. Basing the mileage on the weekend allows us a recovery period on Monday. Tuesday and Thursday being specific efforts based on the power needed during parts of the event.
There are always areas you can control in training for vätternrundan, but outside influences you cannot. Depending on how smooth the rotation of the group depends on how much extra energy or power is expended.
Part two coming soon…
We provide training schedules for:
träningsprogram vätternrundan sub 7
träningsprogram vätternrundan sub 8
träningsprogram vätternrundan sub 9
träningsprogram vätternrundan sub 10+
träningsprogram vätternrundan nybörjare