Who can do Nordenskiöldsloppet?

On the 24th of March it’s time for the third edition of Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet in modern take. Cross-country ski coach Erik Wickström – who has skied farthest in the world in 24 hours – offers once a month tips, inspiration and a training program. This second part is about those who could accomplish the feat of skiing a 220 km race.

Text: Erik Wickström

Many seem to think that Nordenskiöldsloppet only fits a small group of elite skiers who eat pulse curves, powder wax and lactic thresholds for breakfast. I don’t agree with that at all.

I took the time to look up the Vasaloppet results of those participants that had finished Nordenskiöldsloppet in around 24 hours. That’s still way under the time limit of 30 hours. They however mostly had Vasaloppet times around 8 hours which is a common average for the stretch between Sälen and Mora.

Thousands could do it

Times for both Nordenskiöldsloppet and Vasaloppet of course depend a lot on snow conditions and other external factors. But if you want to get a specification of what’s required to manage Nordenskiöldsloppet or not, being in the upper half of the Vasaloppet result list is an advantage. That’s times around eight hours or better.

The big data experts at Racefox, who are a partner of Nordenskiöldsloppet, have created the “world’s toughest calculator” that uses statistics to show what it takes to achieve a certain time and place. I’m convinced that thousands of Vasaloppet participants could do Nordenskiöldsloppet without major adjustments in their training. And believe me, it’s fantastic to cross the finish line after 220 kilometers.


Long trainings are valuable

One among many factors that make ultra events this interesting is the fact that most amateurs can accomplish more than what they believe. Don´t get stressed over trainings that you’ve missed out on.

If there’s something you should focus on then that’s long trainings. I believe that the number of long trainings is more important for the last months before the race than the total training amount. If you can go out and train for two to four hours a couple of times a month that’s more effective than a big number of trainings of 45 to 60 minutes. Many things happen in your body after a couple of hours so you better get used to that.

Last but not least I want you to think if not even you could ski for 220 kilometers!


If you want to complete Nordenskiöldsloppet within the medal time of 21 hours and 22 minutes but don’t really have a good idéa of how much to train? No problem! Here you can find Erik Wickström’s training program for Nordenskiöldsloppet for the month of November.