Cross-country ski coach Erik Wickström – who just launched the new training service Wickström Coaching – shares his last tips before the race on Saturday.
Text: Erik Wickström
It’s close now! Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet is only a few days away so it’s neither the time for the longest of all trainings nor the hardest interval sessions. At the same time, it can be nice to move for a bit. Complete resting from all training is nothing I’d recommend.
How should you think in terms of nutrition for a race that takes the elite 10 hours but can last up to 30 hours max? Should you eat as much as you can the days before? No, I really don’t think so! I both participated in Nordenskiöldsloppet and skied nonstop for 24 hours but had not eaten especially much the days before. Probably slightly more just on the day before but absolutely no binge eating as you can see it amongst many amateurs who ski Vasaloppet.
Test the drinks before
Generally I believe that many focus way too much on what they eat the days before and way too little on what they eat during the race itself. The body is in big need of energy during work. This means you should eat the buns, bars and cheese sandwiches served at the energy stations even if you don’t feel hungry. And drink sport drink, Red Bull and blueberry soup (of course you should try out these drinks ahead of the race to make sure your stomach won’t be striking). Caffeine can help you all the way and not just towards the end. There are 19 energy stations along the track so there’s no need for you to bring your own food but it can be a good idea for many racers to carry a drinking belt that can be refilled as you ski.
Mark out your grip zones
What about the waxing? Many chose to double-pole the whole distance without the use of grip wax. That’s the right choice if you’re strong enough to do so. For many it’s however more fun and faster with grip wax. You can hand in your skis for waxing on site in Jokkmokk and hence, don’t have to worry about that part. Just make sure to properly mark out your grip zones. If you book the official waxing service, you can also get re-waxing help for three times during the race.
Enjoy your arrival
If you participate for the first time you’ve got something wonderful to look forward to. Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet is in many ways impressive. Enjoy it as an overall experience! Keep in mind that it might temporarily feel boring along the way and on the endless lakes. Still, I can promise you that you’re going to LOVE your finish, no matter how the race has been for you.
Best of luck!