News CWiX 500 Cycling regions Cycling holidays Shop Contact
21-10-2021 | Eveline van der Hek

How do I prepare for Mallorca 312? PART 1

After riding the Longest Day Challenge I have in all my enthusiasm signed up for Mallorca 312. As if 336 kilometers in the flat Netherlands are comparable to 312 kilometers including over 5000m+ ... Fortunately, I have a coach who makes training schedules for me aimed at my goals and he considers it feasible. And, also very fortunately, this cyclo brings a week of late summer on Mallorca with it. Next Sunday it's D-day and now the questions come to me how am I going to handle this right before, during and after the gran fondo?

I asked them to my coach, Martin Lukasse from Qlaqwork Coaching, who has ridden Mallorca 312 before. As I am curious to hear tips from other experienced cyclists, I also submitted my questions to two of's founders: Herman Nekkers and Frank Jansen. To be thorough, I also checked with Wouter Fioole. Wouter is an avid triathlete and has also been cycling for a few years.

I am already flying to Mallorca five days before the big day. What is the best thing to do in the days leading up to the event?

Martin: "Take your time to explore the area and (parts of) the course. Don't do too much because you do want to be rested at the start. Plan one solid ride in those days. On the day before the gran fondo, pick up your start ticket, make sure your bike is in good shape, get your clothes ready and make a nutrition plan."

Herman: "You won't be going there every day so I would ride and enjoy, but not go flat out. I would take a rest on Friday and do a very quiet ride on Saturday. Last but not least, polish your bike to make sure it comes out shining.

Frank: "According to the rules of the game, you should taper for seven days. In short: limit your efforts to a number of short rides of about an hour and a half, during which you ride really quietly with a few short intensive blocks of a few minutes. That way you rest, but your form doesn't sink. Having said that, you are on Mallorca. It's probably beautiful weather there. It's also best to do a little more and accept that you'll be a tiny bit slower on Sunday. In any case, try not to do extreme rides and pay attention to your nutrition."

Wouter: "Tapering is what it's called. For me, that means keep moving without getting really tired. So I'll get on my bike or go for a run, but at low intensity. An interval here and there is fine, but fewer repetitions. I often go to bed earlier or at least earlier and more often really relaxed with my legs up. In addition, I am always busy creating peace in my head. So everything I think I need to have ready, like start documents. Cycling to the start to see how things work there. Where can I park? Where do I have to be? Where exactly is the start? I also spend hours studying the profiles of the mountains in the route. And if we really have the time, my girlfriend and I often drive the route by car once already."

What is wise to do the day after?

Martin: "Recovering well is very important. My advice is to ride out slowly and replenish your nutrition and fluids. Cycling out on the day is even better, but often not feasible after such a long day."

Herman: "If you're in Mallorca the day after, I'd go for a nice ride in tourist mode. Only if my body really didn't want to, would I skip it."

Frank: "For me, recovery starts right after the finish with a recovery shake and a good recovery meal in the evening. The day after the ride you can do an hour of cycling, then you should take a few days of absolute rest."

Wouter: "After 312 kilometers, I have no idea how my body will react. But often I really feel like getting back on the bike and moving the day after. But after a long ride, I always do what feels right. So the day after the 250 km Amstel Gold Race I just went for an hour of pedaling. The main thing is that you give your body the space and opportunity to recover in every possible way. Good nutrition, good rest, but also helping the body get rid of waste products (massage or exercise)."

I want to go all out to ride the longest distance, 312 kilometers. Now you can choose between 167 or 225 kilometers. That feels like cutting off beforehand. But what are the signals along the way that make it better to choose that shortcut?

Martin: "When you're really empty and feel you can't replenish yourself, when you have pains or cramps you can't ride through."

Herman: "If I set out to ride the longest distance, I will do it and even if I'm not doing so well, I will finish. I think I'd have to be really hung over the handlebars, puking, if I wanted to stop early."

Frank: "Your mindset beforehand is key. If you choose to ride the long distance beforehand, you'll ride it. Shorter distances are not an option. I would only change it in case of extreme weather, a crash or an injury. If you have an off-day, you can still finish the longest distance. Only then you might have to adjust your goal a bit. So be it."

Wouter: "Hahaha... if you find the answer to this, I would love to hear it. When I have something in my head I do it (so far). Whether that's always wise is another matter. What I do do is adjust my speed based on how things are going and how I feel. Basically, I have heart rate zones in my head that I want to ride on flat stretches and that I want to achieve uphill. But if that doesn't work out, I adjust that while riding, then I just go slower (or very occasionally faster) than planned."

When I signed up, I had to fill in my expected average speed. Of course, I had no idea and estimated it quite low to be on the safe side. How do you determine that and does estimating too high or too low have any particular advantages or disadvantages?

Martin: "That is indeed an estimate. You could start from your average speed on such a distance on the flat and subtract 5 km from that. In the Mallorca 312 there are 'front riders' in different colored shirts where each color rides a different pace. These colors correspond to a finish time. This gives you something to hold on to along the way. Another consideration when registering is that the people with the highest declared speeds start at the front."

Herman: "This is not a very helpful answer, but I can predict this quite well from experience. If you give too much, you'll start further back and you have to be careful not to go too fast in the beginning. Eventually you will come between riders with a similar speed. If I were you, I would make an estimation and add a little to that. You can always drop back, but riding up front is harder.

Frank: "You could look at the average speed of previous years and then look at riders in your category. If you know that you are usually in the top 25%, for example, you can estimate it. It's also no big deal if you're in the wrong section. This ride is so long that everyone will end up in their own spot."

Wouter: "I had the same problem at the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. There I ended up basing it on Zwift. I'm in the A category there, so I should be able to do that in a flat gran fondo as well. Then I looked at the times of previous years and determined that I should be able to finish in 3:15 (actually 3:22). For the Marmotte, I calculated each mountain with a target time, and the descents and flat sections somewhat of a guess. For an ascent I look at the KOM on Strava and do that times one and a half. Why? Because so far it turns out that that is the approximate time that I ride there. So I get to a realistic time schedule and can therefore calculate averages. Is really quite accurate so far."


Comments (0)

To comment, you need to log in. Log in or create your free account within 1 minute.


Did you know that CycloWorld also has an online shop

Check it out.

Discount on event tickets up to 50% and much more.

Related posts