Training for Vättern: A 315 km Challenge in Sweden

User Stories

As a Dutch cyclist living in Sweden, I face a unique and challenging landscape, filled with steep gravel roads and dense forests. Using the JOIN app has transformed my training, helping me not just to ride, but to train with purpose and precision.

2024 Goals

One of my main goals this year is the Vättern, a grueling 315 km tour around Sweden’s second largest lake. Reflecting on last year, my cycling club, Roosters Club Varberg, set out to complete the tour in 8.5 hours—and we succeeded. This year, our aim is to finish in 8 hours.

Additionally, I’m gearing up for Gravel Grit ‘n Grind in Halmstad later this season. This race offers a chance to qualify for the UCI World Gravel Championships—a dream I know demands a level of dedication and skill I haven’t yet achieved. Still, I’m eager to see how far structured training can take me.

The JOIN Advantage

Since April 2022, the JOIN app has been my training companion. It taught me the critical difference between simply cycling and training with a plan. Early in the season, group rides are beneficial, but as my fitness improves, they become less challenging and less effective for growth.

JOIN helps me maximize my training by ensuring I spend enough time in the right zones. I tailor my rides to different bikes and terrains: easy rides on tarmac or gentle gravel roads to build endurance, and hard intervals on my MTB to tackle steep hills.

JOIN’s calculated FTP function might not be perfect, but it’s a solid guide. It pushes me to aim higher in my hard intervals. Without it, I realized I wasn’t pushing myself enough to see significant improvement. With JOIN, I have a clearer understanding of my potential power output, motivating me to push my limits.

Looking Forward

Will these insights and the JOIN app help me conquer Vättern in 8 hours this June? Only time will tell, but I’m excited for the challenge. With a structured approach and the right tools, I’m ready to push my boundaries and see just how far I can go.

Patrick Huijskens
Patrick Huijskens
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