Fischer Expert talk with Anders Aukland about Vasaloppet


Fischer Expert talk with Anders Aukland about Vasaloppet

Anders Aukland, at the age of 50 the veteran among ski marathon skiers, is on the starting line of the Vasaloppet for the 17th time this year. At his premiere in 2004, he won the traditional race over 90 km from Sälen to Mora at the first attempt and is happy to share his experiences with others in this interview.

How often did you take part in Vasaloppet?

This is my 17 Vasaloppet. I did my first in 2004 and won. Since 2008 I went for it very year, except 2014, because I was sick.

What is personally your biggest memory about Vasaloppet?

For me the first time in 2004 was the biggest one. It was impressive to see the crowd of people, and I also won the race. My son Oliver was born the day before the race, and I unfortunately was not there but in Mora at Vasaloppet. After the race I went directly to Oslo to the hospital still in my training clothes. What a nice feeling.

What is the part you like the most at Vasaloppet?

I like the whole track. It is flat and wide, but still not totally flat. Overall, it is a very nice terrain for double poling.

How do you prepare for the race during the last week?

I prepare with a lot of longer sessions the last three weeks. Some of them are very hard. Then during the last week, I take only easy training. Only one long session on Tuesday and some intervals on Wednesday. 

Is there any “must know” for a newcomer in Vasaloppet?

You need to prepare with some long sessions of double poling the last weeks. And you need to have a good balanced last week. During the race, drink and sugar gels are important.

What is your recommendation in terms of skis for Vasaloppet – for whom would you recommend going on double poling skis or on wax skis.

The course is flat but has also some climbs which are hard. If you are an elite skier you have to race without kick wax. If you are a recreational skier on a high level with lots of long sessions double poling you can do also without kick wax. For all others kick wax is mandatory. The last victory on kick wax was Jørgen Brink in 2012.

Are Twin Skin skis a suitable solution for some skiers?

Twin Skin skies can be used if you are a really recreational skiers, just skiing to finish the race. If you have some experience with skiing I would advise, put on kick wax. 

What is your recommendation in terms of clothing during Vasaloppet?

Very often it is cold at the start and will be warmer during the day. I prefer woolen underwear with thin skiing suit, or you can have thin jacket and pants. Not thick for sure. If it is cold, you should wear a buff and good glove as well as glasses.

What is your recommendation in terms of food & drinks during Vasaloppet?

You should eat normal food with high carbo the last two days before the race. In the morning I eat two slices of bread and take a sports drink. During the race I use the drink belt with sports drink and 5-6 gels. For recreational skiers I would recommend to stop at every serving station.

Is there any special tactics during the race you could recommend to a newcomer?

Try to have good pace in the start and find a good position in the first climb. Try to save some energy there, and think that the race reallly begins at Evertsberg, 47km. So, you need to try to find a good rhythm and good speed without stress. The last part you can dig deep!