How To Prepare For The Mallorca 312
The Mediterranean island of Mallorca is an understandably popular spot for cyclists. It’s so good in fact, that we blogged about it earlier in the year. Offering year-round sunshine and perfect roads through scenic landscapes, the jewel in the crown is the Mallorca 312 – fast becoming one of Europe’s most popular sportives.
The aptly-named 312 is essentially a lap of the island, with the 312km route (including 4,300m of climbs!) in a single day at the end of April (28th this year). Despite the event only being 8 years old, 6,500 participants enter, with over 1,000 Brits among them – this is particularly demonstrative of the popularity of the 312, given that the first edition in 2010 had just 200 riders.
The ride starts in Playa de Muro, in the northeast. From there, it heads along the mountainous northwest coastline, over the Coll de Femenia before tackling the infamous Puig Major climb. After the summit comes epic descent to Sóller, before a series of shorter cols, and the road continues to rise and fall in this fashion until the descent off the top of the Grau de Superia climb at around the halfway point of the ride, with roughly 100 miles under your belt.
From here, the route becomes flatter and faster but there’s still a long way to go and the terrain is still lumpy enough to test wearying legs as you head back northwards towards Sa Pobla, then eastwards to Artà and the final feed station before a final blast back up the coast to the finish at Playa de Muro. Phew.
It’s a sportive that requires both preparation and fitness. We caught up with BagSOLO customer Dylan to get an insight into a cyclist’s thoughts and plans ahead of competing in the 312.
How long have you been in preparation for the 312? Has the training been done in stages?
After hitting my yearly target of 10,000K last year I had a couple of weeks off in January. Training started in earnest in mid/late January. The focus in January/February was unstructured with a lot of strength and flexibility exercises built around Zone 1-2 (Heart Rate) rides. Moving into spring I started to use more structured workouts which brings more of a focus to my training.
What’s a typical training week for you?
Recently I have been doing specific structured workouts to do with cadence, hill repeats and VO2 intervals. I aim to train for 9-12 hours a week on my bike. One rest day which is usually on a Sunday. At least once a week I try to mix things up with a spot of cross-training. So, that can be anything from Yoga to running to stretching exercises.
Why the 312? Have you entered other sportives before? What about the 312 appealed to you?
I completed the Dragon Devil ride last year in Wales, so I was looking for the next challenge. Moreover, I wanted to do another endurance event but in warmer conditions!
Have you studied the route, and built any of it into training rides?
I have been going on cycling trips to Majorca for the last 4 years, so I know quite a lot of the route already. It’s hard to train for some of the bigger climbs as we just don’t get the elevation and length of climbs here in the south east of England.
What do you think will be the toughest element? The climbs? The heat?
The heat will definitely be a factor. My fluid intake regime will probably need to be flexible as dehydration and cramp can rear their ugly heads.
How to you warm down/treat your body post-race?
Rest. Rest. Rest. And then a couple of beers. No, seriously you need to get some protein in you and keep drinking fluids and maybe a few stretches. I will probably go for a gentle spin out a day or so after the event. After that maybe take a week off and then start a new training program for the Velo South.