2019 Tour of Sufferlandria Stages

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:42
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:42
Training Load By Week

The Greatest Grand Tour of a Mythical Nation in the World is back! Join the virtual peloton as we tackle 9 days of Sufferfest stages showcasing the harsh beauty of Sufferlandria, all to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation and their programs to help those affected by Parkinson's Disease. For complete information and details on how to register, go to http://thesuf.com/ToS2019

Sample Day 1
The Tool Shed

Four Dimensional Power Focus:

- NM: ✭✭✭✩✩
- AC: ✭✭✭✭✩
- MAP: ✭✭✭✭✭
- FTP: ✭✭✭✭✩

*Because you're not the sharpest tool in the shed.*
Simply put, this is a session for those looking to see how deep they can truly dig - or for those who think they might need to update their 4DP metrics (If you finish this session with minimal swearing and without stopping it's time to re-test).

You might be looking at the profile and say to yourself, ""Only doing the 2nd set from the Shovel sounds like cheating. You would be right. That's why we would never do something as crazy as letting you start the 2nd set from The Shovel Fresh. Instead, you get to be the Nail for the first 3 efforts from Nine Hammers. Once you've done that and wrapped up that second set from the Shovel, all that stands between you and that massive pit of exhaustion and GLORY are 2 more Hammers. Did we mention they were Hammers 8 and 9? No? Good, good. Forget we said anything. Just pretend you have 3 Hammers and 1 Shovel to contend with. Those last 2 hammers are ""Future You's"" problem - let that chump deal with that nightmare.

When looking at ""will this make me faster"" the answer is YES (and, at least in the short term, quite miserable). The Shovel packs a massive AC punch, with inverse-micro intervals that dish out ever higher the power the shorter the interval. While 9 Hammers packs a huge MAP/FTP punch, it also helps drive up your sustained power regardless of what your rider type or weakness are. Facing the first 3 Hammers gives your Aerobic (MAP/FTP) system a hefty load to deal with, and will just about fully deplete your AC stores. Which makes this the perfect time to start the 2nd set from the Shovel. With depleted reserves, starting with the short 5 second sprints ensure you are just fresh enough to push your NM system, but fatigued enough that your AC never fully recovers for the duration of these intervals. With your AC depleted, heart rate pegged and breathing rate through the roof, the last thing you WANT is the final 2 Hammers. This isn't about what you want though, but what you need. By the time you start this set of Hammers your top end power will be feeling completely drained, any ""snap"" you might usually rely on to make it through these 3-4 minute efforts will be long gone. That means you are facing down the final 2 Hammers relying solely on your MAP and FTP. The higher your FTP the faster you will recover, the higher your MAP the greater the punishment you can handle. Once you pick yourself up off the floor from Hammers 8 and 9, you will have pushed your body to its absolute limits across almost every 4DP Metric, which will send you down the path to be a faster and more badass Sufferlandrian. "

Sample Day 1
Elements of Style

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✭✩✩✩
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✩

Can you ride? Can you Suffer with Style? Make profound Suffering look effortless? Although it has very little Suffering in it, Elements of Style may just be our most important video ever. Developed together with the expert team at CyclingTips and shot on location in Wanaka, New Zealand, this video provides the very foundation upon which all your Suffering must rest. Over the course of six specific drills, you'll learn and practice: An exclusive 9-point 'Systems Check' you can use on any ride to get into your Optimal position. A 4-step process for standing up on a climb and generating more power. How to engage your core, including your glutes, for more stability and power. The components of a smooth pedal stroke and how to bring them together at both low and high cadences. How to stay relaxed, and efficient under pressure. Narrated by one of the best cycling commentators in the world, Eurosport's Carlton Kirby, you'll get clear instructions about exactly what to do, when and why. We guarantee it will change the way you think about your riding style after doing it just once. Do it five times and you'll automatically adjust your position while out on rides. Do it 10 times and Sufferlandrian Angels will burst into tears at the sheer epic beauty of you kicking the crap out of your competition while making it look oh so effortless.

Sample Day 3
A Very Dark Place

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✭✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✭✭✭✭
FTP: ✭✭✩✩✩

You know that ride where you thought you went harder, deeper and to a darker place than you'd ever gone before? HAHAHAHA. This takes you further, deeper and darker than that. A Very Dark Place is about maximum effort for shorter durations: five, four-minute intervals that take you to the limit. If you struggle with longer, high-intensity efforts and want to improve your ability to make repeated attacks, you need to spend some time in A Very Dark Place. Those little punches in the third and fifth efforts will teach you just how dark you can go.

Sample Day 4

Four Dimensional Power Focus:

- Neuromuscular Power (NM - 5 second): ✭✭✭✩✩
- Anaerobic Capacity (AC - 1 minute): ✭✭✩✩✩
- Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP- 5 minute): ✭✩✩✩✩
- Functional Threshold Power (FTP - 20 minute): ✭✭✭✭✩

This session is all about high-torque efforts, very similar to the efforts you would experience out riding up the steep slopes of Mt Sufferlandria. While these efforts are short, and the intensity isn’t too high, the low cadence targets combined with minimal recovery will leave some begging for the high cadence sprints of The Omnium.
High torque efforts like these have two primary benefits. Improved neuromuscular coordination, and increased muscular endurance.

During each pedal revolution your legs have to “switch on” and “switch off” almost all of the muscles in your legs. High cadence efforts in something like Cadence Builds are great for teaching these groups to make that switch quickly. These low cadence efforts are better for teach ALL of the muscles in your legs to “switch on”. Done properly you should be pulling with your hamstrings with one leg while the other leg is pushing down with all the force your glutes and quads can muster. If you feel like you are pushing yourself up out of the saddle during harder efforts (like seated sprints) then your hamstrings are not being utilized since they should be pulling you back down into your saddle.

The second main benefit is improved muscular endurance. Even though the session is under 45 minutes, you will put a similar amount of muscular fatigue into your legs as a steady 3 hour base ride. You can almost view this session as hitting the leg press for 8 sets of 100 reps.

And just like the weight room, proper form is absolutely key! That means:
-- You should focus on pushing down AND pulling back up. You want your glutes and quads activated on the way down, and your hamstring and hip flexors activated on the way up.
-- To properly engage your hamstrings think about trying to pulling your heel up to your butt when your crank arm is going from 6 o’clock to 10 o’clock.
-- Your knees should be tracking straight up and down, no collapsing in or out!
-- Your core should be fully engaged to keep your hips rock steady in the saddle. This will be easier if you are both pushing and pulling during each pedal revolution.

This session is very simillar to Power Station. Both help improve your muscular endurance and coordination, the biggest difference is the work to rest ratio between the two. While the intervals here are shorter than those in Power Station, the decreased recovery duration means fatigue will build faster, especially for those with a weakness in repeated efforts. Modifying interval length and recovery duration can also be seen between sessions like Revolver and A Very Dark Place. Both serve up a healthy dose of MAP/VO2 work, but the overall "feeling" of those two sessions are different.

If you find that your lower back starts to ache during this session, or that you have to start rocking in the saddle to keep the power up, then it’s time for you get started on our Yoga programme. Kick it off with “Core Strengtheners I” to make sure your core is just as strong as those legs!

Sample Day 4
The Sufferfest - SUF Strength - Beginner Level 1 Session A

Equipment Needed
- Empty Bottle
- Mat or something to place under your knee

Congratulations on taking the first step to a stronger you. This is the first session in The Sufferfest Beginner Strength Training series. This series is for those who have never done any strength training (or, if you did, it was a loooong time ago in a galaxy far, far away). The first session will introduce you to many of the foundation exercises in this programme and get you comfortable with each move.

As a cyclist you'll no doubt have the leg strength to muscle your way through these moves. However, the key here is to nail each move with perfect form. In future sessions we'll introduce more difficult variations on these basic moves, so form good habits now and they'll be easier for you to master down the road.

As with all the strength training routines, it helps if you’ve done a warm-up before getting started. That can be one of your favourite yoga routines, riding your bike on the trainer for 5-10 minutes or doing a personal stretching routines.

Sample Day 9
There is No Try

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✭✩✩✩
AC: ✭✭✭✩✩
MAP: ✭✭✭✭✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✩✩

The ability to hit a given power target right on the nose is one of the hallmarks of a great rider, and that is exactly what you are being forced to do with this session. Each interval has 4 distinct stair steps, increasing slightly with each step. This requires you to finesse your output multiple times for each effort, to really feel the difference 10 watts makes.

The stair step approach also forces your body into a constant state of “catching up.” Just as your aerobic system settles into the oxygen demands of each effort, you are forced to go harder, which makes you dip back into anaerobic energy systems while your aerobic system catches up. This process constantly forces your anaerobic and aerobic systems to make adjustments. If you're trying to get over a plateau or feel like you're not getting faster this can be exactly what you need.

Unlike other sessions, three of the four sprint efforts come in the first half. This means your legs will be fresh enough so you can go full gas and hit your NM system hard. Not bad for a session that is predominantly focused on building your AC and MAP.

Sample Day 9

Four Dimensional Power Focus:

- Neuromuscular Power (NM - 5 second): ✭✩✩✩✩
- Anaerobic Capacity (AC - 1 minute): ✭✩✩✩✩
- Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP- 5 minute): ✭✭✩✩✩
- Functional Threshold Power (FTP - 20 minute): ✭✭✭✭✭

You've got the leader's jersey, but then disaster strikes: A crash, an injury and you're forced to defend your position until the end of the race. Can you hang on under a barrage of attacks? Based around four, ten-minute efforts around threshold, Defender is designed to give you the most bang for your buck, or in this case, the most Watts at FTP for your Suffering.

There are both psychological as well as physiological benefits to this tremendous workout. Mentally, Defender will improve your sense of pacing for longer efforts near FTP. That is because each effort starts out above FTP, and since you're fresh you'll feel as though you can hold that pace all day. Every two minutes, the pace gradually declines so you are finishing just below FTP. As the time ticks away, the power targets will drop little by little, but your discomfort will remain about the same. By the fourth effort, you'll be find the same efforts far more difficult than in the first. Bystaying tuned-in to what your body is telling you, you'll learn more about how to manage your efforts around threshold and why it's so important to manage your efforts well at this intensity.

The physiological benefits follow the same lines as those found in Who Dares, or Fight Club. Overloading your legs and lungs with efforts above FTP before settling into efforts right at or right below FTP forces your body to clear out as many metabolites as possible and process as much oxygen as it can. What sets Defender apart is how that overload is delivered. While Who Dares achieves this with short sprints, Defender forces you to spend minutes above FTP before simmering back down. This allows your heart rate and breathing rate to get much closer to what they are during a long steady state threshold effort. This ensures that “overload” comes in as a steady drip, rather than the sudden burst like that in Who Dares. The lower intensity of this overload also changes the types of metabolites produced and the ratios they occur in. Not only does this keep the enzymes in your body focused on aerobic metabolism, your body will also respond with fewer stress hormones. This means you're training your aerobic system by overloading it, but doing so in a way that leaves you more ready to hit tomorrow's training just as hard.