What a way to get back on my bike! I had only ridden a bike twice since Ironman Arizona in November but I wouldn’t dare think of missing the Tour of Sufferlandria. How could you possibly miss a virtual staged bike tour though a mythical country that takes pride in making you suffer? I know huh? Sounds amazing!
Honestly, this is a pretty amazing experience. Through the use of the Sufferfest videos and the amazing application TrainerRoad we rode with over 2700 others all over the world and raised over $100K for the Davis Phinney Foundation without ever leaving our homes!
The tour lasted over 9 days and you essentially had 50 hours to complete each stage. If you didn’t complete the stage during the window it was open you were dropped. Everyday we would log on to see how many people didn’t make it on. For us, the best part was there was no question we would finish the Tour which actually made it easier to get on the bike day after day; quitting wasn’t an option! The crazy part for Stuart and I was we had to fit a 50k trail run in the middle of the Tour! Luckily, due to the 50 hour window to complete each stage, we started the tour as soon as we could which allowed us to fit in the race. You can get an idea of the effort from the picture below.As you can see the last two days were a doozy!
If you haven’t looked into The Sufferfest or TrainerRoad and you use an indoor bike trainer YOU ARE TOTALLY MISSING OUT! This is truly the best way to make good use of your time on a trainer for very little money.
Around New Years we decided that it would be fun to do a fitness challenge and since both of us
enjoy use the Sufferfest training videos we thought it would be fun to try and do all of them. Yes, we thought it would be a good idea to do 10+ hours of trainer riding (WTH were we thinking?). After the first night/3+ hours I realized just how lofty of a goal this was in actuality.
We started on Saturday night and did four videos *(mind you I ran 14 miles in the morning). Got up Sunday morning, ate a nice breakfast then did two more videos*, took a lunch break, and very gingerly got back on the bikes*. To say my sit-bones/butt/lady parts were hurting is an understatement. Monday became a rest day because we had to take one. But Tuesday morning we went back at it and managed to do three more videos* including my least favorite (because it is so hard), Local Hero. At this point I ran out of time. I am training for the Boston Marathon and I need to keep my eye on the prize. I need to focus on running so I had to do the responsible thing and take a DNF for this one.
As strange as it sounds, I had a blast! It was a great way to plunge back into my bike and get me prepped for the miles I will be putting on while I train for Challenge Penticton. I was also quite surprised at how well I did on each video. The only one I “coasted” through was the Extra Shot (and there is no coasting on a bike trainer). I hit some speeds on my trainer I have never hit and I found the more time I spent on the bike the better I got at keeping my cadence high.
I am glad we gave it a try and hopefully the next time I do it (yes, I will try again), I will make it through all the videos. Back to running!
My best “Not Impressed”
Day three, I am done!
*links will take you to my Garmin data