Tuesday was spin class day. Yay!! During lunch I get an hour in the warehouse at my work to go into my little pain cave and make myself suffer. Sounds like an awesome way to spend a lunch break right? I did Sufferfest videos twice a week for over a year. Before I got my STAGES powermeter, I used virtual power on my Suunto Ambit 2 and felt I was giving myself a pretty good workout. There were days when it hurt like hell, and then there were days where I felt strong like I was blowing away my numbers and really growing strong! Then in preparation for my first 70.3, I started doing GPS routes on my trainer to knock out mileage and spin my legs consistently during the workout. I did GPS workouts through CycleOps Virtual Trainer for about 3 months, and in that time I did very few Sufferfest videos. Now I feel like I am tracking my power output correctly with my power meter, and I feel like my effort is correct with the guidance of CycleOps Virtual Trainer. CycleOps Virtual Trainer is great to use with Sufferfest videos because it syncs up with the video and tells you the exact effort you should be putting out to get the true workout. CycleOps Virtual Trainer gives you a percentage of your FTP to hit based on the effort the Sufferfest video is asking for.
The biggest difference I feel now after returning to Sufferfest videos is that my suffer levels are way higher than they were before. It’s been about two week since I started doing the Sufferfest videos again. The first one hurt bad. I barely made it 10 minutes before I stopped being able to hold the numbers CycleOps Virtual trainer was asking for. There was a lot of crying, moaning, and cursing. The next videos I felt like I made it a little longer into the video before I started missing my numbers.
Yesterday, I did the Sufferfest Video The Hunted. It is an older video so sometimes they are more painful than some newer videos, but it was always one of my favorites. Not long after the warm up the video enters a 5 minute time trial workout. I guess I am really weak because I couldn’t hold the numbers for very long. And after the 5 minute time trial came a nice long break. The wimp in me loves long breaks, but I need the Sufferlandrian in me to kill the wimp in me. The meat of the video is a 20 minute climb. Holy Cow it kicked my ass. The 20 minute interval made me start to question if I was improving thanks to the videos or if I was just beating myself up with out much to show for it. I had expected by now to reach a point where I could make it through the whole video without blowing up. I hate that I may need to do another FTP test and find that my number is lower after completing my first 70.3. Did I get in worse shape? Is the Sufferfest type of training appropriate for someone trying to get better on the bike portion of triathlon? I know Sufferfest has classifications for it’s videos: Climbing, Speed, Endurance, etc. but part of me is worried I’m wasting my workout time. I could go back to GPS route workouts and get in a 25-30 mile trainer ride during lunch also. Time will tell I guess on if the workouts are right for me. Hoping to see good results in Cebu!