Sometimes people look at the length of a workout and think “That was a short workout it must be easier than a longer workout!” That is not the case with the Sufferfest video Half is Easy.
For my Thursday spin session I setup my Orbea Ordu on my Cycleops Power Sync trainer. I strapped on my Powertap Powercal heart rate monitor. I setup in front of the tv and started up Half is Easy with Cycleops Virtual trainer. I looked on the screen and saw the time remaining was only 39 minutes. I relaxed a bit thinking this won’t be as difficult as the previous videos I’ve done I thought hey…half of this workout really is easy! I’ll go hard when I’m supposed to go hard and rest hard when it’s time to rest. The warm up was nice and smooth. I always get surprised by the smoothness of the ride when I’m on my Cycleops Power Sync trainer. It’s such a smooth and enjoyable experience and really feels like the road. The video starts with a short warm up and then 2 sprints. The first sprint came and went and I still felt good. The second sprint came and went and I still felt really confident that I must be getting stronger and I’m catching up to my FTP numbers that I input into Virtual trainer…and then the workout began.
Grunter Von Agony (or GVA in this video) calls the main workout Ugly 15s…and with good reason. The main workout consists of 15 seconds of an all out sprint(that’s not so bad right!?) followed by 15 seconds of rest. Do 20 of these take a 4 minute break and do it again.
The first couple of 15 second sprints weren’t too bad. I consider myself a sprinter still so this type of workout suits me. I hit my watt numbers that Virtual Trainer told me to hit and I rested for 15 seconds. The 15 second sprints started to feel like they were coming quicker and the 15 second rests started to feel very very short. It wasn’t long before the workout was starting to hurt. I looked up at the visual graph that Virtual trainer displays to show the profile of the workout…I still had over half of the Ugly 15s to go for this first set! Sprinting for 15 seconds really hurts and resting for 15 seconds is nothing! The weakness in me started creeping in and I had to resist the urge to quit. The thing about training inside on a trainer is that it is easy to quit. When you’re out on the road and things start to suck 40 miles into the workout…too bad! You have to somehow make your way back home. On the trainer though it’s so easy to throw your hands up in the air and say “Screw it! I’m not doing this anymore!” That’s part of the mental training that comes along with trainer rides. I also reminded myself of the Sufferfest Slogan IWBMATTKYT which stands for “I Will Beat My Ass Today To Kick Yours Tomorrow” It is true, now is the time for me to suffer so race day on August 7, 2016 at the Cobra Ironman Asia Pacific Championship I’m not suffering. So I kept going. 15 seconds hard, 15 seconds easy, 15 seconds hard, 15 seconds easy. The graph kept moving and it wasn’t long before I was into the rest.
You can look at the half way point of a workout a couple of ways. One way you can look at it is “Wow that sucked…and I still have to do the same thing again! I’m never going to make it!” Or another way is “Thank goodness! I made it through half I can make it through half again!” I had both of those going through my head several times. Of course, the minions and GVA don’t ever treat Sufferlandrians kindly. They added a few more Ugly 15s to the end of the second set and one is even longer than normal. They sure know how to mess with your head in Sufferlandria! I almost didn’t finish a couple of times, but I did.
I’m glad I finished because at the end of this video during the cool down, Sufferfest has a great video supporting the World Bicycle Relief program. It is a great video that shows the power of what cycling can do for people. If you’re a triathlete like myself you may look at yourself and think about all the gear you purchased for yourself to save a few seconds here and there. We spend so much money on cool, but silly things. Take some time out of your day and if you can take a look at the World Bicycle Relief program. Maybe there’s something you have to offer that can make a difference greater than a couple of seconds on your final time. You can make a difference for an entire lifetime for someone.
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