Category Archives: Training
It is with a sense of deep, dark dread that I inform you the Super Century is once again taking place next week on Super Bowl Sunday. I’ve waited as long as I could to post this, hoping that I would come to my senses and stop this madness. But alas, we are all going to suffer together apart once again for the 5th annual Super Century.
For those of you who’ve no idea what I’m talking about, let me just say that it might be the worst idea we’ve ever come up with. Actually, my stupid brother, Casey, came up with it, and then all of us took it and ran (or rode) with it. If you want to read about how the very first Super Century got started, you can do so here.
Here’s the basic info:
Who: You and your stupid, sadistic friends if you’re stupid gluttons for punishment like us
What: A metric century (62 miles) on the trainer
When: Super Bowl Sunday, February 7th, anytime you want really, but most of us will be starting around 8:30 AM
Where: Wherever the hell you want to suffer
Why: Because we’re stupid and also so we can eat whatever we want guilt-free during the Super Bowl
If you are dumb enough to join us in this terrible idea, be sure to hit us up on the book of faces and the twitterverse. And don’t forget to use #SuperCentury and #MyTaintHurts in your posts so we’ll see them. That way we can all suffer together apart virtually. It’s fun… Sort of… But not really…
And for those of you who are certifiably insane, you can also take part in the Tour of Sufferlandria 2015 which starts Saturday the 6th. It will add a lot of pain and sufferng to your whole week, and it will make the Super Century even worse, if that’s even possible.
Robby, Adam, and I took part in the Tour of Sufferlandria last year, and you can read about the first of nine stages right here. And if you don’t want to read about all nine stages, you should at least take a look at my sweet bloody elbow from crashing on my trainer.
Last year, the Tour of Sufferlandria ended on Super Bowl Sunday. This year, however, the Tour starts the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday, so the Super Century coincides with the second stage of the ToS. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse, but I’m sure it’s not good either way.
So let us know if you want to join us, you psycohpaths. Let’s suffer together.
This morning I had to wake up a little before 4:00 AM for work, so I didn’t get enough sleep. My legs felt super heavy. I was already dreading the ride I was going to be doing later in the day. But after moving around at work, my legs started to feel a bit better, though still heavy and tired.
I had to squeeze in Stage Four – “Nine Hammers” – between shifts today, so I was riding solo again. “Nine Hammers” is one of the newest Sufferfest Videos, and it is, in my opinion, one of the hardest. It involves nine VO2 and Threshold intervals, and it’s an ass kicker. I was NOT looking forward to this one.
My legs did not want to cooperate during the warm-up, but the first Hammer surprisingly wasn’t horrible. I actually felt pretty damn good through the first seven intervals, in fact. But then those last two Hammers… Oh man, those last two really got to me. I thought I was gonna die. It sucked. In a good way. Sort of.
I messaged Robby and Adam to tell them how well the first 7 Hammers went and how horrible the final 2 were. Robby later finished his own “Nine Hammers.”
And then a few minutes later, The Darkness sent me this photo:
At the time of this writing, I haven’t heard from Adam on how his Stage 4 has gone. Maybe he hasn’t yet done it, but I’m sure he’ll make it happen.
I once again used TrainerRoad in conjunction with the Sufferfest to make sure I was suffering enough. And once again, I had to go harder than the numbers suggested on the high intensity VO2 stuff, but the numbers were dead-on for the threshold stuff. Take a look:
So Stage 4 is in the books. We’re almost halfway through the Tour of Sufferlandria. Tomorrow we head for the mountains which brings our first real climbing stage: “Angels.” Adam and I are going to try to meet up for this one. It should be a painfully good time.
Suffer on, my friends.
Update: Read about Stage Five (and how I wrecked my bike… inside… on a trainer.)
My legs were definitely tired and heavy heading into Stage 3 of the Tour of Sufferlandria, the first stage where I would ride without Robby “The Darkness” Brown. That being said, I felt better than I thought I would after the first two stages (Stage 1 and Stage 2). Eating enough good, nutritious food and getting enough sleep has definitely helped. And riding a bunch of Sufferfest Videos in the weeks leading up to the Tour helped prepare me… Well, at least it helped prepare me as much as one can prepare for this Tour.
With the kids off to school, I drank my morning Butter/Coconut Oil Coffee (Bulletproof Coffee), grabbed a small bite to eat, and headed down to hurt myself with Stage 3: “Fight Club.”
“Fight Club” was the first Sufferfest Video I’ve ever done, and it’s one of my favorites. It has some threshold work (of which I need a lot), climbing, and lots and lots of attacks.
The warm-up went fine, and the first of five “laps” went pretty good. The second “lap” started fine, but my legs really started to hurt after the first attack. And it just got progressively harder from there.
I managed to eek out the power numbers on the threshold work and climbs, but I again had to push harder than TrainerRoad‘s power numbers during the attacks to ensure enough suffering. And trust me, I suffered.
Those attacks made the threshold efforts that much harder to maintain. Then the lower cadence climbing at the end of each lap was really tough, and the attacks on during those climbs made it just awful.
My ass was in a bit of pain too. I think I’ll switch my Brooks Saddle from my gravel bike to my road bike on the trainer for the rest of the Tour. By the end of the ride, I was more than ready to be done.
UPDATE: Robby finished his Stage 3 later in the evening. Here is his post-ride pic:
I was totally trashed after this one. I wobbled upstairs to re-hydrate and scarf down some food after stripping my soaking wet clothes off. I was a sweaty mess! I donated a lot of, as Sufferlandrians say, “Holy Water” during today’s stage. Take a look at my t-shirt after Stage 3:
So much Holy Water was donated, in fact, that my shoes were soaked all the way through. Actually, they were still damp from yesterday’s stage of “Blender.” So I decided to stuff them with newspaper so they’ll be a little drier for tomorrow’s stage.
Speaking of tomorrow’s stage… **shudders** Tomorrow brings the newest Sufferfest Video – “Nine Hammers” – and it is the hardest video I’ve done so far. It’s going to really, really hurt. Just like today, we’ll be doing tomorrow’s stage solo.
Robby and I didn’t realize it, but Adam is also doing the Tour on his own. This is great news! Another Virtusan suffering together virtually. We’re planning on riding some of the stages together later in the week if we can make it work.
Suffer on, my friends!
Update: Now you can read about Stage Four of the Tour
With my legs feeling yesterday’s Stage 1, I was a bit worried about Stage 2. I kept reading on the Tour’s Facebook page how much everyone around the world was suffering. I guess that’s the whole point of this thing, though.
Stage 2 had us doing “Blender” – The Sufferfest’s second longest video at 1 hour, 44 minutes, and 27 seconds. That’s right. Nearly 2 hours on the trainer. For those of you who have never had the “pleasure” of joining us for the Super Century, that might seem like a ridiculously long time to sit on the damn trainer and ride inside. And you’d be right.
But “Blender” was great, and the time really seemed to fly by. Sort of, anyway. I forgot to start my TrainerRoad app, so we had to pause the video and wait for the app to catch up. That just meant we got about 5 minutes of bonus warm up spinning.
After the warm up, we got right into the work, and the first 10-minute threshold interval followed by a short recovery and then a VO2 Max interval hurt so good. I looked at the clock and couldn’t believe we still had an hour and twenty minutes left. But then I soon found myself sort of getting into a groove.
My target numbers on TrainerRoad based off my FTP test were pretty much spot on for this first round of intervals. I managed to stay close or slightly above the recommended power level, but it hurt. And I suffered.
The next thing I knew, we were through the first set of longer intervals and ready to start the second set of shorter, power intervals, working on VO2 and anaerobic capacity, and we were over halfway through the video.
The power numbers on TrainerRoad were too easy for these shorter, higher intensity intervals, so I just pushed harder and went by Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) instead of the power numbers. I ended up with a much higher power output for these intervals than TrainerRoad recommended (that’s why the yellow line is much higher that the blue in the photo above).
I’m not sure what to make of that. That could mean I’m better at sprinting than riding at or just below threshold. Or maybe I need to retest my FTP. But then that might make the longer, threshold intervals too difficult.
So, I’ll just finish the tour with the FTP I’m currently using and retest after the Tour is over. And if anything seems too easy, like the anaerobic intervals did, I’ll just push myself harder.
After the anaerobic intervals, we had 3 more threshold intervals. These were tough since our legs were already fried. But we managed to finish, and we were both disgustingly sweaty – literally dripping onto the floor and without a dry spot on our bodies. It was fantastic.
After the cooldown, we hopped off our bikes, gave a few fist-bumps, and basked in our suffering. It was a really great ride with some awesome footage of road racing, mountain biking, cyclocross, and even some fat bike snow riding.
After saying bye to Robby, I headed upstairs where my incredible wife had a steaming bowl of homemade Pizza Soup waiting for me. It was just what I needed after a hard ride. Big thanks to the Mrs.
For the next few days, Robby and I will be completing each stage on our own since our schedules won’t match up until Friday. Then we will reunite and finish this thing together.
Tomorrow brings the first Sufferfest video I’ve ever done: Fight Club. Stay tuned…
(Update: Stage 3 is done)