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Welcome to Sufferlandria!

In my recent book, The Accident:  A Bike, A Truck, & A Train, I mentioned that I used the cycling videos from thesufferfest to help me in my recovery.  Not only did I use them then, but they’ve been a part of my year-round training routine for years.  I have yet to find a better indoor cycling workout.  I’m constantly telling people that they need to try them out.  Once they do, I know they’ll become citizens of Sufferlandria.

This past summer, when the temps were hitting 100 every day in July and August here in Texas, I alternated outdoor rides with indoor workouts using thesufferfest to train for the Hotter ‘N Hell 100 mile bike ride.  The results:  I knocked 30 minutes off my previous best time.

Thesufferfest works.

When I discovered them in 2008, I thought they were incredible.  The founder, David McQuillen, had stumbled on a great concept.  And I thought, naively, that he couldn’t possibly make them any better.  I was wrong- each video gets better and better.

With so many videos to choose from, ranging from 45 to 60 to 75 minutes, which one do you start with?  Well, you can’t go wrong with any of them. But here’s a brief guide:

The hardest– For me, Fight Club is the toughest.  The workout footage comes from the 2009 World Championships and the workout itself alternates between the time trial race and the road race.  Through each part, there are “special attacks” as if the race itself weren’t hard enough.  By the time I get to the last lap, Cancellara is killing it on the time trial and Cadel is driving it to the finish line in the road race.  My legs feel like bags of concrete when I’m done.

Best music–  Downward Spiral.  The workout is a challenge in and of itself, but the music makes it worth it.(note:  the music comes from indie musicians so if you’re looking for some new music, you’ll find it here.)  Once I found myself plugging in my iPod and pulling up the Downward Spiral just so I could listen to the music, I knew I had to start buying some songs.  I think I bought nearly every song on this workout.  And I’ve purchased at least one song that I’ve discovered from each workout video.  No detail is overlooked at thesufferfest.

Hills, Hills, and more Hills–  Angels.  This is a hill workout and a hard one at that.  Early on, you are warned that Contador will get his revenge and he does.  In the last segment, when you’re beaten and tired, you find yourself racing Contador up Alpe du Huez.  Brutal.

Girls Can Ride–  Hell Hath No Fury.  I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical when thesufferfest launched a workout that featured race footage from the women’s ranks, but I’d liked every other sufferfest workout so I tried this one as well.  The result- those girls can flat out ride.  Quickly becoming one of my favorites.

And those are just a few.  There’s Revolver, The Hunted, A Very Dark Place, and Local Hero.

These videos are worth every penny.

Categories: Biking, The Accident
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