Tour of Sufferlandria Results

The Tour of Sufferlandria posted the prize winners for 2018.

And there I am. On the winner’s list!

This does not mean that I won the tour only that I won a prize for being part of the tour. My prize is a BMC Team USA long sleeve cycling skin suit similar to the one in the above picture. The kit is made by Assos, a premier manufacturer of cycling clothing based out of Switzerland.

I am still suffering from the tour. It made such an impact on my immune system that I am down for the count with a nasty virus. Day 5 and little relief in sight. I am flying to Las Vegas on Sunday and hoping that I am on the mend by then.

Kitchen Sink

All through the day Sunday I felt the fatigue. Major fatigue.

I really was not looking forward to this particular test of endurance. But there it was: stage 9. Everything and the Kitchen Sink.

I dialed the intensity to 80%. Which turned out to be a wise decision. By the time I got through the second hour, I wasn’t sure that I could ride this stage out to the finish.

And the intervals in the last segment, the toughest part of the Downward Spiral, was simply cruel and unusual punishment.

Every minute seemed like an eternity.

But I wasn’t going to quit. And I did not.

I crossed the victory line. Battered and broken. Which I guess was the point of this tour.

I’ll recover. A few days off the bike now. Basking in the glow that comes from taking on a particularly challenging target and seeing it done.

Butter and Thin Air

And the last two stages of the tour began with Butter + Thin Air. A two-hour effort where I started at 95% and dialed the intensity back to 85%.

I came off the bike uncertain as to how I would finish the final, brutal three-hour stage that followed on the Sunday.

Suffer, suffer, suffer.

The Chores

Another stage completed at 100% intensity.

Definitely felt the cumulative impact of back-to-back high intensity efforts.

I had no choice but to dial the intensity back for the week-end.

Do As You’re Told

Got through Stage 6 at 100%. It was tough but short. I can handle high intensity workouts when they are only 40 minutes or so. It is the long, punishing high intensity efforts that scare me. Like Stage 9. Three hours of suffering.

I can hardly wait.

Bereda Training has a great post on how to withstand the misery of the Tour of Sufferlandria. If you haven’t seen the metrics that most cycling enthusiasts use to track their workouts, then it may come as a bit of a shock to see all of the data underneath the misery.

I don’t need all of that data to know that the Tour is miserable. I can feel the misery!

The only way to withstand the misery of the Tour is to finish all of the stages. And I will finish all of the stages.

A vomit bucket might help though for when it gets too miserable.

Stage 7 awaits this evening.

Fight Club


You can see how this nasty workout progresses with five discrete high intensity efforts that run six and a half minutes each. I got through the first one at 100% intensity and I knew that there was no way I could finish the workout at that level. Not with the cumulative impact of the past 4 stages.

I did the second one at 95% intensity. Almost didn’t finish.

Down to 90%. And then 85% for the balance.

Awful. Just awful.

I felt broken coming off the bike. Probably wasn’t help by a stressful day at the office. I came into the workout with a poor attitude. Sufferfest videos are largely a mental game. Physically I can get through them. Mentally, though it can be tougher. Much, much tougher. Must stay in the moment.

This is a powerful video and well worth the 20 minutes if you are into endurance sports although it readily applies to other areas of life. The Ted talk is described this way:

Mind over Matter? Ned Phillips explains the idea of peak performance in what he calls ‘the power of now’. His entire career, he never realized the importance of the mind until he partook in endurance races, in which the realization struck, your mind has to take over, and focus not on the past, not the future, but only the present, and naturally your body will follow.

The Trick

A bit late getting my stages posted to the blog. Stage 4 was held two days ago. I did Stage 5 yesterday and Stage 6 is coming up in a few hours.

Like Stage 3, I was able to tackle Stage 4 at 100% intensity. The recovery times were long enough that I didn’t have that much trouble with the session. Not as easy a spin as Stage 3. Not anywhere near as difficult as the first two stages.

I am definitely feeling the effects of all the spinning on consecutive days. I generally spin 2 or 3 days on and 1 day off. And I always follow plans that are a bit more balanced than the Tour of Sufferlandria (e.g., hard rides followed by recovery rides versus mostly pain and suffering rides).

What will Stage 5 be like?

Never a good idea to think about Sufferfest videos in advance.

Getting Away With It

I hate to say this. Especially about a Sufferfest stage. But this one was, er, rather easy.

No issues going at it with 100% intensity. In a way, it felt more like a recovery ride compared to the pain and suffering from the first two stages.

Not feeling all that great today though. Definitely reacting to the first two stages and I would not describe my anticipation for Stage 4 as being enthusiastic. It will be a harder ride. I am going to try and go at it with 100% intensity.

Almost time to suffer.