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Stage 4 Angels

Stage 4 is done. Surprisingly, the toughest stage so far. I did not think that I would be able to finish it. Hard, hard, hard. Almost folded at the last interval.

And nausea. It is not uncommon for nausea to occur when you go deep into oxygen debt. I guess I hit a lot of debt this morning.

But I got through it. Stage 4 down. Only 5 more to go.

If you were eating lunch, 8 minutes wouldn”™t seem like a lot of time. If you were on a beach, it would be cruel to only be there 8 minutes. But during the 8 minute climbs in Angels, you”™ll swear to every god you can think of that it”™s never going to end.

Yes. 4 of these intervals and I swore that each one would never end. Especially the last 2 minutes.

Stage 3 The Omnium

Yesterday’s 2-hour stage did hurt. I felt it for the rest of the day. And I had difficulty getting to sleep last night. Three stages down now. Six remain.

The Omnium has a few really brutal intervals. Event 4 and 5 to be precise. The final event is more like a brutal pounding. I lost it with about 10 seconds remaining on the maximum effort.

Today’s stage took its toll. No recovery. Not for another week.

You know what we love about you? Your versatility. You can Suffer anywhere, anytime and in any way. That’s why Grunter von Agony, Sufferlandrian Team Director, is sending you to compete in The Omnium at the UCI World Track Championships. Over the course of 50 minutes, you’ll do battle with the world’s elite in which you take on the six different races which make up the Omnium competition. From the searing agony of the Kilometer to the frantic stress of the Points Race, you’ll need to dig deep into every corner of your COURAGE for this one.

Stage 2 The Way Out + Power Station

I really won’t have much of a chance at recovery with this Tour of Sufferlandria. Nine consecutive days of brutal indoor training.

I have been working on at least 4 Sufferfest rides a week since October coupled with 1 or 2 Zwift rides a week. Overall I am feeling pretty confident with the early stages. I know I can get through them okay. It is stage 8 and 9 that have me concerned.

Today’s stage? Not so bad although almost 2 hours on a trainer can be mentally as well as physically challenging.

Before heading into the foothills of the Sufferlandrian highlands, the Tour will make a brief detour into Couchlandria. The breathtaking views and soothing narration of the Col Collective”™s saddle-adverse Mike Cotty is simply Grunter von Agony”™s attempt to distract you from the main event. After Col-blooded Cotty drops the base with The Way Out and the peloton re-enters Sufferlandria, you are going be put through the grinder and repeatedly thrown against a wall. Or more accurately, Hit By Wall. That”™s right, we”™re talking 11 low-cadence grinds up some of the steepest pitches in Sufferlandria, bringing the rating to a lava-licious 5 out of 5 volcanoes. Things are about to get painful.

Stage 1 Igniter + Long Scream

And so it begins. The Tour of Sufferlandria.

First up will be Igniter and The Long Scream:

At four out of five volcanoes, Stage 1 is the amuse bouche, a palate cleanser for what will be the most brutal nine course banquet of Suffering in cycling history. Igniter seems tame enough by itself, but it only sets the stage for what”™s to come. They say in Sufferlandria, no one can hear you Long Scream, and scream you will: 30+ minutes of non-stop, stem-chewing threshold effort. Brace yourselves. It’s going to do a long nine days.

I will be doing this stage first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll get through it although 30 minutes of riding above threshold is not going to be fun. Especially when the smart trainer’s resistance is being controlled by the Minions remotely.

Zwift

Zwift

I am really enjoying Zwift. Still completely dedicated to the Sufferfest but on those days where I want to dial it back a little, Zwift is great fun.

I came across this video which highlights how Zwift blurs the physical and virtual worlds of indoor cycling with the clever use of gaming.

Hard to believe that only a few years ago I was spinning to Coach Troy all winter.

On, ahem, a DVD player.

Welcome to the Pain Cave

Some of my passport stamps. From Sufferlandria.

Passport

Since mid-October, basically the end of the outdoor riding season for me, I have been logging about 5 or 6 Sufferfest sessions a week. They are tough workouts. Really, really tough.

I tackle the rides early in the morning. In the dark. In my Pain Cave.

PainCaveDefined

The Pain Cave is definitely a place of suffering, however it can look quite appealing to the untrained eye. Here, then, is a quick tour of my Pain Cave. Missing from the video is the vomit bucket — something unique to cycling that we do not need to talk about here.

Sufferlandria Citizenship Test

Sufferfest

It took two tries but I passed the naturalization exam and I have the Certificate of Citizenship to prove it.

Such an honour.

If you think you might be a Sufferlandrian, you can try the quiz here.

Honor, glory, victory.

The Face of Suffering

DavidSufferfest

He looks friendly enough this David McQuillen guy, doesn’t he?

Don’t be misled however. This man is the evil mastermind behind all of my recent suffering.

I had been suffering for many years from TTBS (Turbo Trainer Boredom Syndrome). For a little while, Coach Troy offered a bit of relief. But honestly, I found it hard to get on the bike for more than 40 minutes or so watching a guy with a stopwatch countdown intervals with a bunch of other TTBS sufferers in the room.

Coach Troy videos were, in a word, boring.

Spinning indoors during Canadian winters is, in a word, boring.

Boring, boring.

And then, I found a cure. I don’t remember how. I must have come across the Sufferfest on a cycling blog. Maybe Fat Cyclist. Or maybe just about everywhere I hang out online to spend time with other sufferers.

Yes. The word was out. The Sufferfest was in. In for pain. In for misery. In for agony.

I ordered my first set of training videos from The Minions Sufferlandrian Ministry of Support and Floggings in November of 2014.

The videos included:

  • Angels
  • Extra Shot
  • Fight Club
  • Revolver
  • The Hunted
  • The Long Scream
  • Rubber Glove

Oh my. I had never encountered such challenging workouts. I mean they were off the scale. Two years later, I rode the Tour of Sufferlandria and it almost killed me. I survived the nine stages but only just barely.

On January 9th, David had sent me a note to let me know about his new secret weapon, the Sufferlandrian Training Centre App. The app interacts with the bike to provide real-time feedback on hitting performance targets.

I signed up and I was issued my Passport on January 12th.

Since then, I have been suffering 5 days a week. High intensity. Low volume.

This is an interesting article on how David started his business. Wonderful to see him bring together his passion, his proficiency and the ability to build a great business.

I decided to learn how to properly put together videos and music, license content, set-up a website and start selling online. Now, keep in mind that at this time, my career was in banking, so it really was just a little hobby for me. I never expected it to become the world leader in cycling training videos.

Pain. Misery. Agony.

IWBMATTKYT.

SufferlandriaLogo