I’m shaking. Maybe it’s not visible. Maybe it is. My arms and hands draped on the handlebars. Shoes still clipped into my Speedplays, and I’m not sure I can gather enough control of my feet to unclip.
But I beat him. That stupid Sufferfest video hamster with his smug, elastic, rodent cheeks and his stupid 200rpm cadence. I hammered until he in his hamster ball of infinite doom were dropped and only dreaming of catching my wheel again.
Yes. Victory. If I could physically move, I’d raise my arms and yell something unsportsmanlike.
And the voice of my college tri coach leaps into my mind: bury yourself! No junk miles!
And here’s a key lesson–because the title of this article is not intended to be click-bait. People ask me all the time, “How do I get faster?”
HOW DO I RIDE MY BIKE FASTER?
My answer? No junk miles. That’s what The Sufferfest is all about. There’s no extra time in my schedule. I have to take each moment of each ride seriously. Sure, I’m all for enjoying hitting smooth roads with friends and stopping at every Instagram-worthy backdrop. But when I train, I train hard.
The often interval-based, high intensity workouts designed by The Sufferfest squeeze every bit of faster out of you in a compacted number of weeks. In my experience, there’s no quicker way to see strong results than with intervals, and I haven’t yet used a training plan that offered me such quick gains. I’m only half-way through week 5, and my fitness has quickly exceeded my own expectations. Here’s a quick tangible for you:
Last week was rest and test week. On Saturday, I did a road ride with two different groups. Several weeks ago, I was barely hanging on the back of the “slow group” (they called themselves that, I’m not labeling anyone) at an average pace of 13-15 miles per hour. Now, after completing four weeks of the training plan, I’m hanging with–and taking regular pulls at the front of–a group that averages 17-19mph.
Next week, I’m going to share some more specific data with you that details just how much my overall fitness has improved. For now, I’m just digging the faster.
My Ongoing Review
There’s no question that this training plan is the perfect solution for cyclists who either have a limited number of hours in the week to train, or riders who need some semblance of flexibility in their training schedule. In a mere five or so hours per week, you’ll see fitness gains that you may not experience with even two or three times as many hours in the saddle. So far, I’m absolutely impressed with the quality of the videos and their ability to keep me motivated while riding a trainer.
After all, I think we’ve all got a little Sufferlandrian in us. We just need a qualified Minion to bring it out.
If you want to keep watching me suffer (that sounds kinda not cool, but whatever) click here to read my other training diaries, and if you want to keep following my (and our other writer’s) progress through The Sufferfest, be sure to subscribe to SLO Cyclist.
What Exactly Am I Doing?
There are a few options to get you started. Grab the training plan (they also have plans for cyclocross and triathlon) for $29.99 and download the official app with all of the necessary videos at your fingertips for $10 per month (a great way to go if you don’t want to hassle with downloading all of the files and copying them over to your mobile devices for easy viewing).
You can also purchase each video separately for around $12.99 each–or get them all for $199. For this particular plan, you’ll need 13 videos.
Because I have chosen to suffer publicly, the kind (wait, I don’t think that’s the right word) Minions at The Sufferfest have set me, and a couple of others in our office, up with their road and triathlon training plans as well as their full complement of videos. Thanks, Minions!