The Tour of Sufferlandria-Which is 9 days of interval work outs on the trainer by sufferfest. Each “stage” lasted between 50 minutes and 2.5 hours depending on the day, with a mix of sprints, attacks and long sustained climbs being simulated.
My coach Jess asked me to write a quick post about my experience this past 10 days while ticking off one of my goals for 2017
My thoughts before beginning were that it will be easy to finish and if it hurts I can back off a little, I just need to make sure I get on the trainer each day (which I wasn’t looking forward too!)
After the 1st stage my thoughts had not changed much… However after the 2nd Stage- which was almost 2 hours long- my thought patterns began to change. I wanted to defeat each stage, and I wanted to accept the pain of each interval stage and push on through the next… I am not sure where this inner drive came from, no one was holding me accountable if I didn’t put in 100% and given the hot weather- no would would blame me. I wanted to see what I Could achieve and how much I could push.
By the 6th and 7th stage I was up against the wall, my legs thrashed, and I wanted to pull the pin. I decided to try and ride it out through the 8th stage of intervals and sweat.
To my surprise within 10 minutes of the first interval my muscles had bounced back and I was hitting my power numbers. There were some darker moments late in this stage as I reached exhaustion but I got through- and recorded a new highest average power for the ride.
The last and 9th stage on paper looked easy.. but it wasn’t- long long intervals of 20 minutes+ at threshold power.. for 2 and half hours, But after completing the 8th stage I knew my legs would recover and despite the pain- each interval will end. When the time was up I had finished, feeling proud but not wanting to see the trainer again for a week at least!
So on reflection I can take away a few thing from my successful Tour of Sufferlandia.
- My body can overcome my thoughts.
- The pain will end when the interval ends… yes it hurts…
- Drink Drink Drink. I had to drink up to 3 times my normal amount of water.
- I found sleep was most important, I was a lot fresher with a good night sleep.
- It was hard but I made it to the end and gave it my all.
I feel stronger now.. the last few days on the bike I feel like I can go further..
While i’m still not super fit – I am fitter and feel I have more stamina. I also feel I can break though that mental pain barrier and find that little extra I have to give to an effort. I know i can get to the end-even when i feel i want to give up.
Also; although I thought I wouldn’t ride on the trainer this week I was back on it after only 2 days.
This week a bit of easy recovery before a hard hit out on the mountain bike.. I really cannot wait to get back outside and off road again and see what changes have come from this “breakthrough” week.