Stage 8 of the Tour of Sufferlandria was the first time I had ever done Blender – and I have to say that this just might be the coup d’etat for the Sufferfest workouts! Each of the workouts have been given nifty names that you really only understand after you’ve done them. Blender gets its name from both the feeling that’s left in your legs afterwards AND the nice blend of all things cycling in one video workout.
The 1 hour and 44 minutes of suffering in this video highlights most all of the major cycling styles out there! You get to experience mountain biking, indoor velodrome, time trials, pace lines, cyclocross, downhill biking and even a trip through a snowy-covered woods. Wow!
And this workout is tough! I would venture to say that it just might be the hardest of all I’ve done to date! The length of time alone makes it both mentally and physically challenging. Fortunately, the good folks at The Sufferfest give you enough variety to help make that long time in the saddle go by fairly quickly.
If you’ve read any of my reviews on the Spinervals On-The-Road Virtual Rides, you know that I had to break up the longer rides into one hour segments. I can honestly say that The Sufferfest just might have ruined my virtual rides with Coach Troy. Going back to those rides will be like being called back down to the amateur team….Sorry Coach Troy!
Blender starts warming you up while showing you some great footage of some mountain biking championships. I do a lot of mountain biking with my buddies – and it’s nice to see this included on a hardcore cycling workout. It’s also a lot of fun to watch. There are a number of other times in the workout where mountain biking is thrown in. It always seems to be on the “easy” efforts – and there isn’t anything easy about mountain biking!
The first main set of this workout is primarily tempo work. It’s putting the pedals in motion at a higher Rate of Perceived Effort and cranking for long periods of time. You get a few periods of rest – but they don’t last long!
The second set gives you the chance to attack in a cyclocross race. I’ve often thought it might be neat to try a cyclocross race; however, after watching these guys go, I know I’d need to enter the middle-aged fat guy division. And that wouldn’t be too pleasant to watch (funny – I’ll give you – but not pleasant).
The third main set puts you back at tempo in a time trial effort. Out of all of the sets, this was my least favorite. Even though I was suffering, it was just a bit boring. Now, truth be told, I don’t really like watching time trials anyway – so that may be part of it.
Funny thing, though….the folks at Sufferfest somehow know how to read my mind. As I started in on the second time trial tempo effort, I started thinking….”hmmmm……this workout is long enough….wonder if I should just call it a day…” It was at that very moment, the words came across the screen telling me that they knew I was tired – and I had to keep suffering a bit more to separate me from the Non-Sufferlandrians. This isn’t the first workout where they answered my thoughts on screen. Just how do they do that!?!?
I was happy to get to the cooldown today. I was given seven minutes – and, by this time, that seemed like an eternity. A few interesting video tidbits made the cooldown go pretty fast. You get to watch an old-time video in Britain telling you some key cycling tips. Then, you get to learn about the Davis Phinney Foundation – and that’s one of the main reasons for subjecting myself to the Tour of Sufferlandria. If you get a chance, stop by their website and make a donation!
One more stage left – The Violator. I should be doing that today – but my one day lapse to celebrate my wife’s new job has me a day behind. I thought about doubling up one of the last days to finish on time. Instead, I’ll just roll across the finish line with my head hung low in disgrace for finishing a day late (but I’ll still be proud to have done all 9 Stages).
I’m hoping the final stage will be much like the final stage of the Tour de France – you know, mostly for show……gently moving along drinking a glass of Sufferlandrian wine. I know better, though.
If you’ve participated in the Tour of Sufferlandria, let me know how you did! And wait one more day for me to cross the finish line – even if it’s to throw a shredded chamois at me!