The Sufferfest

So through good ole Twitter, I found myself in contact with the folks at The Sufferfest. They make a series of cycling videos to watch while you ride your indoor trainer to help combat certain boredom. They were looking for some triathlete bloggers to review their new Chrystalis video with revolutionary bike AND run segments.  With the caveat that I get to still be my same ole sarcastic self, I got access to the new video and starting planning my Sufferfest workout.  I have, however, just realized that they wanted this review BEFORE Feb 4th.  But its Feb 3rd you say, so I’m right on time.  Ahhh, right.  This is an Australian company and it’s already the 4th there.  Hopefully they forgive my North American blunder.

What you will need:

a treadmill and a stationary bike very close to each other.  Luckily a friend of mine owns a treadmill and I own a bike trainer.  Never mind that said friend lives two hours away by car, I’m just that dedicated.  If you are not lucky enough to have friends with severe exercise addictions like mine then you’ll need to head to the gym and stake a claim on a bike and treadmill for an entire hour. Good luck with that…bike-out-of-order-sign

-a device to watch the video on.  I used my ipad cleverly propped up with a paint can and a tape measure. Very high tech.

-a high speed internet connection to stream the video in its entirety without those annoying stops that you have to get up and press play after.  Smarter people would probably download the whole video onto a device before beginning.  For reference to my tech savvyness see previous.

a bumbo and a few blocks.  The baby isn’t going to entertain himself.


Other things that could be nice to have:

-elastic laces.  The stress of trying to get into my running shoes during the 30 second transitions raised my HR a few beats.

-water. You will sweat.

-a friend to heckle you

 So. What was the video like?  It was pretty cool actually.  You know when you show up to Master’s swim or track night and someone else has laid out the workout so you just have to mindlessly follow along?  That’s what this is like.  The musical score could use some work, like maybe something with lyrics? I did enjoy the 30 second transition music ( I won’t spoil it for you).

I thought the introduction portion of the video was really well done. They make it super clear and the beginning what all the indicators mean.  Such as a little count down clock in the corner when you are about to change effort or there’s always an indicator for what cadence you should be riding.  All very handy.

This particular workout had the bike: run portions broken up in 8 min bike: 4 min run, repeat 4 times.  All the footage was from Challenge Roth so you ride along with an athlete and then you move to the run with the same athlete. I got to ride with Carolyn Steffen!  Go me!  The footage is quiet cool and there are some funny little quips and images that pop up as you are suffering along.  I did find it tough to concentrate on the screen so much with all the quick changes.

Although the footage and the workout make the time go by really fast I found that the segments were so short that you only just felt like you were getting going when it was time to transition again.  4 mins on a treadmill that takes 30 seconds just to get up to speed was much too short.  If you were doing this workout in the gym, you’d look like a right git with your iPad coming along for the ride.  Triathletes aren’t making any friends at the gym with this plan and we don’t start off the most popular of athletes in some circles.  Maybe with just one transition to the run, I’d be more inclined to take my iphone and pass some time on a rainy day this way.

So. What does all this mean?  Here’s where I stand.  I would love to have some cycling Sufferfest videos for indoor training rides, but I think I’ll leave the brick workouts to the 3D world.  It was just too much effort for an hour workout to get this all set up. I like the style of the video and will probably enjoy more of them in the future.

Thanks Sufferfest!!  Keep up the good work!!



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