Another year is upon us and another Tour of Sufferlandria (ToS) is about to begin. I’ve had the privilege to ride this virtual tour of pain and misery for two years now. I participated in my first two using the TrainerRoad (TR) application online. I just hooked up my Wahoo KICKR and away I went into dreadful suffering. It is a wake up call for mandatory Functional Threshold Power (FTP) lowering when you use TR. God forbid you do this tour with your peak FTP at the end of summer. The suffering would be unbearable right from the beginning. I use this tour to gauge how much fitness I’ve lost over the winter and to recharge my anaerobic and aerobic systems for the upcoming spring races/rides. This year the ToS is not being offered as a formal or exclusive TR challenge. (There goes one of my virtual carrots on my TR career page) We do lose a few things with TR not leading the way but I can understand the decision with Sufferfest’s new rollout of an App that gives you access to all of their videos.
Before we get too far let’s talk about me and things I can win! If anyone wants to donate on my behalf to the Taylor Phinney Foundation, just click and donate 10 dollars. Every 10 dollars gives me a chance to win a water bottle, t-shirt, or any various forms of cycling prizes. The foundation does great work for people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Now let’s talk about the tour itself.
ToS is a 9 day challenge to suffer as much as you can within a short period of time. Some days have multiple videos you must do back to back and other days are a long slog with videos that continually pound your legs relentlessly. The ToS will run from the 6th to the 14th of February. Each day is outlined below with my comments.
The video of the ToS announcement can be found here. ToS Announcement! Why is there a Halo of light around David McQuillen’s head? Is he the angel of death!?
Stage 1, Sat, 6 Feb: ISLAGIATT
Duration: 1hr 50mins
Stage 2, Sun, 7 Feb: Revolver + Revolver
Duration: 1hr 40mins
Stage 3: Mon, 8 Feb: The Best Thing in the World
Stage 4: Tue, 9 Feb: To Get to the Other Side
Duration: 1hr 30mins
Stage 5: Wed, 10 Feb: The Wretched
Stage 6: Thu, 11 Feb: The Rookie
Stage 7: Fri, 12 Feb: Do As You’re Told
Stage 8: Sat, 13 Feb: A Very Dark Place + Nine Hammers
Stage 9: Sun, 14 Feb: Power Station* + Violator
Now, how can you do the ToS? Well, in my opinion, this is why the ToS is a little different this year. Buying 12 videos to do this tour is asking a lot. Unless your a fan like me and you’ve been collecting them like trading cards over the last three years. However, downloading and subscribing to the sufferfest app is very doable. The app gives you access to 20 videos for 10 dollars a month. It would take you nearly 18 months to break even if you bought all of the videos from the sufferfest. This is where I understand the break between TR doing the ToS and Sufferfest exclusively doing it themselves. The folks at sufferfest have a viable app that gives people access to all of their videos at a reasonable price. It makes good business sense on their behalf. I will miss the graphics and day to day statistics that TR puts up on their page hosting the ToS, but I do understand the move from a strictly business perspective. There are people who ride indoors and can only find the motivation with the sufferfest videos. This segment of people are not sadists like me and pound away at structured training plans day after day.
I’m excited to see all of these technological options pop up. However, being a person who has been riding with these options over the past three years, some of the costs are starting to add up. Starva membership, TR membership, Zwift membership, TrainingPeaks Membership, and now a Sufferfest app and membership. This year I have to make a decision on which platform I will be using exclusively, because the costs start to catch up with you, especially when you are on a limited budget as a stay at home dad with three girls. The jury is still out on what I will decide.
Join me for the tour this year or just make a donation in my name. I’m looking forward to the suffering coming up and plan to blog it day by day. That is, if I have the energy to type after doing REVOLVER TWO FREAKIN TIMES IN A ROW! David, I shall call you David “The Devious” McQuillen. Of course, I’ll be saying to myself during this tour “Embrace the Suck Buttercup!”