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Sufferfest: Angels – First Impressions

by on January 22, 2014

With 5 inches of new snow yesterday and temperatures this morning at 5°F, there wasn’t any good reason to take a bike outside.

I know, that shocks you.  But I have my limits.

I rode an easier spin this morning, and then had a mechanical.  I quit after about 15 minutes and had to wait until later in the day to fix the mechanical and get another ride in.

I’ve been researching some Cycle Training Videos and decided to purchase two from  Their videos have driving music, pro racing scenes, strong intervals, and are downloadable as opposed to a DVD.  I’ve got Chromecast on the TV in front of my trainer so I decided I would try to “cast” the video to that tv and try out one of the videos.

After some introductory material including appropriate warnings the program declares that there will be a 6.5 minute warm up, 10 minutes of over/under intervals (1 minute cadence/perceived effort based intervals), a 3 minute rest/recovery period, then 3 8 minute high intensity “climbs” each followed by 4 minute recovery period.  During each of these 8 minute climbs there are a series of increased effort periods, scattered within the climb.  Sound signals alert you to a change in requested intensity as well as large text based cues.  Most of these were presented as attacks, since you are racing uphill.

Those 56 minutes went by in a blur, and before I knew it, I was done.  That’s huge for me.  Usually I’m trying to find something to occupy my mind after 10 minutes on the trainer.  If nothing else, that’s a plus for this series.

I used this ride as a way to test out the video but also to find my level of effort.  The perceived effort levels of 8/10 for most of the ride doesn’t give great guidance, but then these are not videos linked to a particular power meter or heart rate monitor so they do what they can.  I found myself sticking to cadence as a pretty reasonable way to ramp things up.  It gave me instant feedback and allowed the heart rate to climb.  I had to back off the highest gear in the big chain ring of my 10 speed trainer to maintain throughout the video, but that gives me some room to improve.

Sufferfest is the name of this website and its products, and suffer I did.  The intervals were good, and the video suggests that this will help my climbing ability.  We will have to watch and see.

Here is a graph of my speed to show the intervals


And here is the graph of my heart rate to show the intervals

heart rate


Those appear to be pretty solid intervals!

First impressions matter.  It kept me on the bike nearly an hour.  I never expected that to happen.

From → Cycling, Review

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