Trainer – Sufferfest

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As you know I’m still recuperating from my face plant a few months back and have been unable to get out on the road. So I set myself up with a Sufferfest membership and set about trying to keep a level of fitness so i hit the road running (not literally in two senses) when I got going again.

Not having undertaken any level of serious stationary training previously, apart from the odd dabble or 2 at the gym and at ERGO, I was a little unsure what to expect.

I’d heard all the negative remarks about how it was boring as bat shite, and my limited solo exposure to training at home tended to back up the general consensus.

Looking back on what I have achieved over the last 2 months, I would have to disagree with that thought about stationary training. My observations would be that if you find it boring, you are just not doing it right. Not that I’m saying that I am the master of indoor training, but with the right setup and mental approach, it became a routine that i quite looked forward to.

I certainly think riding at a dedicated training venue like ERGO has many benefits over home training, but I love the convenience of home training.

There are many training videos in the market place, and it just happens that the one I chose was Sufferfest.

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I can’t compare against any others because I haven’t tried them, but i found Sufferfest to be user friendly with a wide variety of  rides to keep the repetition factor at bay.

You can purchase the videos individually, as a package, or you can stream the videos using the Sufferfest in much the same way as Netflix in that you can wifi stream the training ride you want. If your trainer is tucked away in a dead zone, you can download the ride onto your device for watching offline, which is what i did given I’ve set my trainer up in the garage.

With my hands in splints, I couldn’t grip, so I purchased a set of aero arm rests, placed the ipad mini on the bars, connected the ipad to some old computer speakers i had set up in the garage, and away i went.

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The app is simple to use.

The videos are quite entertaining, if you can call them that, with footage across the videos from some spectacular climbs around Europe.

What keeps the boredom away are the specially designed programs which are designed for specific purposes like speed, power, climbing etc. The instructions throughout the videos are quite clear on when you change up or down, timing, time left, effort levels and cadence.

The music is well styled for the type of riding, not what I’d choose to play on a cruisy Sunday afternoon, but perfectly suited to the pain cave.  The app allows you to pair to your cadence sensor, power meter and heart rate strap thus showing you your effort throughout.

Funny thing, I bought a cadence sensor about 4 weeks ago to help with the training as i was training based on perception only. I knew i was riding at a low cadence, but had limited feedback to modify my style to match the training purpose.

Unfortunately i couldn’t get the pedals off to slip the cadence magnet on because of the splints.

I was only able to remove the pedals over the last weekend to install the magnet, and was pleased i did because it helped me cycle to the requirements of the training video.

So, the training. 35 sessions over 2 months. Fingers crossed I’ll come back a new improved me. I’ll let you know how i went next posting.

Below are some screen shots I took of some of the sessions in some of the quieter times.

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Hell, they even have a training video that focuses on your style, which is something they recommend you come back to on a weekly basis for 6 or so weeks.

The app streaming costs $10pm, which given there are 34 videos in total, provides a relatively cheap way of gaining access to some terrific training material

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