I've spent a lot of time over the last year thinking about what I'm going to do about cycling. For those who don't know, I was hit by a car and had a full femur rod and hip pin put in last July. I'm as normal as I'm going to get, but I can no longer ride my bike 100+ miles a week like I was, for several reasons.
So this leaves me with a predicament. How do I stay in shape if I can't ride every day? I hit the indoor bike trainer. Now, for someone who loves to ride, the indoor trainer is the equivalent to being punished in the corner. On your knees.
To keep from being bored to death riding in your living room, you need something to watch or make it interesting. Up until now, I've been watching cycling videos on Vimeo, or maybe catch a cycling documentary on Netflix.
Then I discovered TheSufferfest. Would you think of something called "Sufferfest" to be fun? Well, it kind of is, and kind of isn't. It's fun, in that I get something interesting to watch while I ride, along with training intervals and some pretty good music. It's not fun, in that if you do it right, you will end up with your lungs on the floor, next to your lunch.
I downloaded the video called Local Hero, which puts you in the role of the Sufferlandrian cyclist trying to win the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Geelong, Australia. You start off with a relatively easy Cyclocross race to warm up. Then you go into interval training, which is basically 6-minute bursts of intense effort broken up with shorter rest periods.
The video is an hour and twenty-five minutes. You get a 5-minute warm up, 3 minutes of gradually increasing effort (then a rest), 25 minutes of pyramid intervals, 25 minutes of gradually increasing steady intervals, 4 minutes of all-out sprint practices, and a 5-minute cool down. The rest of the time is credits and funny/snide commentary.
Part of my reason for getting this video was because I can no longer ride to work. I have been forced to maximize my time on the trainer, as I can't get in the miles I used to. So, the question is, is it worth it?
Well, I'm here to say that it does indeed work. Granted, you can only get out of a workout what you put into it. But it is interesting enough to watch many times, and the actual workout is hard enough that you will definitely benefit from it.
Music: Mostly alt rock, with some really catchy tunes. I didn't like how the sound effects interrupt, but it's not too bad.
Video: Really good quality footage. It works well, and is well edited. Some of the taunts are a little cheesy, but hey, it's all the Sufferlandrian Embassy could afford.
Production: Well, I have to be honest. It could be better- it lacks a little polish- but it's not bad, either. Probably better than I could have done.
Complaints: It's kind of hard to judge the difference between "7" effort and "7.5" effort. Since it's all relative, it makes it tough to really be consistent. However, it depends on your trainer stand, the gearing on your bike, and so on.
Likes: If you do the workout, it's hard... really hard. Doing intervals and sprints for close to 90 minutes is brutal, any way you look at it. The scenery and footage is excellent, and the workout is fun (in a sadistic kind of way).
Overall, it's a fun video, and I'm looking forward to more from The Sufferfest!