Quadrathon's advice on getting through the Tour of Sufferlandria
Stuart over at Quadrathon (http://quadrathon.blogspot.com.au/) is one of the most successful bloggers out there. He's also a training and racing madman. Recently, he did all the 'fest videos over four consecutive days - a bit like the Tour of Sufferlandria. We asked him to share some tips on how to get through it and he graciously agreed:
The Fest: How fit do you need to be to do the Tour?
Stuart: Not so fit that you can thrash each ride but comfortable enough to be able to 90 minutes on the trainer. On double days don’t set the expectation that you can ride at 100% FTP if you are using TrainerRoad - you can’t or if you can your FTP is too low! The mental aspect of sitting on the trainer is hard; passing fields and having the sun in your face is well and truly missing. So, immerse yourself in the story and enjoy the drama that plays out on your screen! The fact that you are not up and out of the saddle and moving about as much as when on the road can mean that your undercarriage can have issues, that being said a liberal schmering of chamois cream (DZNutz in my case) can ease this. Getting on the bike day 5 and 6 will not be fun but you will be able to ride through it…and if you can’t, tough, suck it up!
What kind of training do you need to do in advance of the Tour?
This is a tough question...is it better to know what’s coming or for it to be a surprise! I expect most people will have ridden some but maybe not all of the rides before, so they should have a suspicion of what’s in store! I do think some solid trainer time would be a helpful to knowing how it feels to go beyond that 90 minute mark on consecutive days will toughen up the undercarriage and get you used to riding on tired legs.
What was the hardest part of getting through it?
The stop start in between each ride, people should decide if they are going to get off and do something (fuel, restroom etc) or not in advance. Have a plan so you don't get thrown off by surprises.
Looking at the Tour of Sufferlandria schedule, what days do you think will be the hardest?
Day 6: The Wretched and the Long Scream. Your legs will be tired from the steady efforts and the very little rest that you get from The Wretched and then you have to drop the hammer for 30 minutes of time trialing, with no break, that’s is essentially 1:25 with only the rest being the change in ride videos.
What sort of nutrition should folks follow before, during and after each stage? Don’t eat or drink too much before otherwise you’ll be wishing you paid extra for that fancy 4’ wide trainer mat! For the shorter days having fluids and electrolytes on hand during the ride. On the longer days a gel, blocs or bar will be enough, it’s hard to swallow when your mouth is full of stem! Afterwards, for me, a decent recovery shake is best.
How can you keep yourself motivated during the Tour?
I rode my tour with a friend (@TriBeccaTO). Having company goes a long way in keeping the motivation high…plus I was just in range of her big stick! Don’t forget that this is for country, for glory and for kicking ass tomorrow, that should be motivation enough, if not have a partner or friend with Kids Bop 23 cd on standby threatening to turn the TV off and the stereo on!
How did you feel when it was all over? Stronger? A total wreck? Both?
At the end of day 2 I was 7 videos in and sore, a day off revived me and my butt. When I got to the last day (#4) and the last ride, less sore, stronger, humbled and proud…180 miles on the trainer was no mean feat!
Any other tips or tricks for getting through the Tour?
A big pile of towels!
Don’t forget to charge your Garmin overnight!
Document it, Facebook, Twitter, a blog post whatever…then look back in a month and laugh! Above all enjoy it…no really, just enjoy it, you choose to sign up so have some fun…think of everyone else whose New Year’s resolutions are fading and know that you are kicking your ass today for a reason!