Handle 7 Climbs in One #SUFDAY by Dan Fleeman

Preparing for a big day of climbing requires a plan. You have to give yourself the best chance to succeed by pacing yourself & finding a rhythm, having a nutrition strategy and by bracing your body and mind to suffer.


Finding the right gears or resistance can be an art. With a bit of experience and knowledge, the right gearing can help you tackle any challenge.

  • Start by asking yourself: what gearing has worked for me in the past? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Generally speaking, using a big gear and a low cadence for harder efforts can more quickly fatigue your muscles and leave you unable to chase down Bluebell and Billboard or handle the steep slopes of the Angliru.


Rhythm. It’s important in both climbing and chamois dancing. Finding a good climbing rhythm means keeping your pedal stroke smooth and effort level under control.

  • If you go in too hot early, you’ll soon find yourself in the red zone, with bleeding eyes and no way to recover. Remember, you have 3 hours of Suffering ahead of you! We’d hate for you to get dropped before the Angliru.
  • Focus on your technique: engage your glutes and avoid upper body movement so you’re not wasting vital energy that you will need later in the day.
  • Get out of the saddle for short durations. This helps you engage different muscles and gives you a a short burst of momentum. When standing, avoid increasing your effort too much — unless, of course, Grunter von Agony is commanding you to ATTACK!!!


Alan McCubbin, the expert at Next Level Nutrition and author of Eating to Suffer, covers this in detail in his post, so make sure you read his entry here.


On #SUFDAY you’ll suffer early and often. No two ways about this. You can help overcome the challenge by preparing yourself mentally with these strategies:

  • Recon the course (if you’ve never done ISLAGIATT before, there’s no time like the present!) and break it down into manageable milestones. Celebrate each milestone as a little victory on your way to honour & glory. Before you know it, you’ll be chamois dancing in the town square!
  • Trick yourself into ignoring the pain! You can sing along to your favourite tune, curse Gloworm and Big M, find your happy place, discover new grunts or do whatever it takes to distract you from the misery you’re putting yourself through. Just don’t miss the start of that next interval!

Most importantly, remember to have “fun”.

Good Luck,

Dan Fleeman>

We are delighted to announce Dan Fleeman as our Honorary Starter for Sufferlandrian National Day.

Dan is a Director at DIG DEEP COACHING in Belfast, Ireland. Dan is a previous 2 time British Hill Climb champion and winner of the UCI stage race Tour des Pyrenees in France.

That’s right, one of those skinny climber-types! Alas, the trainer is a great equaliser.

He’s pictured here ripping the legs off non-Sufferlandrians up a climb. How apropos.


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