#SUFSTORIES - Josh Martin


Australian executive Josh Martin, 35, is a poster child for how transformative the Sufferlandrian ethos of IWBMATTKYT can be. With a demanding corporate job that required international travel, a wife who was setting up her own business and two kids with full schedules of their own, Josh was collapsing under all the training hours he thought he had to put in to train for the 7-day, 900km (with 17,000 meters of climbing!) Haute Route in Europe.

Like many non-Sufferlandrians, he thought that more training is better training.


For his first attempt in 2012, Josh rode as many hours and miles as his legs (and relationships) would bear — sometimes more. He would get up early in the morning to bang out a few hours before getting the kids off to school, then time-trialled the commute to and from work, adding 5-hour rides on the weekends. But Josh hit a wall. Fatigue and boredom took a toll and his motivation to train dropped faster than a bag full of hammers.

Then the Haute Route rolled around. The sacrifice of all those mind-numbing hours in the saddle were realised over seven days of Alpine torture. Josh finished 156th. As he stared at the results - disappointed - he vowed that, next time, he would see his name among the top 100.


The 2014 edition of the Haute Route promised to be one for the ages. Starting in Venice, the route wound over 933kms to Geneva with a chamois-shredding 20,350 meters of climbing spanning 17 cols (including the mythical Stelvio and Passo di Gavia). But Josh was afraid — he didn't have enough time to train like before. 

How could he improve if he didn't train more?!

A chance meeting with a Sufferlandrian while out on a ride introduced him to The Sufferfest. The idea of training harder, and training less, sounded like fantasy, but it was the only approach that he had the time for.


Josh decided to try a video. During the cool-down of The Hunted, he knew he had stumbled onto something beautiful, depraved and deeply effective. After a few months of training with The Sufferfest he took on the ruthlessly effective 10-week Advanced Training Plan in the lead up to Haute Route. Instead of monotonous 15 hour weeks, he was spending eight glorious hours in Sufferlandria. He was riding nearly 50% less than before and could spend more time with his family.

This made the Suffering more enjoyable. Some might even say pleasant.


The day of reckoning arrived and Josh lined up for the first stage of the Haute Route 2014, confident a top 100 placing was within his reach. 

When he crossed the line at Cortina d'Empezzo marking the end of stage one, he could barely believe his bleeding eyes: 14th place!

In the ensuing six days, the elite riders could not drop him. They were astounded that he wasn't putting in 500km weeks like they were and that he did most of his training inside. Ultimately, he sailed past the checkered flag in Geneva in 16th place overall - 142 places better with 50% less training - proving that riding in Sufferlandria gets incredible results in the rest of the world.

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