The Sufferfest – Chrysalis review and video giveaway

I mentioned earlier this week that something was coming and hinted at a Sufferfest video with the Bleeding Eyes logo on my Instagram account. I was lucky enough to get chosen as a reviewer of the upcoming ‘Chrysalis’ triathlon brick workout video.

For those that aren’t familiar with The Sufferfest here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Pro Tour footage
  • HARD intervals
  • IWBMATTKYT (I Will Beat My Ass Today To Kick Yours Tomorrow)

So, I have a love/hate relationship with The Sufferfest. It is such an incredible workout and I am so much stronger for having used the videos in training, but as one of my friends put it, “I wish I could record my inner dialogue during the intervals.” Chrysalis is no different, only that it uses footage from DATEV Challenge Roth rather than the TdF or Giro. It puts you through multiple intervals of running and cycling.

Setup: This is best done either at a gym where the bikes and treadmills are co-located or if you’re lucky enough to have a treadmill at your house setup next to your bike. I’m in the process of moving across the country and don’t have a gym, so I used a week pass to X-Sport to get my workout in. Make sure you have water handy, leave a bottle at both setups if you can. And I suggest bringing a sweat towel, nobody appreciates swimming through the lakes of sweat that you’re going to have if you don’t wipe it up.

The Video:

You start with a warmup jog, then a warmup bike, then run, bike, run, bike, run, bike, run.

No joke, I thought it would be a hard bike followed by a hard run, but this allows you to get really good at transitioning and getting your legs used to running off the bike. In all there are four bricks, each consisting of one bike and one run. The bike legs are 8:00 and the run legs are 4:00. This video hasn’t been run through with TrainerRoad yet, so you’ll have to go off of perceived effort with this one. Don’t worry, the scales are given.

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In true Sufferlandrian form, we crush the competition. You’re going to follow a few of the pros through the run and bike course, surging to attack up a hill, which is especially cool for the run since they have you increase the incline and pace depending on where the pros are on course. And those surges and inclines are tough. Not tough enough to break you before you’re through, but enough to make really dig deep mentally. You’ll have great music to listen to while you’re destroying the competition to help you zone out of the burn.

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ATTACK!!!!!

    Thoughts:

This video is tough. And I’ve ridden the Tour of Sufferlandria and beaten the peleton up Mt. Sufferlandria while the floes of lava flowed down around me. I’ll definitely be throwing this into my bag of tools when it comes time to nail down a triathlon training plan or if I just want to put some extra hurt on my legs aside from cycling. The music is awesome, the footage pumps you up and the intervals are short and hard. If your engine doesn’t work better after doing this workout, you didn’t do it hard enough and Grunter Von Agony is going to be very upset with you.

This video is a great workout and the prices over at TheSufferfest.com are cheap compared to the training value you’ll receive from it. I highly recommend that you pick it up on February 4th when it’s released. You won’t be sorry that you did. And while you’re there, pick up their other videos, too. You’ll be glad you did. I’m a triathlete turned cyclist because of the Sufferfest and I will continue to IWBMATTKYT.

Want to get a video for free? I’ll be giving away a video code to 3 lucky people! Sign up below!

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New year! New Goals!

So, I’m going to add to the long list of blogs that are doing a year in review/2014 goals posts. I’ve found that this year I’ve done more consistent training to a point. A few times I fell off the plan, but made my way back before it got too detrimental, this last time I fell pretty far. So, total miles (according to Strava)

Ride Run Swim
Total Activities 116 96 5
Total Distance (mi) 1909 414 4
Total Time (hrs) 102:35:20 61:16:08 1:06:36
Average Speed 18.61 mi/hr 8:53 min/mi 3.22 mi/hr
Total Elevation (ft) 36506 9225 0
Total Segments 185 20 0
Longest Activity (mi) 80 13 1

I discovered a true love for riding my bike this year, and it really shows. Most of my time was spent on my bike when I had the opportunity. Coming into this new opportunity starting in March, I should have a lot more regular and consistent mileage being built in the mornings, as there isn’t PT until the afternoon and class starting at 7:45. That gives me good time to get a workout in and then be energized for the day.

For those of you who use Strava and you’re looking for a good way to track your annual mileage/hours check out this API.

http://www.jonathanokeeffe.com/strava/annualSummary.php

So, as for 2014, my goals are pretty simple (and maybe a bit high reaching).

-2014 total running miles (at least) in 2014. An average of 5.5 miles a day.

-an FTP of 275 by the end of the year, a 75 watt increase. A huge help from TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest to get in those hard, targeted workouts.

-Two 3:00:00 or less marathons. One to qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon and one for the 2016 Boston Marathon.

-Venture forward into ultramarathoning and try a 50k, maybe even a 50 mile!

So, maybe my goals are a bit outlandish considering my rigorous school that I’m starting, but what’s the point of goals if they’re not lofty? I’ll have a good support team behind me to help me get there, thanks to Marnie, Genevieve, EnduroPacks and all my friends and family!

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I’ll have this monkey alongside me, too! What’s more fun than that?!

New Setup!

After spending most of the year on my SWEET FM098 that I ordered and built earlier this year, I had an itch to change things up and go to a TT setup for a bit. It happened to be prime time to do it because A) getting ready to move B) focusing on studies and running and C) it was time to give her some TLC for all the miles I got this summer.

So here’s what went down:

First, I was able to trade my SRAM Force Brifters (Brake/shifter levers) on Slowtwitch for a set of Specialized Shiv alloy time trial bars with SRAM brake levers and SRAM 500 shifters. I was VERY excited to get these bad boys in the mail.

I started off by stripping my bike of all the old, nasty cables that had rusted in some spots doe to crappy weather in IL. Next time I’ll make sure I get things cleaned regularly so I don’t have tons of crap sitting in the lines. Once I had everything stripped off I did a thorough cleaning of the drivetrain. I’ve come to really like the new line of bike products by WD-40. It did an excellent job on my nasty cassette, my grimy crank and just plan disgusting chain.

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I forgot to take before pictures of most of the stuff, but believe me, it was nasty and the WD-40 did an excellent job of cleaning it up. It even helped my sink stay clean when I rinsed everything.

Now was time to put it all back together again. This is the second time I’ve run cables on a TT setup and let me tell you, it is WAY easier than getting everything adjusted on a road bike. Especially with front derailleur as all you have to do is set the position and you can adjust it on the fly as you shift your rear derailleur. The only thing I found to be a pain in the but while setting this up was threading the brake cables through the internals of the aerobar. But, once I got it figured out by threading old shifter cable through as a guide it went way smoother. The final outcome on the setup looks amazing, I think. Only one adjustment is needed from this point and that’s finding a smaller stem so I don’t have to stretch quite as far, stressing my lower back. I’m very excited to take this out for some long miles in California in the coming months!

Without further ado, here’s the newest evolution of my machine:

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You’ll notice that I’m using the Speedfil A2 BTA (Between the arms) bottle cage with Garmin mount on top. This is the latest thing for hydration in an aero format. My Garmin Edge 500 is tucked behind my hands and, therefore, hidden from the wind, creating better aerodynamics.

Off season?

I’ve noticed, at my wife’s pointing out, that I tend to go in a cycle with racing. I will find a race, I’ll obsess about it and think of all the training I can do for it, I’ll beg Marnie to let me race it, she’ll grudgingly say yes, then I’ll half train for it until the last few weeks before the race and I’ll bust my butt to put in some miles so the race doesn’t suck as bad as not doing anything at all. Just about the time I start putting miles in I find another race and I start the cycle over again.

This late-summer/fall I am working on a couple new things. Being tired of beating myself up on races that I am not prepared for I spoke to my friend, Jason Restuccia, who has qualified and run the Boston Marathon twice. I approached Jason for help because I have not been great at following training plans once they start taking longer than an hour or two for runs. Jason agreed to coach me for a race that he told me about when we initially met two years ago, the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. Jason knows my typical family/work schedule and has been great at scheduling training around those. He also knows how to goad me into meeting him at the local YMCA for a workout at night, which has been good because sometimes getting out in the morning after I’ve been up for a couple hours with Genevieve.

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Unexpectedly, an opportunity to be an ambassador for Enduropacks arose, thanks to my friend Nicole. She brought to my attention that they would be starting an ambassador program and suggested that I put in an application. I heard back from them less than a week later and setup a phone interview. About two weeks letter I got the official invitation to join their ambassador team. This was part two of awesome news! Another arrow in my quiver to keep me on my path to a fast marathon time without quitting halfway through the training.

So, in a time that has people usually putting on a few pounds and taking the training off in lieu of a much easier work load I’ve been working on balancing family, training and work. It started off well and the first month and a half saw me earn two PRs on back to back Saturday’s at the half marathon distance, one of them including an age group win. Since then it’s gotten a bit rocky. Genevieve has been having a habit of waking up around 630 when I would normally be getting out for a run and my nights have been getting more packed with longer work hours and homework that has been piling up for my two classes.

Enough with the excuses, though. Tomorrow morning will start with an FTP test session with The Sufferfest and TrainerRoad followed by a long run at the YMCA. Time to start getting used to long miles on the dreadmill for the many weekends leading up to the Icebreaker Indoor marathon weekend.

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Thanks again to Marnie for letting me get out at night for runs and workouts at night, to Jason for coaching me and goading me into getting good workouts at night, and a huge thanks to EnduroPacks for the great opportunity to be a part of their ambassador team. Here’s to a great “off season” from here on out!!