One of the most effective and well-rounded plans we’ve ever made!

CritThis 4-week quest was originally made to prepare riders for Sufferfest’s 2014 “Tour of Sufferlandria”. As you can probably imagine, any plan made to boost fitness to the levels necessary to complete this 9-day torture test will also be extremely beneficial in preparation for a wide array of race genres, especially multi-day stage races. In the first 3 of the 4 weeks in this build, you will find yourself on the bike 6 days per week with 3 of those dedicated to intensity. The other 3 days will be a mixture of active recovery rides and moderate aerobic endurance work. The Sufferfest Build will prepare you for consecutive days in the saddle while exposing all of your strengths and weaknesses for further fine tuning of your fitness. And the best part? Each workout is based almost entirely off of Sufferfest’s video workouts!

Week 1:

You didn’t think this was going to be easy, did you? Day 1 will have you pushing your limits and setting the tone for the rest of this build with Sufferfest’s 20-minute test. This effort will literally set the tone for the weeks to come as you determine your current FTP to be used throughout the rest of this plan. As the week progresses you will be working on some sustained climbing with a number of short, powerful efforts mixed in. Once the weekend arrives you will be finishing out the first week strong with a time trial and then a long ride to really dig into your aerobic endurance.

Week 2:

 As things begin to ramp up coming into the second week you’ll jump right back in where you left off – maxed out. The first workout called “The Downward Spiral” is a very high-intensity speed workout similar to what the last hour of a fast road race would bring. The plan continues to alternate hard days and easy days, with the second intensity workout coming later in the week in the form of another TT or race. The weekend will bring a similar trend to week 1, starting off with the most brutal ride of the build called “The Blender”. This workout will bring all of the different efforts that you have been working on thus far and mix them into one painful ride.

Week 3:

Getting tired yet? I hope not, as week 3 is yet another step up from the previous two and brings you the biggest challenges yet. Things kick off with a round of 4-minute, high-intensity intervals. After an easy spin the next day, you’re right back into it with a short but intense workout called “There Is No Try” which will continue to push your anaerobic limits and work to boost your thresholds. As with any multi-day event, the key here will be to maximize rest and recovery before the weekend, which brings the peak of this entire plan. Saturday will bring Sufferfest’s 2nd most challenging workout ever, which compiles all of the various types of efforts you have been working on for the last 2 weeks and puts them into a single 120 minute brute of a workout. Think of it as the final road race of a multi-stage event and don’t leave anything in the tank!

Week 4:

You did it! This week is dedicated to tapering and absorbing all of the stress you just put your systems through over the last 3 weeks. You will still get your heart rate up a few times to keep your body fresh and muscles firing efficiently. Now you can go into whatever event, ride, or race you have planned for next week confident knowing you did everything, physically, that you could do in order to prepare. You’ve hit your limits time and time again and pushed through them. Go enjoy the benefits now!

Up for the challenge? Get started today!

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Trevor DeRuise

Trevor DeRuise is a professional mountain bike racer, Level III USA certified coach, lead contributor to cycling forum conversations, and the main person behind all TrainerRoad’s tweets. Follow the latest TrainerRoad news and updates he’s sharing online.

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