The Sufferfest, A Very Dark Place: ‘Jump!’ is just the warm-up. It’s all downhill from here.
Whatever I did, I’m sorry. We all make mistakes, right? We’ve all done deeds we regret. I’ve done bad things, just like anyone else. But do I deserve this cruel punishment? To be wrung out, shouted at, abused, ridiculed? To be laughed at while I bury myself deeper and deeper? Do I really deserve to suffer so much?
The turbo trainer is a device designed for torture, I know that. But in the past I’ve been lucky, and by avoiding the worst of its cruelties I’ve escaped with experiences merely of boredom and monotony. Sure, I’d occasionally go ‘hard’ but it would only be brief, and I’d never stray too far beyond my comfort zone. But then The Sufferfest videos came along, and suddenly that contraption of pain revealed its true potential for sadism.
I started with Fight Club, disappearing into dark worlds of max heart rate agony. But I started to want more. Downward Spiral made me wince. With Angels I stared at the stars while lying in the gutter. Revolver made me cry. Maybe it was time to see a therapist, or maybe it was just time to visit A Very Dark Place?
The Sufferfest, A Very Dark Place: Just as you thought it couldn’t get any harder they go and attack you. The bastards.
The Sufferfest’s latest instalment of training video is almost a distillation of suffering, a simply structured workout based around five maximum efforts of four minutes. Sure there’s a warm-up, and a cool-down, and some respite between the efforts, but you won’t remember much about those. During each four minute set you’ll watch as on screen the toughest men in cycling demonstrate the meaning of commitment – Phillipe Gilbert will taunt you at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Cancellara will attack you on the cobbles at Paris-Roubaix. And then he’ll attack you again, and laugh in your face as he does it. Sure you’ve been to dark places before, but never as dark as this.
The Sufferfest, A Very Dark Place: your DS offers you some helpful words of encouragement.
The beauty (if that’s the right word) of The Sufferfest videos are that it makes you want to push yourself as hard as possible; the music and racing footage means there’s rarely a dull moment. Cycling indoors during the winter is never a substitute for the real thing, but these are a great way to stay motivated to train. You might even look forward to the sessions – in a nervous, trepidatious sort of way. What’s more they’re easy and convenient – just download direct from The Sufferfest website, and play on your computer, laptop, or copy them onto your iPad, iPod or any other device that will survive being splashed with the odd drop of sweat.
The Oktoberfest: win copies of A Very Dark Place
Each week in October I’m lucky enough to be able to offer you unlucky lot the chance to win a copy of A Very Dark Place on In the Saddle. Of course we’ll need to know you’re committed to the Sufferlandrian way, deserving of its coaching expertise, and worthy of its generosity – so next Monday we’ll be asking you to prove to Sufferlandrian Head Coach David McQuillen that you’ve got what it takes. Come back Monday 3rd if you’re willing to go to dark places very few others are prepared to go.