Review: The Sufferfest training video – The Hunted

The Sufferfest training videos have built up a reputation for being extremely difficult but also rewarding as you slog your guts out on the turbo trainer side by side with the pros.

The Hunted is an hour long video that pits you against the peloton in the 2010 Tour de Suiss and Tour de Romandie as you create a breakaway and spend the whole video being hunted down by the peloton.

Featuring amazing indie music and dance tunes to keep your cadence and motivation up you will clash with riders such as Andy Schleck and Robert Gesink as you go for the stage win. 
After completing a 6’30” warm up you are launched straight into an attack off the front, going full beans for 30 seconds to establish a gap back to the peloton, then you spend 5′ riding at tempo to increase the gap before you begin the climb. 
The Sufferfest videos are not like regular training videos as they have entertaining aspects to the session. In The Hunted you get to the bottom of the climb of La Punt and have to stop as the railway crossing blocks the way. Obviously you don’t actually stop on your trainer, you keep spinning away on a 4/10 effort, but it’s features like this which break up the training ride nicely. 
The video constantly keeps you updated on the effort you need to be engaging and cadence you need to be targeting, including flashing up messages which play up to the story line as they act as messages relayed from your team car.

On the climb, which in 20′ of steady climbing for the most part, you have to mark attacks from the peloton and your breakaway companions as you increase the cadence to catch them. It doesn’t end as you get over the mountain either, as you then have to keep pace with Gesink as he descends for 4′ at a cadence that is 100+rpm to turn the screw of the session. 
The changing nature of the footage, messages and music keeps you entertained the entire time you are on the trainer. Often sessions that are longer than 40 minutes can become very boring and tedious as they wear on, but The Hunted keeps you engaged and makes it easy to imagine you really are attacking Schleck or taking Gesink’s wheel.
After the descending you work in intervals for 4′ as if you were in a small group left at the front of the race with he peloton bearing down on you. Then you enter the final 4′ of the race that sees you making several efforts to ‘drop’ the rest of the breakaway; going at tempo for 50″ then attacking for 10″, then tempo for 40″ and attacking for 20″ right up until the final attack which is tempo for 10″ and attacking for 50″ to drop the breakaway for good.

The Sufferfest have come up with a winning formula to make indoor training much more fun and keeping you entertained for long sessions on the trainer. The videos work best if you have a heart rate sensor and cadence sensor so you can accurately measure your cadence and work out what amount of effort you need to put in on the scale of 10 in terms of your heart rate. 
They would work just as well if you didn’t have any of the equipment with just a bike and a trainer, but it depends on how accurate you want your training to be. 
The Sufferfest videos can be bought at The Sufferfest website here. The Hunted is available for $11.99, or £7.68. You could also sign up to become a premium member of Strava, as they have a couple of Sufferfest videos including The Hunted.

We give The Sufferfest – The Hunted video 10/10 because we felt like we were being hunted, and we genuinely did suffer. Having said that we’ll be doing it again this weekend because it’s that much fun.

The Sufferfest videos use language such as ‘suffer’ and ‘pain’ in them, this is for entertainment purposes only and if you are in genuine pain or discomfort then you should cease the session immediately. 


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