Tour of Sufferlandria 2015 report
TLDR: My first failure of 2015! Alright. Not exactly a failure, but a lesson learned more than anything. The Tour of Sufferlandria, which I did in 2014, is a series of 9 planned cycling workouts on 9 consecutive days. There is a preset list of 9 Sufferfest workouts to do, and you have a window of 50h to complete each workout. Simple enough? Yes. Thing is, those workouts in themselves are meant to make you suffer and cry. Once in a while they are very fun. 9 days in a row is a different ordeal. It’s not a race. It’s a challenge. There are no winners, there is no medal other than a badge of completion, and while there are prizes, they are participation prizes. You donate to a good cause, you get in the prize drawing whether you finish or not. Last year I did it. I also recall not running at all for a week (double check: I didn’t). I canceled my swim lesson that was during the Tour. My mind was set 100% on biking for 9 days. This year, I am in the final weeks of marathon training (which I’m doing for no actual purpose other than the Hypothermic half-marathon and as a base for later this year). My running volume has been fairly high in the last few months (200km or more in December and January, which is at least higher than anything I’ve done before). I’ve also been biking fairly hard recently and I am trying to hit the pool twice a week. In short, my training volume (and associated fatigue) is fairly high. That rising peak from 500 to 750 indicates the effort that was needed to complete the Tour last year. I was less fit, but also less fatigued, and saw a great increase in both fatigue and fitness from doing the tour. Doing the same workouts a year later will increase both of my fatigue and fitness by a lesser amout… But I’m also starting from way higher. So what happened? This happened: That. And also 45km of unrelated bike workouts, and 40km of running, and an hour at the pool for good measure. And real life. I woke on Wednesday at 5:15am to do the next stage (1:30 ride called Local Hero). I felt like crap. I ate my pre-workout snack. I pondered the sanity of finishing the Tour. I wondered about the possibility of getting injured. I reevaluated my priorities. And I called it quit, and went back to bed. While I like the challenge, my priorities are not the same as last year. Last year, I was pondering doing a triathlon maybe in 2015. I ended up doing two in 2014. In 2015, while the challenge is fun, my priorities are not the same. I want to perform in Montreal in two weeks. I am getting fit for the 70.3 Ironman in June. I will qualify for Boston in September. The Tour will have to wait, and I should not have signed up this year as it did not fit my current priorities. I’ll probably consider it in 2016, but only if it really fits my goals for that year.