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Preparing For The Tour Of Sufferlandria

Resolved to make 2018 the year that you commit to suffering in the name of honour and glory? Then get ready for the ultimate test, the 2018 Tour of Sufferlandria

With just days to go until the Tour starts, we took the opportunity to ask our resident Sufferfest Knight - Wattbike MD Rich Baker - for his top tips on getting through the Tour of Sufferlandria.   

The 2018 Tour of Sufferlandria has been dubbed as the toughest tour yet, with 9 stages and over 13 hours of riding to get through. How do you train for such an epic event? 

Incidentally, how you should train for the Tour and how I have are quite different! 

Ideally, I would be factoring in back to back days by training for short periods, then varying my recovery between sessions. This might look like a double Sufferfest session on the Sunday, one Monday evening and then another Tuesday morning. After this I would take 2-3 days of recovery/active recovery. This builds you up nicely to coping with 9 days of Suffering.

In reality, given the general toils of life, I have been coasting along with daily 1-hour sessions, varying the intensity. Not ideal but it could be far worse.

Even if you’ve trained and prepared well for the Tour, riding for multiple days can take its toll on your body. How do you make recovery a priority to ensure you’re ready for the challenges to come? 

Recovery is really important and often overlooked. After all, most of us have jobs and lives to contend with alongside the Tour of Sufferlandria. My three key pillars of recovery are nutrition, hydration and sleep.

  • Nutrition: Where I would quite often do a fasted session in the morning, I will eat around 200 calories prior to starting and sometime during if the session is over an hour. 
  • Hydration: I will consume 500ml of fluid every 30-mins (I’m a heavy sweater). 
  • Sleep: I will try and maintain a good routine with sleep throughout the 9 days, consistency and rhythm are key. 

This year it’s going to be a real challenge as I return from a family holiday late on the 4th February. The Sufferfest give riders a 50 hour window to complete sessions, which means I will ride Stage 1 as soon as I arrive home (around midnight) and Stage 2 around 4/5am the same day. So I’m ignoring all of my own advice! 

We guarantee there will be lots of suffering in torture chambers in the following days. Do you have any recommended pieces of equipment which you just couldn’t get through the Tour without? 

In true Sufferfest style, I’d recommend extra nails to layer your chamois with. This notches up the discomfort nicely. Maybe a fork to jab into legs when you start slacking and a bottle of lactic acid to drink through the sessions. 

On a more practical level, I would also recommend:

  •  A decent set of Bluetooth headphones
  •  A fan
  • The same saddle you usually ride on 
  • Chamois cream

When the pain strikes, how do you motivate yourself to continue with the Tour?

The Sufferfest community are really fantastic. They are like an extended family and can always be counted on to deliver that extra slice of motivation when you need it most. 

Visit our Facebook page to follow Team Wattbike as we get involved with the Tour of Sufferlandria. 

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