The Sufferfest & Apex Coaching

Volcano Climbing Plan, by The Sufferfest

Plan Length: 4 Weeks

This training plan was designed by APEX Coaching for athletes and enthusiasts who...

* Have completed a block of training that developed the weakness identified in your 4DP profile AND
* Are approaching an event where climbing hills and scaling mountains is the name of the game
* Have previous experience with structured training plan or have been riding consistently for more than 2 years
* Have trained more than an average of 10 hours/week in the previous ~3 months
* Have up to 12 hours/week they can dedicate to training (but often less) over the course of the next ~3 months
* Have a burning desire to CRUSH their goals by putting in a maximum amount of effort in a minimum amount of time

This plan is designed to suit the time-crunched athlete, with the majority of weekday workouts under 60 minutes and longer weekend rides. Note: unlike most other plans, yoga workouts are pre-populated in this training plan because, let's face it

The plan finishes on a high note, with the last week bringing you fit and fresh into the dreaded Full Frontal. After finishing this plan, you can begin a more advanced plan straight away.

Not using The Sufferfest app? Try it free for 7 days: http://thesuf.com/letsgo

Plan Price: FREE

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Note: These plans are designed to be used with The Sufferfest Training System. You will need to download and install The Sufferfest for iOS, macOS or Windows to access the workouts associated with these plans. To get started:

  1. Go to https://thesufferfest.com/pages/get-started and download the app for your device.
  2. Create your account to start your free 7-day trial.
  3. Use promo code SURGE30 to get 30 days free or $12.99 off your annual subscription.

For questions about The Sufferfest please email theminions@thesufferfest.com

Sample Week of Training

Below is a week of training from this plan which represents the type of workouts you will be doing.

Cross Training - Yoga: Back Strengtheners

Intermediate Visits to Sufferlandria put the body under severe pressure. After your legs, of course, one of the first areas to Suffer is your back. And back pain can severely affect your performance. This sequence will not only help alleviate any existing back pain, but also strengthen your back for improved performance in the future

Planned: 25:00

Bike - NoVid: Recovery Spin

Very easy ride Resist the temptation to go harder or faster. Power should remain under 50% of FTP the entire time, and Heart Rate should never go above Z1

Planned: 30:00

Bike - Told Off By Angels (Mashup)

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✭✩✩✩
AC: ✭✭✭✭✩
MAP: ✭✭✭✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✩

This is another mash-up that covers a lot of ground. Starting with the intervals from Do As You're Told, your ability to recover quickly gets its first test with short intervals, high intensity, and limited rest. All the hallmarks of a good AC training session. Then comes the race simulation from the Rookie, with just enough time above threshold (and above-tempo "recovery") to improve FTP. But it also helps out your AC. Since your AC has already been stressed from the intervals at the beginning, this section boosts your AC more in this context than it would if you just did The Rookie. The final climb from Angels is almost entirely above threshold. After everything you have already put your system through, this will send your cardiovascular (and MAP) system as far as you are willing to push it. By combining these sections in this particular order you end up squeezing the most training benefit out of each one.

Planned: 55:00

Cross Training - Breathing To CALM DOWN

In 4-7-8 Breath your exhalations are twice as long as your exhalations. It is a therapeutic breathing technique that can help to reduce pain and calm your nervous system.

Planned: 3:00

Bike - G.O.A.T

Four Dimensional Power Focus:

- Neuromuscular Power (NM - 5 second): ✭✭✭✩✩
- Anaerobic Capacity (AC - 1 minute): ✭✭✩✩✩
- Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP- 5 minute): ✭✩✩✩✩
- Functional Threshold Power (FTP - 20 minute): ✭✭✭✭✩

This session is all about high-torque efforts, very similar to the efforts you would experience out riding up the steep slopes of Mt Sufferlandria. While these efforts are short, and the intensity isn’t too high, the low cadence targets combined with minimal recovery will leave some begging for the high cadence sprints of The Omnium.
High torque efforts like these have two primary benefits. Improved neuromuscular coordination, and increased muscular endurance.

During each pedal revolution your legs have to “switch on” and “switch off” almost all of the muscles in your legs. High cadence efforts in something like Cadence Builds are great for teaching these groups to make that switch quickly. These low cadence efforts are better for teach ALL of the muscles in your legs to “switch on”. Done properly you should be pulling with your hamstrings with one leg while the other leg is pushing down with all the force your glutes and quads can muster. If you feel like you are pushing yourself up out of the saddle during harder efforts (like seated sprints) then your hamstrings are not being utilized since they should be pulling you back down into your saddle.

The second main benefit is improved muscular endurance. Even though the session is under 45 minutes, you will put a similar amount of muscular fatigue into your legs as a steady 3 hour base ride. You can almost view this session as hitting the leg press for 8 sets of 100 reps.

And just like the weight room, proper form is absolutely key! That means:
-- You should focus on pushing down AND pulling back up. You want your glutes and quads activated on the way down, and your hamstring and hip flexors activated on the way up.
-- To properly engage your hamstrings think about trying to pulling your heel up to your butt when your crank arm is going from 6 o’clock to 10 o’clock.
-- Your knees should be tracking straight up and down, no collapsing in or out!
-- Your core should be fully engaged to keep your hips rock steady in the saddle. This will be easier if you are both pushing and pulling during each pedal revolution.

This session is very simillar to Power Station. Both help improve your muscular endurance and coordination, the biggest difference is the work to rest ratio between the two. While the intervals here are shorter than those in Power Station, the decreased recovery duration means fatigue will build faster, especially for those with a weakness in repeated efforts. Modifying interval length and recovery duration can also be seen between sessions like Revolver and A Very Dark Place. Both serve up a healthy dose of MAP/VO2 work, but the overall "feeling" of those two sessions are different.

If you find that your lower back starts to ache during this session, or that you have to start rocking in the saddle to keep the power up, then it’s time for you get started on our Yoga programme. Kick it off with “Core Strengtheners I” to make sure your core is just as strong as those legs!

Planned: 42:00

Cross Training - Breathing To CRUSH THEM

Perhaps the only people more Badass than Sufferlandrians are Navy Seals. And this is the breathing exercise that Navy Seals do to calm down and focus themselves before major operations. Learn and use this technique before heading into your own major events and races.

Planned: 3:00

Cross Training - Yoga: Hips and Hamstrings

Intermediate This routine is designed to open up the hips-the hip flexors, rotators and glutes-and stretch the hamstrings. We move through a series of lunges and finish with Lizard and Pigeon pose. You can practice it in the morning, before or after a ride. Experiment to see what works best for you. Modification: If you can't reach the mat in Low Lunge with Sidebend, you can rest your bottom hand on a block.

Planned: 15:00

Bike - The Hunted

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✩✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✭✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✭

This session doesn't have the longest sustained intervals, it doesn't have the shortest recovery times, it doesn't have the hardest surges, but what it does have is an unrelenting pace. There is very little "recovery" at all in this session, so you never get a chance to really catch your breath or give your legs a break. The Hunted lacks any true recovery like you get in some other FTP-focused workouts, meaning your anaerobic energy systems never really get replenished. This means they can't help much with power production. This, in turn, makes the repeated efforts above threshold near the end of this session much harder than they might feel in another workout where you get to recover fully. The unrelenting nature of this session makes it great for really working on building your sustained aerobic power, just what you need to increase your FTP.

Planned: 1:01:00

Cross Training - Yoga: Shake off the Day

Beginner This gentle sequence is designed to loosen up tight muscles and encourage good postural habits. You can practice it in the morning to relieve stiffness or in the evening to wind down before bed. We finish with a short body scan meditation to calm your mind and release tension throughout the body. Modification: If you're unable to sit back on your heels in Child's pose, you can put a couple of cushions or a pillow between your calves and the backs of your thighs.

Planned: 15:00

Bike - ISLTA

Four Dimensional Power Focus:
NM: ✭✩✩✩✩
AC: ✭✭✩✩✩
MAP: ✭✩✩✩✩
FTP: ✭✭✭✭✭

This is your go-to session when you need to increase your endurance and add in some threshold work but only have two hours. By adding in multiple surges and short chunks of time above threshold, ISLAGIATT overloads your system with metabolic byproducts ('the nasties') which your body has to learn to clear out more efficiently. Combining such long interval durations with these hard surges not only forces your body to cope with the effort, but it pushes you harder mentally because after each surge the effort right at threshold "feels" harder than it should. With the final intervals focusing more on short, repeated efforts you'll stress your body's ability to recover when deeply fatigued, making this more than just an "endurance builder" workout, but one that will help you keep churning out power deep into the final kilometers of challenging rides or events.

Planned: 2:30:00

Cross Training - Breathing To CALM DOWN

In 4-7-8 Breath your exhalations are twice as long as your exhalations. It is a therapeutic breathing technique that can help to reduce pain and calm your nervous system.

Planned: 3:00

Bike - Defender

Four Dimensional Power Focus:

- Neuromuscular Power (NM - 5 second): ✭✩✩✩✩
- Anaerobic Capacity (AC - 1 minute): ✭✩✩✩✩
- Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP- 5 minute): ✭✭✩✩✩
- Functional Threshold Power (FTP - 20 minute): ✭✭✭✭✭

You've got the leader's jersey, but then disaster strikes: A crash, an injury and you're forced to defend your position until the end of the race. Can you hang on under a barrage of attacks? Based around four, ten-minute efforts around threshold, Defender is designed to give you the most bang for your buck, or in this case, the most Watts at FTP for your Suffering.

There are both psychological as well as physiological benefits to this tremendous workout. Mentally, Defender will improve your sense of pacing for longer efforts near FTP. That is because each effort starts out above FTP, and since you're fresh you'll feel as though you can hold that pace all day. Every two minutes, the pace gradually declines so you are finishing just below FTP. As the time ticks away, the power targets will drop little by little, but your discomfort will remain about the same. By the fourth effort, you'll be find the same efforts far more difficult than in the first. Bystaying tuned-in to what your body is telling you, you'll learn more about how to manage your efforts around threshold and why it's so important to manage your efforts well at this intensity.

The physiological benefits follow the same lines as those found in Who Dares, or Fight Club. Overloading your legs and lungs with efforts above FTP before settling into efforts right at or right below FTP forces your body to clear out as many metabolites as possible and process as much oxygen as it can. What sets Defender apart is how that overload is delivered. While Who Dares achieves this with short sprints, Defender forces you to spend minutes above FTP before simmering back down. This allows your heart rate and breathing rate to get much closer to what they are during a long steady state threshold effort. This ensures that “overload” comes in as a steady drip, rather than the sudden burst like that in Who Dares. The lower intensity of this overload also changes the types of metabolites produced and the ratios they occur in. Not only does this keep the enzymes in your body focused on aerobic metabolism, your body will also respond with fewer stress hormones. This means you're training your aerobic system by overloading it, but doing so in a way that leaves you more ready to hit tomorrow's training just as hard.

Planned: 59:00


Plan Price: FREE

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