Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review; The Sufferfest The Machine

One of the benefits of being a Knight of Sufferlandria is that you get to see what is coming out of the cruel and demented mind or Grunter von Agony, Grunter is the Directeur Sportif of Sufferlandria.

While The Sufferfest is predominately known for creating unique cycling videos that use footage from the biggest bike races in the world; Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and so on. More recently they have unclipped from their bike and laced up their running shoes, Chrysalis was the first incarnation which was a nice transition (no pun intended) from cycling to running as it was a triathlon training video. Steamroller was the first 100% running video, this has now been followed up with The Machine and Revolver Running.

Recently I was fortunate (I use that in the loosest sense of the word) to be able to preview a copy of The Machine. In the same way the cycling videos utilize a bike trainer, the running ones require a Treadmill. The Machine is a hill based program and uses video from Marathons from Prague, Rome, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Beijing. As with a ‘fests there is a storyline, here the story of how those five races have created a machine that makes it more difficult for you than for other runners by making things get steeper for you as you go on <insert evil laugh> mmmwaahaaa haa haa!

With a clear focus on hills, this video warms you up and then takes you through high speed efforts through climbs that vary between 2 and 8%. This is how the workout breaks down;

  • 4:00 – Warm-up
  • 6:00 – Hill 1 – Prague
  • 1:00 – Recovery
  • 3:00 – Hill 2 – Rome
  • 1:00 – Recovery
  • 3:00 – Hill 3 – Frankfurt
  • 1:00 – Recovery
  • 3:00 – Hill 4 – Stockholm
  • 1:00 – Recovery
  • 3:00 – Hill 5 – Beijing
  • 3:00 – Cool Down

As you can see it’s short, only 34 minutes, don’t let that fool you! While the incline is going up so is the RPE the final effort is all out! This is how it looked based on my Garmin data. The HR is a prefect representation of the hills! I count myself lucky that there are only 5, 6 and I may have run out of graphing space!

image The Machine BPM…

…and by HR zone!

If you want to put this into some perspective here it is compared to some hills I ran up this week! The dips are where I stopped to take a photograph!

image Los Robles Trail out and back

The hills have eyes…and 800’ of gain over 2 miles!

As we have come to expect the production quality is great and there is a pumping sound-track to keep you motivated and moving! There are clear instructions about effort and intervals along with countdowns etc. You would think that watching other folks running is, well to be honest a bit dull but the storyline and on-screen prompts keep you engaged and do make the time go by. The videos are available on July 31, 2014 from The Sufferfest along with a third running video called Revolver. I have yet to put Revolver to my head but it’s coming!

The Sufferfest The Machine Sample from The Sufferfest on Vimeo.

For a limited time the videos will be offered as a bundle for $25.99, this is great value as individually they are 9.99.

I am a firm believer in training for the terrain but sometimes a treadmill is all you have. Avoid those bullshit doldrums miles and treat yourself to a kickass kick in the ass workout like this and make those miles count!

Checkout my other Sufferfest Reviews;

Steamroller – high intensity intervals on a treadmill

Chrysalis – Triathlon transitions with four bike/run interval…a real “quadrathon” if you like!

And my cycling Reviews; A Very Dark Place, Angels, Downward Spiral, Hell Hath No Fury  and ISLAGIATT

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