It doesn’t take an engineering degree to figure out from the title of the latest offering from The Sufferfest that if Half is Easy, the other half is, well, not. And it’s very much not.
Yeah, I know it’s the middle of summer, and not many of you are thinking about trainer/roller miles. But there are times even in summer when afternoon storms or just plain sweltering heat make inside rides a necessity. In fact, the night before the press release concerning the release of Half is Easy, I was on the rollers due to a heavy afternoon rainstorm cancelling the group ride.
Half is Easy is all about short, high intensity intervals. The training video was developed in conjunction with Dig Deep Coaching and in particular elite coach Ian Field. Ian is the three-time and reigning British National Cyclocross Champion. With that résumé, it should be obvious that Ian knows all about high intensity efforts.
If you know the pedigree of the previous Sufferfest videos, it goes without saying that the high definition video is crystal clear, and the music is timed and chosen perfectly for the intervals. The on-screen instructions are more detailed than early ‘Fest videos. In addition, previews of the upcoming interval are provided so you can mentally and physically prepare for the suffering ahead. Cadence instructions, perceived effort, and time remaining allow you to know exactly what you should be doing and how to judge your effort.
The video features officially licensed UCI footage from both men’s and women’s racing. You’ll see mountain bike racing, BMX, road, and of course cyclocross. For the recovery intervals you’ll get to descend alpine roads, sip a beer around a campfire, and just relax in an inflatable tub. At 15 seconds, however, the relaxing is only a tease.
The heart of this new Sufferfest is 15 second intervals of maximum effort. That doesn’t sound like much, but do that 20 times with only 15 seconds recovery between, and you’ll quickly be filling up your sweat bucket. Being true to the name Sufferfest, don’t think you’re done with only one set of intervals. After a four minute respite, you’re back on for another 20. I say 20, but any true Sufferlandrian knows there’s always a good chance that Grunter von Agony might require a couple of bonus intervals from you.
I’m not sure how The Sufferfest does it, but they have found a way to defy time. 15 seconds will never seem as long as it does when you are about 7 intervals into the second set; while, simultaneously, you’ll swear the 15 seconds of recovery is actually only about 5.
The real beauty of Half is Easy is that it is only 39 minutes. This means it’s quite easy to work this one in before work, on your lunch break, or just about any other day that you are pressed for time but really need to get a workout in. That also means you lose an excuse to not suffer.
So head over to www.TheSufferfest.com and download your own copy. I might be lying if I say you won’t regret it. But at only 39 minutes, the suffering is only temporary. Besides, half is easy. And thanks again to the folks at Sufferfest for letting me review their latest release.
– Alex (Steak Sauce)