Let the Hunt begin

This isn’t the way it was supposed to come out.
Before I started, I had a few ideas in mind about how this video would be different than the others. Firstly, was to create a ‘story’ that really immersed you in the race and made you forget you were on a turbo trainer for an hour. Second, develop something easier than the other Sufferfest videos. Something for ‘beginners’ that would give them a solid – but not flat out eye-watering painful – introduction to The Sufferfest.
I think I succeeded on the first point, but failed on the second. I’m sorry. I really did try hard to make it easy.

As for the story, The Hunted starts with your director sportif having a ‘word’ with you. You see, your racing in a ProTour stage race and haven’t done anything in the race so far. Nothing. Since you’re not much of a sprinter, your only hope is to break away and solo in for a win. The video takes you through that journey, trying to get away, being away, getting caught, riding in a small group, getting away over the top of a mountain, descending like a maniac, running with a small group to the finish after getting caught again, and then trying to solo in by dropping your companions. I tried to ‘tell a story’ with the workout so you were entertained while being beat to hell. I think it worked. Keen to know if you think so, too.

As for making it easier. My first cut of the video actually wasn’t that bad – and I even had a nice name for it: The Great Escape. But as I cut further into the video, added text, dropped in music, moved and removed footage, the workout started to take on a more sinister sort of flavour. The efforts were still lower intensity than the other fests – but the duration of the 20minute climb ended up being more brutal than I thought. The last 10minutes, which was supposed to be a 10minute tempo session in my original notes, ended up becoming a real slog, and I think the last three minutes of the video are the hardest three minutes I’ve ever devised. It’s terrible. One morning while riding my bike to work and thinking about the video, a new name came to me. ‘The Great Escape’ was just too cheerful and optimistic. It wasn’t desperate enough. It wasn’t scared enough. ‘The Hunted’ was born.

I tested the video three or four times before finishing it, and had a few other ‘festers test the video for me. Each time, I improved and tweaked it. I must have changed the music a hundred times and rearranged the footage on the climb half a dozen more. Now, the dogs are about to come out, and you better start running…..

(It’ll be out very soon)

  • ACK 1334

    This is my all time favourite……. the one I default to when I cant decide what to do

    • Andrew Callaghan

      Cheers ACK 1334, I assume you have all or most of the SF vids, if so, which is the best starter vid…Rubber Glove?

  • Andrew Callaghan

    I’m a new road cyclist and want to improve drastically but if the Hunted is for beginners I dread to see what the vids for more advanced riders are like. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a leisurely cycle at a cadence of 50, but nor as a beginner do I want to see my lungs on the tarmac in front of me. Any advice will be gratefully received.
    Your confused but friendly cyclist

    • bvduck

      Hey Andrew! Welcome to the ‘fest. If you’re finding The Hunted to be a bit too intense, and you’re unable to finish the workout, then just dial back the intensity to a level where you can finish the entire workout. You should be Suffering, and you should be very tired at the end, but you should also be proud of your effort and excited about what you’ve just accomplished. Whether beginner or professional cyclist, the structure is a solid one that will help drive real fitness gains.

      • Andrew Callaghan

        Hi bvduck, I’ve been on the roads for near 2 years on and off and have had the pleasure of a 3 day and 381 mile cycle with average speeds of 16.8, all for charity. I want to increase my stamina as I run out of steam quite easy and I want to increase the length of time I can spend in the saddle, all whilst keeping a 15+ average. I’ve been off the bike since Sept and about to start back. Should I approach Sufferfest by starting with Rubber Glove?
        Thanks for your time :)

  • Craig Orrell

    Just bought myself a magnetic turbo trainer for myself for improving my fitness and was wondering about these Sufferfest videos. I’m worried that they maybe too hard core for me but I need to push myself and these would seem to encourage you with the music and on screen taunts. I play club squash, (not to a very high standard), so interval training would benefit me in this to improve my recovery between points and stay in the game for longer. Is it possible to if you have cadence and speed sensors to record the workout and be able to compare results with fellow sufferers or to gauge improvements?


    ps. I’m gonna bite the bullet and order The Hunted….Wish me luck