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)