Everest Training with Sufferfest

Hey, I’m planning to do an Everest in the coming months. Any recommendations on what workouts are best suited to assist training (paired with outdoor sessions) for the repetitive stress of an Everest?

Been there (a few times now actually). My suggestion is the gravel grinder 200 plan. Supplement with extra climbing vids. Alternatively the Mountainous Gran Fondo similarly supplemented.

Edit: if you’re just looking for workouts, then any of the climbing vids would do. Unless you’re going for a record, Everesting is an endurance event where you’ll likely be in the 65-75% FTP (endurance pace) so even if you don’t do the climbing vids you can set the intensity of any of the vids at a level you’ll be able to sustain for many many many hours.

Edit 2: as for outdoor, if you’re close to the segment of choice, do repeats of that segment so you can get a sense of the road, where your Basecamp will be, traffic etc etc and the pace you think you could maintain.


What kind of grade are you looking at? If I did an Everesting it would probably be around 3-4% since I have more of a triathlete’s body than a climber’s body…

At a 3-4% grade you’re talking incredibly long distance. A lot of it is about picking the right segment, not too steep, not too long, not too technical. Like Knighthood, planning is half the fun. @Andy_Garvey, if you don’t already know this, the Everesting site has a calculator that will tell you how many reps you’ll need and the distance you’ll travel to reach 8848 or 10,000 (or a basecamp of 4424). It lets you tweak your weight, power, speed, number and length of breaks etc and gives you an estimated time of completion. CALCULATOR - EVERESTING


If I ever consider doing this, shoot me.

I’d have to do a virtual Everest up alone du zwift.or something.

But seriously. Shoot me.im 222lb. It would take me 18 hours or more.



Yep. At this point I’m 5’11" and 85kg and based on my recent climbing experiences, anything 6% or more is too steep for me unless I can increase my fitness and drop a bunch of weight. But I can ride a long long way… which I would kind of have to. lol.

@Fezzek At this point I’m in the same boat. And Alp d’Zwift averages around 10%. I tried to do it at 100% (which is required for a vEveresting) and couldn’t get more than half way up while averaging around 220w (my FTP is 245w) and having to stand on the pedals almost the entire time. So… I would probably have to do the Zwift KOM 133 times (668km) or the Volcano KOM about 65 times (490km). :see_no_evil:

We’re the same height and on my last vEverest, Mt Ventoux, I was weighing at least 86 kg. FTP was 260 but my NP for the event was 170. You’ll hear this often, it’s all about the gears. I can do AdZ on 36/28 but it’s not fun and I couldn’t sustain it. I swapped my front to a 50/34 and my rear to a 11/32 and for my vEverest of AdZ and Ventoux I was in my 34/32 combo for the bulk of the ride and my cadence still would have averaged 65 rpm with a ton of standing.

The point of all of this is that you need gears if you want to succeed at an Everesting unless you’re a total beast (and there are a lot of those, but I’m not one of them). What I have over a lot of others is an incredible tolerance for repetition, boredom, and loooooong sustained efforts. I even did an irl Basecamp on a bump of a hill that took me 300 reps and 19 hours moving (26 hours elapsed due to a boat load of tech issues and other glitches). You CAN do it!


Might be a cheat… but I put my bike in erg mode and set it to 170w and can ride for 5 hours. Apart from a sore backside and needing to change my bib shorts it makes alpe du zwift doable. I.e. the incline makes no difference. You just go incredibly slowly up the steep parts but you are doing 170w the entire time.

I think I can get up the alpe du zwift in about 1 hour 30 to 1 hour 40. So doing it 8 or 9 times in a row would take about 18 hours assuming i could ride for that long.

Fyi. 243w ftp, 102kg. It would be a lot easier if I could drop down to 80kg but that isn’t likely anytime soon. But 90kg is a goal for Christmas.

If I ever manage to ride the alpe once in under an hour I ought consider setting a pace of 1 hour 15 and going for it.

Until then… shoot me if I ever say I’m going to try.


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We’ve hijacked the OPs thread. Sorry @Andy_Garvey. Has any of this been helpful to you?

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This is true and I too often forget this. I currently have a 53/39 with a 25/11 on my trainer and a 28/11 on my actual wheel. That is good for flat triathlon TT’s, but I quickly run out of gears on our hilly local course with hills between 4-8%. Unless you’re my my dad who used them to climb Mt Wilson in Pasadena. He was 6’1/6’2” and 82kg when he did that. :flushed:!

Haha, loving the hijacking. It all helps. Looking at training vids I think I’ll tailor it with individual climbing vids set at 65-75% FTP as you suggest, would I do this by altering my FTP or what?. I’m at a pretty decent fitness level at the moment but definitely not a record setting fitness, and not wanting a 12 week programme if I can avoid it.

I’m close-ish to the climb, close enough to reccy. its a 1.5km climb, avg 8% with 121m elv. I did not know about the Everest Calc but just looked, that’s a brilliant resource, I’ll make sure to check back in with that after my reccy. I’ve got my gearing sorted (i think) running mid compact with 11-32. i did a recent event 240km with 5000m climbing on that gearing and apart from the 20% segments I was good for the day.

The key part here is like you say. Tolerance for long, boring repetitive efforts. Am I up to it? Only one way to find out :slight_smile:


Depends what your goal is. If you want a recognized vEverest (following Hells500 rules) then yeh it’s a cheat. If you want to simulate real world climbing as much as you possibly can then yeh, it’s a cheat. But if your goal is simply to see how long you can sustain a certain effort and want to look at something while you’re doing that other than your wall or a movie etc then no, it’s not a cheat at all.

I live on the prairies so when I climb virtually I really want to experience it. I even bought myself the Kickr Climb for that very reason (and absolutely LOVE it!!). Now, I wouldn’t do indoor virtual climbing without it.

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From my own experience, I went well with the combination of “All-purpose road” and then after three weeks of just riding to get some more miles in, doing the “Volcano climbing plan” to prepare for the actual everesting.

Went well enough for me.
But I need to emphasize two things: First, I followed the “All-purpose road” plan as a general build-up into the season. After realizing there will be no season at all, and when I decided to attempt Everesting, the “Volcano plan” seemed reasonable to me because it was all about climbing.
Second, I never attempted to do the Everesting in any record-breaking manner. Nor should it break the athlete (me) before finishing. In the end, it was all about endurance+++. Besides having accomplished an Everesting, the one thing I am particularly proud of is doing it with a very consistent effort, meaning the last run-up was almost with the same power numbers as the first one. So I really nailed the pacing.
To make a long story into a short suggestion: if you already have an excellent foundation, go with the “Volcano climbing plan.”


I wouldn’t actually suggest you dial the training vids down unless you are planning to do multi vids in one go as in back-to-back-to-back etc.

These vids are designed to raise your fitness and each usually targets an individual metric more than another so, Hell Hath No Fury for example will focus more on FTP while A Very Dark Place will focus more on your MAP.

You’ll hear the coaches say that raising your MAP is one of the best ways to raise your FTP. So, if you’re looking to build an ad hoc training plan you might even want to consider one of the MAP blocks. They are 3 or 4 weeks long. This way, when it comes to your event, your FTP will likely be higher and as a delightful consequence so will your endurance pacing.

Your segment sounds ideal! The site where the calculator is also has some fantastic tips etc including the official rules should you decide to submit your attempt. It’s definitely worth taking a look at. I’ve returned to that site time and time again. Finally, there’s also a Facebook group where loads of crew have posted their stories of success and failure and where questions are posted frequently. Here is the link to the FB group. Facebook Groups

For what it’s worth, you sound ready now. When I did my first one, I got about half way through a 12 week plan and just decided to go for it. Like any long endurance event my best suggestion is don’t go out too hot and end up blowing up at the Death Zone (about 7000 metres). Steady pacing for the win.

Hey … resucitating this as I’m planning to do an vEveresting later this year … @Glen.Coutts, seems you have quite a lot of experience. On the Mountnous vs Gravel training plan debate, which would you recommend? When you say “complement it …”, does this mean substitute some sessions or add session on the rest days?

Please anyone feel free to pitch in!!

Thanks a lot,


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I’ve done 4 (2 virtual, 2IRL (1 Roam)) cycling and 1 run basecamp.

If I were to do another virtual cycling one, I would ride endurance workouts for 3-4 hours on end, get used to the monotony of sitting in the saddle, throw in some slow grinding (low cadence) work, and definitely ensure my core is stronger from off bike strength, focus on the glutes for the back and likely calves, quads and hammies for the knees.

If it were to be another IRL attempt, in addition to the above, I would be riding at all odd hours of the day/night, having empahsis on strengthening my palms/hands, triceps and shoulder/neck region (traps).

Having the correct gearing helps. Did it with 34/34 for virtual attempts, and 38/42 for IRL attempts.

Nutrition is key above all else. If you have a strong engine, highly tuned with the finest of materials, it isn’t going anywhere without lubrication and fuel. Get that dialled in. We are all different in the aspect.


Hey @Tobias_Breme, what Sir @Dan said.

Yeh, so, if you’ve read the thread you know what I’ve done already so I won’t repeat it. For my very first vEverest I was doing the GG 200 but just decided to go for the vEverest about ½ way through the plan. As for complementing, if you pay attention to your fitness/fatigue/feelings you can add specific climbing vids in to give some of your days more volume, you can substitute a virtual hill or two for the longer boring AF endurance days that have no vids.

My first vEverest was Alpe du Zwift (d’Huez) so what I had incorporated into my training was doing 1 rep one day, then 2, then 3 then 4. On the day I had 4 I had decided that if I felt good, I would just keep going since its “only” 9 reps for a vEverest. I was prepped mentally and with all the food, hydration, time etc just in case.

So, imho, I’m not sure you even really need a “formal” plan for a vEverest except for the parts about mental training, food, hydration, kit changes etc (very similar to Knighthood in that regard but there are no limits on how long you take breaks for which takes a TON of pressure off :slight_smile: ) Your plan could simply be to ride increasing reps every other day or so. IMHO the critical things are mental prep and gearing that will allow you to go your endurance pace for as long as you need to.

What vHill have you chosen? Some are much more attractive than others :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot @Dan, @Glen.Coutts, super helpful and that makes sense!

I’m thinking of doing it in Alp du Zwift but to complicate things a bit more I’ll be running a full marathon 6 weeks before and only have that time to re-adjust to the bike.

I’m currently quite fit on the bike and I’ll keep cross-training throughout the marathon prep so I think focusing those 6 weeks on endurance and progressive climbs of Alp du Zwift will be the best option to be honest.

What do you think?

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So, as a marathoner, you’ll know that pacing is everything. If you have the right gears and can find your “marathon” cycling pace you’ll be fine. Uncomfortable to be sure but #tuhntf

The danger on a climb like AdZ is its length and its steepness. Though the switchbacks offer some relief. This is why gearing is important. I had a 34/32 and used it nearly the entire time and my cadence still averaged 60-65 if I recall. If you wanna be able to spin a bit more then 1:1 or better.

I have no doubt you’ll succeed! Like many of these crazy challenges sooooo much of it is in our heads.

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hahaha definitely more a cyclist that lost a bet and needs to run a marathon :slight_smile: Thanks a lot for all the advise, the head is good so guess this will work out - will keep you posted!