Some background on how I tend to use The Sufferfest (since 2017!):
1 - I use The Sufferfest videos for the entertainment and extra motivation I get from the videos/music, and the great storylines.
2 - I use the NoVids from time to time when I can disconnect and watch a movie (endurance) or listen to a good Spotify playlist (for intense workouts where my attention is on a max effort)
3 - I rarely use the GCN videos, but when I do, I’m usually trying to save time with a very short but intense workout
(I suspect that this is pretty typical, but then again, everybody thinks they’re normal. )
My issue with the training plans in The Sufferfest is that they tend to not respect how I want to train with The Sufferfest.
Case A: A scheduled workout on the plan that has a video (e.g., Nine Hammers) at 100% intensity means I’m going to have to work quite hard but I know I’ll get a good storyline, music, race footage, etc. This helps me get the most out of myself. It’s where The Sufferfest shines compared to every other training platform out there. I’ve tried out most of ‘em.
Case B: A workout appearing on my plan that has a video prescribed at a reduced intensity is for me, simply incompatible with The Sufferfest’s key differentiators … The storyline, music, and the footage lose their value and are even diluted the next time you do that same workout at 100%.
I’d so much rather see NoVids and GCN videos used for reduced intensity workouts on training plans than actual The Sufferfest videos which should be reserved for the key workouts of the week done at 100%. Alternative (or possibly in addition), alternative workouts could be proposed to achieve the same training outcomes?
Hopefully this is an area where The Sufferfest will improve soon.
For now, I continue to train off of my own plan managed in TrainingPeaks with some structured workouts being pulled to my Wahoo Roam and some being done in The Sufferfest. I’d love to drop TrainingPeaks to save some money and instead have an integrated Wahoo training platform and training plan (The Sufferfest + Wahoo Roam), but that’s another subject for another forum post or two …
I have come to similar conclusion. In my opinion the SUF videos are not suitable for a training plan. They can serve a purpose of one off killer workout.
The points about the reduced intensity workout being anticlimactic is spot on. I really would like to see structured plans with majority of workouts being old school intervals with some science behind it. I know the science team is more than capable in doing so, but maybe they are afraid to lose the SUF spirit with it. For me its secondary. I think the potential of the science team is not used enough right now. Maybe something is in the pipeline, like some more cadence emphasis mentioned in some recent video blog.
We see more and more NoVids released with none of them being used in the training plans, which is weird and underwhelming.
I have the Wahoo Bolt and asked about integration of outside rides a few months ago. The minions said that some sort of integration is on their radar and perhaps is coming with the platform update scheduled for early next year. I completed the pre-season MTB plan and am now doing the in season MTB plan where I have added my own “events” that I do with friends. I do agree that it would be nice to have the ability to switch out videos from time to time and I also agree regarding the reduced effort sessions being anti-climactic but I try to trust the plan as much as I can because I have definitely seen results.
Thanks but I’ve used the feature to turn off the video before … the point is that the videos and music are a key differentiator for The Sufferfest. Turn them off and it’s not that different from other training platforms.
Exactly my point. I’ve been using my Wahoo Roam and Zwift to do my lower intensity rides and some lighter structured workouts.
Ultimately, I want Wahoo to provide me with the science and videos we get in The Sufferfest while allowing me the flexibility to execute my training plan in The Sufferfest or on my Roam, without having to pay for / rely upon other training platforms.
It would be great to have a range of videos with music targetting lower intensity or recovery. I do quite a lot of my riding at a reduced intensity. I find that Open 30 etc are just too boring. Sessions like Getting Away With It at 80% intensity are good and doing the more full on sessions at 80% still maintains enough variation and alignment with the storyline. But it would be great if they tried some videos that targetted an endurance intensity with great music and interesting scenery, views and info.
Thank you for pointing out this option. I really was not aware of it and only used the “mini player” which still keeps the storyline on screen and was not satisfied with it. So happy days for me with having option to turn 'em off.
To ride the original Sufferfest videos at decreased intensities always feels like cheating for me. Especially if MAP is reduce significantly more than say FTP. That way the oroginally intended workout loses it’s structure and thus makes riding to the video and it’s storyline a bit awkward.
I think this hits the nail in the head
I have the same opinion as many of you on the concept of using the ‘proper’ workouts as recovery rides. Psychologically it dilutes the experience for me.
So I just decided to remove the problem and similar to @James_T I just run them as NoVid. And often in level mode. as it just seems crazy to jump around power when it’s all down at 55-65% anyway.
I do that my simply clicking the tab to switch to data only overlay.
I assume that the thinking is that some people
(Not the ones in this thread obvs) have asked for this. And I guess having it in is fine if we just switch off video … so we have the choice.
One thing it does mess with is my records of how I’ve done in videos … but I can just ignore those ones when doing my own stats.
Just occurred to me reading your comment that the following might be a nice set of enhancements to the current reduced intensity workouts feature:
the Start button can start the workout with the video.disabled, perhaps based on a preference toggle
the name of the workout could appear differently in the calendar than the name of the full intensity workout with video. Saving it would then differentiate it in the Passport workout history so that I can compare apples to apples (for example, ISLAGIATT to ISLAGIATT, rather than to ISLAGIATT at 70%).
I still think additional NoVids would be better than repurposing full videos, but these enhancements would make leveraging full videos a little more digestible.
I’d still also love NoVids to be portable to my Wahoo Roam. What can I say? It would be great.
Agree with the comments on improved UI. I’ve taken to noting it as reduced intensity in the manual notes at the end of the workout, but naming it differently so they can be distinguished will be great! Also, being a bit anal with recording, it would be good if the coach’s notes are saved along with the workout (e.g. how much each target has been reduced by).
Regarding additional NoVid recovery workouts, I’m quite indifferent on this. I assumed that they reuse existing workouts just to provide some variety rather than just constantly doing the recovery spin or open workouts, so switching off the video and storyline works just as well for me.