More information on ToS for Newbies

Plan is also released and is available on the website. Haven’t checked through the app.


And add the rides as a training plan, special focus, ToS Stages

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I’m also a relative newbie, having started using SufferFest in late November. I’m intrigued with the ToS Challenge, but have a question about training.

I’m about half way through the All-Purpose Road training program (just did HM last weekend). In fact, the program would finish with FF on the last day of the ToS. What would be the best way to incorporate ToS into this program? I notice that the Post-Tour plan actually ends with FF. So should I just continue with the All-Purpose Road, perhaps taking a bit more recovery in the week prior to the Tour, and then work up to the FF through the Post-Tour Plan? Or is there an advantage to switching over completely to the ToS prep plan + Post-Tour?

Thanks in advance for your insights.

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Same situation here, but I am a week or two behind you (I do my half monty next week). I am thinking of carrying on with the plan until I hit the tour (obviously not FF the day before the start though).

Last year I was on the general road plan, I did not do the tour prep.If you want to do the tour prep plan, just delete the plan you are on and select the tour plan. The general plan was fine for the tour. Doing the tour prep this year, the workouts seem less intense but I can see they are building a good endurance base

Not a newbie, but want to confirm…to earn credit toward the 2021 ToS badge, one must start each stage within the 50 hour window, or finish within the 50 hour window? I always thought ‘start before the window closes’, but the guidance this year is ‘Meaning you have a 50 hour window to complete each stage.’ That suggests, to me, that you must ‘complete before the window closes’. Info here. More important this year b/c I’d like to do stage 6 on Sat and stage 7 on Sun - but in my time zone, that means starting at 6.00a (ugh) or ending before 6.00a (not gonna happen). So, this detail is important!

Yep, complete the stage before the window closes. The challenge page can help you stay on track. If you miss the window… well… FLOGGINGS!!!

Well…are you SURE? Here’s some thinking that starting inside the limit and ending outside the limit is OK: Peto Zozulak

Thanks for all the advice, have signed up and got some sponsorship already. Did my second 4DP last weekend at the end of an All Road training plan so set to go.

I signed up for the “Get me through it” option as I was not sure about the Nuclear Option (it does all seem a bit confusing when you come to this as a newbie). I have seen that is has set the level less than 100% on at least one of the intensities on most of the days. Just wondering if it is best to stick to the reduced level? I have done some of the workouts at 100% and found it relatively easy with even my updated 4DP. Is it worth trying at 100% for as many days as I can at the beginning and then dialling back to the ‘get me through it’ levels if it all gets too much? Or is it better to start at the dialled back level, then up it later if I really feel I can take it? Would feel great if I could get through it all at 100%, but not sure!

Advice appreciated.

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Hey @Martin_Reed Martin.

It’s probably worth a mention of the whole ‘percentages’ thing. Over time, lots of use of the platform, on a consistent trainer, and regular use of 4DP often leads us to numbers that mean even one workout at 100% can be beyond us.
But there are confounding factors all around (like condition during the 4DP, technique during 4DP, all of which (just speaking for myself here) made it hard for me to dial in what that number set was.

All of which means, it’s really hard to advise on what level to go with but if you find (fir example, Tool Shed or Nine Hammers) relatively easy on your current numbers then that suggests you probably can use at least 100% for your workouts

Might be worth just seeing how you go after the first couple of days and how you feel and take it from there.

Day 2 should give you a sense of thing if you’ve not done Nine Hammers before - if that’s easy, then you can go above 100 for the rest.

Then the week can give you a real feel for the platform and ‘feel’ of things so you can thrash the next 4DP you do.

But if Day 2 spits you out (no way I’m even considering that at 100%) then you can gauge the rest of the weeks level based on that maybe.


Hi Martin,

thanks that is really helpful.

Nine Hammers is on my programme for tomorrow: I am finishing a MAP block this week which is my weakness, so that will give me a good feeling to gauge it on. That will be my first go at nine hammers. So far the only session I found I could not complete at 100% was a very dark place, but that was after nearly two weeks unplanned off the bike. However, there have been quite a few times where it was close!

I must say the 4DP thing seems to work really well. I am impressed by how the sessions seem to be just right, close to my limits, but not exceeding them too much. And I am seeing steady improvement while having a lot of fun. Not sure how I will continue when riding outside during weekdays after work becomes possible as the light improves here in the UK. After the ToS I would love to hear how people work with outdoor training from the programme if they do not have a power meter on their bike (and the fact that they do not sync with a computer such as my Elemnt Bolt).


I’m new to the tour. What does it mean to select Get Me Thru It, Focused or Nuclear Options? Will this adjust my target power levels down for each stage or do I use my own feel and judgement for that?

This looks like fun


Welcome @CanadianSenior !

There is information on this page under the ‘Four Ways to Ride The Tour’ section about the different ways of riding the tour: 2021 Tour of Sufferlandria – The Sufferfest

Nuclear does everything at 100%. The others will reduce some or all workout intensities for you automatically. You can still manually adjust up or down after that, but it gives you a starting point.


Thank you way9eO


Welcome CanadianSenior. Yes the tour will be adjusted down. Remember, as well as having fun, you will want to set yourself an achievable target you can be proud of afterwards. Last year was my first tour. I had a real fear of being unable to complete it, and so did day 1 at around 80-85% but there was not the satisfaction of completing the session, and so day 2 was 90%, from then it was to hell with the consequences, lets go full bore.Yes you can set your targets, but you can also adjust them on the hoof depending on how you feel .

OK, failed to do Nine Hammers at 100% last night after a gap of one day from any other hard riding (only my second failed session), so will definitely be doing it (and the others) at the dialled down level in the ToS. However, I think giving a cool down of one week after the ToS I will have a go at 100%, determined I can do it. Thanks for the advice!

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NH is one of the hardest workouts in the solar system mind you … so bear that in mind. Even Sir Neal talks about NH where if not fully rested before hand it sometimes needs dialed down a bit (or I guess just don’t worry if you miss out a few bits to keep yourself going)
Nine Hammers chat in another thread

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Since Sufferfest dates all activities with the end time (and is not going to change this) I think you have to finish the workout within the 50h Window. I’m not going to experiment here :sweat_smile:
I had a Thread about this: How to set Workout Date to start instead of finish Date/Time

There are countdown timers with the Start and Finish Times here: The Stages – The Sufferfest

The Page also states:

Each stage starts when that date starts on Earth (Which is GMT+14) and the stage finishes when it’s no longer that date anywhere, anymore. Meaning you have a 50 hour window to complete each stage . We encourage you to do the stage within your own time zone, but you can do the stage anytime in between the start and finish times listed below.

Since I’m pretty new to SUF I think I’m going with the Focused (a little bit easier than nuclear) option this year to be safe and will know more for the Tour 2022. I already pimped the prep plan a bit since the current week seems to me a bit too couchlandrian.

About the nuclear option…

That is one of the choices in the TOS training plan. What that plan does is set your targets at 100%, basically meaning that none of the workouts are adjusted to make suffering easier. Choosing it does not mean that you have to complete each workout at 100%. It just means that your intention is to go as hard as you are physically able on every workout.

You may have to reduce the intensity in order to finish, but having done so is still “nuclear” if you could not complete the workout otherwise. You’ve given your best effort.

Some consider that only completing each workout at 100% is nuclear. Bear in mind, such bravado was easier before 4DP was introduced. With a correct and recent 4DP riding the whole tour at 100% would be an exception, extremely difficult yet not impossible. I guess that depends on how well one’s rider type is suited to the workouts on days with multiple ones.


Thanks for this. But which is easier/gentler? The Get-Me-Through-It option or the Focused plan? I assumed it was the GMTI option but that says 7 days recovery time and the Focused says 5-6 days recovery. Which is harder?