More information on ToS for Newbies

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?

Hi @jembradshaw , welcome!

I would have initially said the ‘Get Me Through It’ option was easier, but looking at the descriptions again, I think probably the ‘Focused’ option is easier, as it has reduced intensities for all stages.

You always have the option yourself to adjust each stage’s power targets up or down based on how you’re feeling.

EDIT: Having looked at the actual reductions in the plan in the app, I now think the ‘Get Me Through It’ option is the easier one if you use the proposed target reductions.

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Both have reductions for most, but not all, of the workouts. Going through the plans “Get Me Through It” is, in general, reduced slightly more than “Focused”. So “Focused” is the harder of the two in principle. But, as @way9e0 said,


Hi all,
I’ve realised in the past week that no matter if I use Bluetooth or any+ my sensors are dropping at least once a session, will this prevent me from getting the TOS badge? It’s only for like 5 seconds but it means a drop on my graphs. I suspect it won’t but wanted to check! I know it would impact a knight effort

Hi @MMcMahon. No need to worry, sensor dropouts will in no way prevent you getting your ToS (or KoS if it came to that) badge. Unless they trigger the Couchlandrian auto-pause and you retire to the couch instead of completing the workout, which you would of course never do. You can double check that your workout has been “counted” using the challenge page The Sufferfest

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Unsure but I’d recommend running a headunit concurrently if you have one and have issues with this. Am pretty sure I paused for a loo break on stage 9 of the 2018 ToS.

Agreed. I also just went through the power target reductions, and ‘GMTI’ is more reduced than ‘Focused’.

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Hmmm… Interesting comment about the Auto-pause. I had drop-out issues when using a Bluetooth connection with my Kickr, which disappeared when I started using ANT+ instead. However, with both BT and ANT+, I find that Auto-stop can be briefly triggered on the switch from a high-cadence MAP or AC effort to recovery, since the flywheel is still spinning fast and resistance and power plunge to zero momentarily. So is it best to turn auto-shop off during the ToS to avoid losing credit for a workout?

No need to worry about auto-pause for the ToS badge, just complete the workout. Personally I turn it off because, for me, every second counts when it comes to workout stats etc but it has no bearing on the recording for badge purposes.

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Thanks. Here’s another query that comes to mind. On the four days when there are two workouts, do they need to be completed back-to-back, maximum 10-minutes rest in between as in KoS the Challenge? Or will it suffice to complete them within the prescribed 50-hour window?

Ideally, back-to-back.

If needs must, take a nature break.

Having written that, life occasionally gets in the way. In that case, complete the stage in the allotted time and be proud of your Suffering.