The best Strava tool ( that you’re probably not using)

It feels weird to be writing a semi serious post on RTI. We’ve managed 104 posts (really!) with barely a serious word between us but now that I’ve got my Road Director responsibility, I thought I’d use the blog to pass on a training tip.

Strava. Once purely the domain of pretty graphs and KOM bragging rights has been slowly morphing to a more serious training tool for those that have paid the $50 for the Premium plan. I’ll skip the power features as the majority of us don’t have power meters or are likely already using Training Peaks for the dark arts of wattage..

Instead I’m going to talk about the one feature that is pretty much relevant to all – particularly those that travel a lot – which almost no-one seems to use or even be aware off. The free Sufferfest training videos.

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For those not aware, Sufferfest are the finest cycling training videos on earth. If you’re thinking that training videos = Coach Troy and the old Spinervals series then think again. Sufferfest is Marilyn Manson compared to Coach Troy’s Take That. Hard, well structured intervals sessions with decent music and real race footage. 1 hour of Sufferfest easily = 1.5 hours on the road as they’re such intense workouts.

The ‘Fest site actually offers a series of ~15 videos covering topics such as climbing, sprinting, race simulation, threshold work and TT’s. These can all be downloaded straight to the phone or the iPad and used when you’re stuck in some foreign land on business. Find a spin bike in the hotel gym and you’re in business!

The great news is that Strava now has 3 of the Sufferfest videos available to stream for free from their site.  The videos offered are some of the oldest Sufferfest workouts and aren’t as slick looking as the more recent releases. This rapidly becomes irrelvant when you do the sessions as your legs will be rapidly screaming blue murder and calling you a bstrd and so you’d have no time to admire any of the new HD clips anyway….

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Strava seem to have done their best to keep these videos a secret – maybe to conserve their server bandwidth… If you’ve got the Premium Strava, then simply click on > Training and then > Training Videos. I’d start with Revolver as an “easy” introduction to the videos.

So next time you get dropped on the Saturday ride, the standard “I’ve been travelling” excuse will start to lose some of it’s lustre….

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