Sufferfest Releases Cyclocross Training Plans


By Jared Eborn — Want to kick some serious tail at the local cyclocross races this fall and winter? Lack the time and terrain to sufficiently train for such a goal?

No sweat.

Check that, there will be lots of sweat.

No problem. The folks who brought you The Sufferfest – the acclaimed series of cycling training videos – have hooked up with Dig Deep Coaching’s Dan Fleeman, and former professional cyclist at the World Tour level, and British cyclocross national champion Ian Field to present a pair of cyclocross-specific training plans.

Working with the indoor training videos (or without if you’d rather follow the written workout details instead of the videos), the expert advice and detailed outdoor sessions in the hurt locker, the Sufferfest offers a pair of training plans – for the Novice and Intermediate racer.

“We know you’re busy. So we’ll start the first week asking for just over 6.5 hours from you. As the weeks go by, we’ll ask you for more (and less) time, but never more than 8 hours,” the training plan states. “It’s not much, so you should be able to find the time to make it happen if you’re organized and plan ahead.”

The plans are tailored for a variety of levels and can be easily adapted. With flexible schedules – you train when you have the time – the goal is to build racers from the newcomers to the sport to those who have already tasted success into winners.

“Together, we’ve created something which brings the best of indoor, offroad and road riding together to get you maximum capability in the minimum time” David McQuillen of the Sufferfest writes. “You can use this plan year-round, although starting it about seven weeks before your first race will have the most impact.”

While Utah’s cyclocross season is right around the corner, McQuillin said the training plans can help a new or veteran cross racer peak just in time for state championships or specific races.

“Success at cyclocross requires optimum fitness and precise skills,” he said. “If you want results in races, and have limited time to train, then the focused volume but varied efforts and drills of this plan will give you the best foundation from which to achieve success.”

Using the expertize of Fleeman and Field, the plans focus on improving a cyclist’s fitness through a variety of intense workouts. There is also attention paid to skills, endurance, climbing and more.

“Fitness is only one part of the picture in cyclcross. You also need great skills. The ability to dismount at speed, to get back on, to take corners on loose surfaces, to ride off camber banks…the list goes on. Our skills sessions are designed to help you practice the key areas you need to be proficient in come race day,” McQuillin says. “Our Threshold Booster sessions are specifically designed to help raise your threshold and most drills include riding blocks of 15-30 minutes around 90-105% of FTP (functional threshold performance).”

The novice workouts begin with a fitness test to establish a base FTP. From there, it’s onward and upward – unless, of course, your Sufferfest video happens to be the Downward Spiral.

With interval workouts, rest days and recovery workouts built into the training plans, the minions at the Sufferfest aim to have you whipped into shape.

McQuillin said the training plans, coupled with race experience, will have cyclocross racers ready to match attacks and launch their own at high intensity.

“These moments – where you’re hanging on by the skin of your teeth and begging your legs to just hold out for a few more moments – are known as Maximum Efforts,” he said. “They use your anaerobic system and are the kind of effort you can sustain for no more than a minute or so. They take everything out of you and need quite a bit of time to recover from. Our maximum effort booster sessions will take you into these painful moments – it is, after all, the only way to help you get better at them. Not only will they help make you faster, but they’ll help you recover faster as well -all so you’re ready to go with the next attack!.”

The Sufferfest cyclocross training plans sell for $29.99, do not include the indoor cycling videos and are available at


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