I confess, for the most part, I’m into history like the hole in my head that is occupied by nothing more than thin air when really it should be filled with facts and fiction from yesteryear and beyond. However, on occasion something does stick in my head that just won’t shake. For example, why I retain useless information such as the Spice Girls having three consecutive Christmas number ones from ’96-98 is beyond me. Bob Dylan was right, the times are indeed a-changin’ with most of the population content on trying to hold down just one job, blissfully unaware of their polymath potential come graduation. Not in the good ol’ days, oh no, where you’re nothing in your social circle unless you’re an author, printer, scientist, musician, inventor, political theorist, civic activist, diplomat and amongst the Founding Fathers of the United States like Benjamin Franklin.
Bob Dylan was right, the times are indeed a-changin’ with most of the population content on trying to hold down just one job, blissfully unaware of their polymath potential come graduation.
Mavic-athlete-celebration-poster

Naturally you’d be right in assuming that Benjamin was a man that set himself moderately high standards and whilst his CV doesn’t mention anything about minions or the realms of Sufferlandria (#fail) there is one such quote that constantly twists my melon and goes towards significantly redeeming himself for this folly “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Enough said Ben. Hmm, maybe I did take in more from history classes after all, and perhaps I need to add hypnopedia to my own skill-set?

Before taking it square on the chin it’s always best to know who’s hurling the punches, from what angle and exactly how big their guns are. Only then is it possible to work out your own strategy of attack to reach the holy grail of sufferance. Whatever way you try and spin the sums 9 days and over 12 hours in Sufferlandria is going to make Satan look like Santa in comparison.

Be smart. Start your suffering early. Check out each stage in advance to give yourself the mental edge and save the embarrassment of being swept up and spat out early by the sag-wagon.
turbo-training While most World Tour riders have a diet that consists mainly of leafy-greens and beetroot juice remember that they only ever have to ride things like the Ronde, Roubaix, Giro or Tour to find their pathway to the gods……NOT The Tour of Sufferlandria which is a whole different beast altogether and therefore needs slightly more extreme preparation. Wash breakfast down with a fresh glass of scrails (that’s screws and nails) but be warned, it’s an acquired taste so you may have to start with drawing pins until your palate becomes accustomed to such a delicacy.
glass-of-nails

The saying ‘little and often’ lends itself to most things in life and this is especially true when it comes to eating. Graze to prevent the crave. Keep chomping throughout the day and try to get your regular carb-rich power foods in three hours before each stage to ensure that when the flag drops you’re ready to turn up the gas. Concentrate on your hydration, taking on enough fluids before, during, and after to replenish what you’ve left on the sweat-matt and remember not to overlook the importance of an energy drink with added electrolytes. As a rule of thumb “it” should be pure and plentiful, not orange and frothy.

Graze to prevent the crave. Keep chomping throughout the day and try to get your regular carb-rich power foods in three hours before each stage.
Fitting life’s menial chores (that’s another for work) around the hardest Tour on the calendar can be a challenge, especially when you’re only thinking of one thing. #suffering. I know it’s difficult but try and look interested when your boss is talking to you even if your head is elsewhere. Practice yawning with your mouth shut, it can come in extremely useful and organise your work so it takes up the bulk of the day wherever possible – remember from January 25th to February 2nd paid time is “recovery” time. Should you find you’re in need of more recovery mid-ToS then crush one stage before work and the next stage after work the following day to maximise recovery time between each. Fear not the lava fields of Mt Sufferlandria for the Col du Misery is a sacred place. Prepare well and you may just survive. ToS-2014-Banner