So I’ve been doing SUF for 1 year, and this will be my first TOS and I struggle with the “goal setting” part of Mental Toughness. Wondering what others have set as their ambitious, SMART goals?
“What is my TOS goal” from your question I have two goals. One, is to raise money for the David Phinney Foundation, this has always been my reason for doing the TOS, year nine for me. Two, is to finish the TOS and do no physical harm to myself as I am 67 and trying to ride 7 consecutive stages on a trainer takes its toll.
Mental toughness comes into play every stage, every day as you focus on the targets set and the effort required to complete each stage. See you at the grande departe.
Great question! This’ll be my 6th ToS and my goals vary each year depending on what else is going on. There are several simple goals like have fun, work hard, contribute to a good cause, encourage others to be active in whatever way they can, try not to take myself too seriously, be grateful to be able to choose to suffer in this way.
As for my smart goals, I’ve got some really REALLY dumb goals about 2 months post ToS so my smart goal for this ToS is to ride the focused option to the best of my capacity so as to not derail my bigger goal. This can be measured by not making any further adjustments to the ride intensity than what the coaches have set. I know it will be touch and go at times but I’ve done the MTP several times before and I’m confident I’ve got the tools to succeed.
Spend a few moments thinking about what you’d like to get out of this, your first tour, and you might find the goals set themselves. Could be better fitness, raise X amount of money, complete X/Y stages at 100% etc. Good luck with whatever you settle on and, if at the end of the day, you still haven’t set any specific goals for this ToS, don’t sweat it, just have fun. That in itself is a worthy goal.
My goal is to get through the Focused option fully on all targets and then have another solid week of training after that to set me up for more improvement through the end-of-summer and into Autumn. I’m far fitter than I was this year last time and I want to keep that going.
1st time TOS
Hit the Nuclear option (why not)
Goal: Come out the other side of It intact somehow
1st time TOS,
Needed the challenge to keep me training.
Main aim is just to compete/ get through in one piece and not flood my pain cave with sweat or tears
My first ToS as well, and I don’t have any specific goals.
Except CRUSHING the Nuclear option and trying to dodge the lazer-goat blitz, get even fitter, and get new, increased 4DP numbers to train even better in the aftermath. So there’s that.
My goal is to prove to myself that I can be disciplined. So if I get up early enough every day of the Tour, don’t procrastinate, get on the trainer, and at least start each and every ride with enough time to finish (if I don’t go down in flames first), then I have achieved my goal.
I’m selecting nuclear as funnily enough I need that sort of simple, almost binary goal.
I’m quite pleased to have done a consistent 6 weeks of the Pre-Tour training programme, but achieved that by moving events around. For the Tour I plan to simply do each ride on the scheduled morning and not take advantage of the 50hr window.
First ToS for me - the intention is to get through without destroying myself but riding at least part of every stage at 100% and some stages completely 100%
See how it goes but this is my aspiration:
Stage 1a) Joyride - 100% intensity because it’s awesome
Stage 1b) Cobbler - 100% for the first 25 minute block then reduce intensity for the other two
Stage 2) Nine Hammers - becomes Five hammers and four gentle taps
Stage 3) Fight Club - 100% - Haven’t ridden this before
Stage 4a) Half is Easy - becomes Three Quarters is Easy
Stage 4b) Goat - May reduce intensity, will probably ignore cadence targets
Stage 5) Norway - 100% - Looking forward to this one
Stage 6a) Who Dares - First block and possibly second block at 100% then reduce
Stage 6b) The Cure - First block and possibly second block at 100% then reduce
Stage 7a) Defender - Intending to complete at 100%
Stage 7b) Attacker - Intending to completre at 100%
Never done 7 days back to back so hopefully the above is a realistic goal. The ToS prep plan has definitely helped - Revolver the other day wasn’t exactly easy but it felt easier than it probably should have done. Reductions based on heart rate and RPE
Well, last two years I was all-nuclear and fell ill afterwards…
In the Netherlands the saying goes that a donkey doesn’t hit itself twice on the same rock…
So Focused Option for me, nice Rest week afterwards, and hopefully the weather clears and I can ride outside and stay healthy.
I’m very new to SUF, but have a few years of riding and fitness (of varying degrees of intensity), and I’m loving it so far. I’m doing the Focused Option, and crossing my fingers that I can keep up at the levels as set by the app. Nothing is more rewarding than discovering your limits are further away than you thought!
A useful cautionary tale.
I’m trying for 100% on all of them. I only started riding after Christmas 2020, and updated my numbers a week ago, and this week is a low/recovery week. The benefit of being new is that I’m somewhat ignorant of what lies ahead, and my numbers are still in the upward trend due to being so bad 6 weeks ago.
The week after will be 50-60% intensity rides to roll the legs over for 15-45 minutes a day. Then back to my plan with another FF on the 21st.
However, I’m not foolish and I will be using the 50 hour window if I need to, and am not afraid of dialing it back if I have to. I do not want to end up sick/injured after this, fitness comes from consistency for me.
I was in a similar boat to you last year. I wasn’t new to cycling fitness or the Sufferfest at that time, but I was essentially starting from no fitness in the December before the Tour. Like you, I was still building my fitness and knew that my 4DP numbers were at a point that were sustainable to do the Nuclear option for the Tour with confidence.
All that being said, I would recommend that you DO NOT do the FF on the 21st. Even if you’re expecting a big jump after the tour (I sure had one last year), you’ll need more recovery before attempting the FF. Not only will your numbers not be accurate to your new fitness levels, you’re also increasing the risk of becoming sick/injured at that point.
There are post-Tour training plans you can chose from that take your fatigue level into consideration. These are short, 2 week plans that finish with a FF and will set you up to nail your newly found fitness!
Best of luck on your first Tour!
Sorry, I meant 21st March. I’m an idiot but not stupid.
I’m doing next to nothing after the tour for a week - just 50-65% rides for the week to keep the legs ticking over and a few complete rest days.
I went in focussed option last year. I noticed all the rides were dialled down. I did stage 1 and thought there was too much left in the tank, so I did the rest nuclear, this year is nuclear, knowing I always dial down as needed, but would still do the tour at my max
Managed (Minions do you know how?) to do A Very Dark Place at 1.0IF today … NOW I feel ready. More taper has its place but I want those 9 Hammers to see I am recently battle hardened when I face them!
This will be my second TOS first was 2018, this year i’m raising money for a small hospice that has been caring for my cousin who sadly passed away last night. I’m almost at a £1000 so am focused on ensuring i deliver the goods.