Week 5.

I open my eyes.
It's already light outside, must be late.
My smallest son is next to me in bed - he usually comes over at around 6 am if he doesn't wake up to do so at about 2 am.

It's Saturday, so no rush. No need to initiate the coffee ritual with the usual urgency and mayhem of kids getting ready for school and kinder. A drowsy affair of sorts on most weekdays and even more so today.
I shift my attention and scan from the feet up.
Ah, sore muscles. My faaaaaaavorite.

I smile.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is my friend. My joy.
It means something's working.
This is new. This time it's different, I can tell.
No other training plan, at least in the last couple of years, had me enjoying this pain regularly.
Of course, whenever I hit the weights with a hard session of an hour or more, working to Failure on exercises, I'd soak in sweet DOMS the following days.
But here, with the SUF plan, the Strength sessions are less than half an hour and are only bodyweight (for now).
The magic is in the integration, and the work that goes into Cadence Drills, for example, after a strength session, delivers the goods. I feel it in every fiber.

It's only around noon that I find the time to hit the trainer for a quick session.
Today's menu is "Revolver" - 45 minutes comprised of 15 (cough cough) intervals of 1 minute at VO2 and 1-minute rest.
On paper - a cruise of Agonia's most excellent creek, no paddle.
On the vRoad - rather easy, I must admit.
Following yesterday's Z2 ride (The Hunted at 70%) and Yoga, in spite of the muscle pain, I've recovered pretty well.
Admittedly, I had some concerns about this session, dreading something like "A Very Dark Place" - a short session yet brutal with the same amount of time spent in Z4 overall.
The intervals were at 308 Watts (4.5 W/Kg) - a little below my MAP of 314W - spinning at 100 rpm.
As an "Attacker" and having "Repeated Efforts" as a strength - these types of sessions are right up my alley.

My Dark Places are around the 4-5 minute mark at slightly higher efforts. "A Very Dark Place" has you riding at VO2MAX for the same amount of time (about 15 minutes total), yet it's immeasurably harder! On AVDP I was at Z4 HR for 30% of the time. On Revolver today, less than 2%... That's a world of a difference!

Yet, I was cautious. I was not letting the relatively easy effort on the first few intervals guide me on a foolish optimistic sidetrack heading to the Bogs Of Doom.
Gave respect - A Very Dark Place certainly taught me a lesson.
Luckily, I finished this session with plenty more in the tank (could have easily pushed another set of these given some recovery and a small snack) and, ultimately, felt grateful.
Maybe this is how it's meant to be.
Maybe the Evil Genious (GvA?) behind The Sufferfest training plans has me right where he wants me.
Quite possibly, I'm going to regret this and get flogged by a Minion, but maybe it's only because this is the first week after the Rest Week, and Hell awaits.
(In fact, I had a peek at the next couple of weeks, and Hell will be a Caribean Cruise compared with what I'm about to go through.)

Bring. It. On.

Xert still has nice graphs