La Flamme Rouge

6 Days to go.

Last kilometer. La Flamme Rouge.
I've gone under the kite, as Carlton Kirby might say.
Into the final rest week of the 12-week Sufferfest Training Plan I go.
As a reminder, this is the General Cycling Plan, Advanced Level, Indoor Only, VO2 focus, with all the toppings: Strength, Yoga, and Mental Toughness.

At this point, it's interesting to look at the power zone durations for the span of the plan thus far:

4.3% spent in Zone 5, and another 1.6% in Zone 6 - and since there were not too many sprints in this plan, let's assume that the NM+AC work is there to support MAP development. We combine these two figures to ~6% (3.5hrs).
I'm very curious to see the impact this will have on the upcoming 4DP Full Frontal Test.

Meanwhile, this rest week is a blessing.
I'm utterly exhausted.
To illustrate a point, last night, I rode the 90min Endurance+ ride, which generally puts me in a hazy comatose state. This time it was so challenging that I had to engage Mental Toughness techniques to get through it!
I may have been sleeping a little less these past few nights because of some extra work, but not to the extent that 2.4-2.7W/kg becomes a challenge.
So full credit goes to The Sufferfest plan and the masterminds behind it.
Pending the 4DP test, this is the best evidence, in my mind, that the build-up of stress and strain is right on point.
It would have been next to impossible to finish a harder workout - which is why a harder workout wasn't on the calendar!
To finish a Peak block with a Zone 2 ride that becomes a struggle indicates thought, planning, and deep understanding of the body's reaction to stress and the need for recovery.

On the menu for this week is primarily recovery work, Mental preparation, and some taper efforts. Then on Monday Primers and Full Frontal on Tuesday.
(forsooth, ye can laud in the comments, thou nonexistent reader)

I've already started to think about the next plan. Not sure if simply going to run through the same cycle again, based on the new 4DP results, or maybe do something a little bit different such as The Sufferfest Virtual Racing plan (which incorporates weekly races).
I miss racing to be honest (Crit City is coming to Zwift!)
Also, I want to become A Knight Of Sufferlandria this winter, but that's a different story.

One of the things I noted past is that by following The Sufferfest plan, I never got the chance to hammer it in a race or go for a new PR or "just ride" going as hard as I want. I'm not complaining, just noting the fact because it stems from the single psychological need I've identified, and that is to prove to myself that I'm improving in the absence of empirical evidence.
I wrote about the fact that the training plan doesn't have anything more difficult than the 4DP test intervals - so you're never breaking any records or PBs while on the plan. I accept that, but having to wait 12 weeks to see how I knock the MAP record out of the park is undoubtedly a test of patience.
I think that a virtual racing plan with weekly opportunities to put the hammer down might answer the (my) need for regular checkpoints to sample improvement.
In any case, I'll wait, obviously, until completing the next 4DP test before deciding what to do on "the day after."

Coming up next on the scrolls Of A Knight To Be is the Event Planning work I'll be doing this week in preparation, and setting the goals. Afterward, we can all sit back here, drink Real-Pagne, and dance on the torn chamois of Old Me. Muahahaha.