Well, before Etape anyway. Chances are I'll line up for the Audax event in August looking for a gold medal - lets face it no-one could know the route better than me!
Anyway since I'm now tapering I figured I'd go all out for the 60 mile hilly route, i.e. increase intensity but reduce duration. It was surprisingly windy in the latter half and I lost 4 minutes in a stupid traffic jam on Box hill with cars blocking the road for the annual Box hill fete.
So I'm pleased with a time of 4:10 which is 18 minutes faster than my previous PB for the route. What really surprised me was with all that additional effort the return wasn't that significant.
Looking at the heart rate distribution from today and then from late January (just after the Lanzarote camp) it is clear that I'm better off keeping it in the sweet spot and staying out of the red zone - is that pain worth 15-20 minutes? Or was my performance impacted by recovery from the Alpe d'Huez and Ventoux climbs during this week... gotta admit I didn't exactly feel fresh today. No more hard sessions this week - sweet spot spinning on the turbo only.
So, over the next week I've got to decide what target heart rates I'm going to use for climbing and then rolling hills. I know from today that they won't be above 165 (my lactate threshold).