The final push begins tomorrow and it will be intense. For the next two weeks the hours will come down to about 12/week but the number of steady state (SS) and tempo rides(TR) will go up a lot.
I will be getting a VO max test and a lactic threshold test Friday which will help fine tune the intensity of the intervals. A by-product of those tests is a max power measurement. I don't think this is going to be any fun at all.
I also need to lose the last 5 pounds I had targeted. I have managed to drop about 15 pounds but I need to get that last approximately 2 kg off so that my watts/kg target is as high as I can get it.
Finally, as a "graduation" exercise I am planning a major four day weekend starting 8-14. The intent is to ride 400 miles Thur-Sat and then about 80 on Sunday. With climbs these days will approximate, but probably will be harder, than most of the days on the cross country ride.
A lot of the intense intervals will be done in my Memphis apartment on a trainer. The bike is a Cannondale T2000 touring bike. That means it is designed for long distance riding with a load of panniers. It is all aluminum. But the bike is almost insignificant as long as it fits perfectly. On the left you can just see that the rear wheel is in a CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer. That makes the indoor riding nearly identical to riding outdoors. The rear wheel has a PowerTap hub in it to measure power, cadence, and heart rate. The floor is covered in rubber mats. There are three fans including a ceiling fan not visible. It gets very hot doing these intervals on a stationary trainer. Very hot. Hence the handkerchief. The front wheel is in a block to keep it stable and the bike level.
The ride is getting close, I am getting excited, and I have a lot of work to do.