A week of rest really makes a different. I’m faster, stronger and able to sustain a higher HR for a longer time. During the week, I did get 5 hrs of riding and a 3hr hike in. I was also getting 10hrs of sleep a night, which for me is 2 or 3 more hrs per night.
It’s hard to remember to take a break and just chill off the bike for a week, but rest weeks are really important. You’ll build strength while resting, and regain a mental edge ready for competition.