Okay, after today my second base phase will be over and it will be time for some serious rest. During my second base phase I put in a lot of miles and, while I feel tired now, I know the hard work will pay off in the coming weeks. I said in a previous post that after my second base phase I would be a new man...stronger and fit enough to tackle the harder training to come. Well, things haven't changed and I feel stronger then ever at this point in the season. I am very motivated and my competitive fire is coming on strong. Really, I couldn't ask for more at this point.
So, for the next week I will be resting...just some very light workouts, plenty of sleep, and good times with Jess and that little fuzzy creature that keeps beating me up on my runs. I am a big believer in taking your rest weeks very seriously. They are a time to rest physically and mentally. I always hear about and see people training as many hours during their rest week as they did during their base or build weeks or they keep up hard workouts but train only a few hours less..."oh, I just went easy so I am rested” or "I trained 15 hrs instead of 20 but I got in some quality sessions." Are you kidding? Seriously, get some real rest. Sure you might feel like you can keep training b/c it is so early in the season but if you don't make sure to recover properly you will be burned out come sept/oct. Trust me, I have made these mistakes and after ten years I have come to understand what real rest is and how essential it is to racing fast when it counts.
So, my advice to everyone is to take rest/recovery weeks seriously and to give your body and mind a break. No hard workouts, long rides, long runs...do some things you don't always get to do like relax at the beach, hang out with good friends, take a walk with your spouse and if you truly don't want to train then don't. I am not saying hang up your gear for a week but just don't worry about trying to cram in workouts. Keep the stress to a minimum and get in some easy sessions (perhaps 3 swims, 2 shorter rides, 2 runs). You won't lose fitness...I promise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will however be excited to get back to structured training, you will be fully rested and you will continue to enjoy the hard work throughout your long season. I have a rule during easy days and rest weeks...if I don't have a smile on my face while I am training and I am not truly enjoying what I am doing I call it a day and find something that will make me happy. This rule keeps me in check during times of recovery and prevents me from doing things that will leave me burned out and tired.
Well, you know my schedule for the next week so I will check back in when I am fully rested and ready to tackle my third base phase. Have a good one and go enjoy that awesome weather (in California at least)!
--Kick back, relax and enjoy the ride!