"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt
At the end of last year injury and illness forced me to take time off. Upon reflection, aside from the tick bite, the injury was on me. My lifestyle, interests, and physiology simply won't allow me to safely train hard for 10.5 months at this point in my life. That became painfully obvious. Not being able to run for 2 weeks and developing a blister on my foot from the night splint was all the motivation I needed to get it right this time around. As I planned my 2009 racing schedule I decided to break my training and racing into macrocycles with 2 week "transition" cycles scheduled in between. Although I already organize my training in 4 week mesocycles (with 3 weeks "on" and 1 week of "restoration") it was clear that I needed more planned periodic recovery. That's exactly where I am at the moment. Today is Day #3 of "Transition #1" and I'm happy to say that I feel 100% recovered from the Frigid Infliction this weekend. The plan is to drop my volume over the next two weeks by about 10% by principally adjusting duration(s). I'll also avoid speed work as it'll become a little less of a focus in the upcoming cycle anyway. As I look ahead the next few months will bring the Muddy Moose (14 miler), NH-12 Hour Adventure Race, and Pineland Farms 25k Trail Challenge. The next planned transition mesocycle will probably land around the second week in June before the summer push with a very busy July (24 Hours of Pats Peak & Pemi Wild Ultra), August (24HOGG & Great Adventure Challenge), and September (RTB) planned. There's no doubt that the most misunderstood and misused training variable is rest. I never did and never will, understand the "more is more" mentality. For me, I'll stick to the minimalist approach...train the very least to gain the very most.
"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction." - William James