"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
Last fall was a sobering reminder that for me, 9 months of training and racing is now just a little too much considering where I am in my life. When AT forced me to shut things down for nearly a month and sleep with a God forsaken night splint I made a deal with the devil that if I could ever run again (that's how bad it was by the way) I would reorganize my training and make sure I didn't willfully bring this on again. It got better and I got busy at the drawing board working on a preventative plan for 2009. At the outset the strategy was simple, continue to train in 4 week cycles (3 "hard", 1 "recovery") but schedule two week transition cycles approximately every 6-8 weeks. These transition cycles were intended to provide physiologic and psychological restoration from the rigors of 1.) training, 2.) racing, and 3.) life in general. Everyone knows that our competitive pursuits are intimately intertwined with our personal lives. Nothing happens in a vacuum. For instance, when our training loads are exceedingly high for protracted periods of time it can cause both physical (ie. altered sleep patterns, soft tissue breakdown) and emotional reactions (ie. increased irritability). I'm a firm believer in training the minimal amount to achieve the maximal results, but despite this tried and true theory I still broke down. I also subscribe to the theory of taking rest before you need to rest. With less than a week to go in this, my second transition cycle of the year, I feel very rested and eager to take on the second half of what is shaping up to be the busiest racing schedule of my competitive life.
"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