I went to bed last night knowing that I had to take a break from the bike tomorrow. I woke up this morning wondering why? I felt 100%...no leg fatigue, no arm fatigue, no fatigue anywhere actually, mentally I felt tough and ready to go. Whats the point of a break when you feel completely fresh? But then I remembered..."Its still January Darion, your first race is over a month from now."
Now, an athlete can look at this in two ways: Either they see it as over a month to train as hard as possible and believe that will help them get ready for the season and their first race. Or they can view it as over a month of time that can be used over training and wearing out your body well before the middle and end of the season when the races become very important.
Over training is something I learned about last year from running, and I learned the hard way unfortunately. Over the Summer I ran myself into the ground well before the season had even stared, getting up to 50-60 mile weeks. The beginning of the season was grand but after a month or so I was dead. Not tired, I was literally dead. I couldn't get out of bed, I got sick a lot because my body was so weak from having to work so hard recovering the fatigue in my muscles, and I sure as hell couldn't move my legs forward to run. I was done, my season was finished and there was still almost 2 months left of it. Of course thats not even considering how I was feeling mentally, especially after I found out that I wouldn't be finishing the season before I was even halfway through it. Over training is a very serious matter that needs to be considered and avoided very seriously. Thats what I'm doing now.
For over a month now I've been giving my body at least 2 rest days every week to be able to recover, whether I feel I need recovering or not. Today is one of those days, I don't feel tired at all, I feel ready to hop right back on the bike again but I'm not going to. A very good piece of advice that Joe Dombrowski gave me a couple weeks ago was that its so easy to get out there and blaze through every single workout as fast as you can, and you don't really realize what you're putting your body through until its too late, and you are completely out of energy and your season is done early. Pace yourself, you have to pace yourself. In running and in cycling, everything is about pace. Master that, and everything will fall into place for you.