I used to hate recovery weeks. Cutting back on training made me nervous... like I was going to become totally detrained or something if every workout wasn't as long or as fast as I could make it.
Last year was really the first year where I could honestly say that I actually took some good recovery time between hard weeks (thanks, Jen, for making me do that! :) and I saw firsthand what a huge difference it made. Not just in race performance, but across my world. I felt better, my mood was better, I was able to put together 3-4 solid weeks in a row of very good training, and I didn't feel the least bit burnt out at the end of the year. Oh, and I raced pretty well too.
So I'm carrying those lessons with me this year and planning regular easier weeks with reduced volume. I am in the middle of one of those weeks right now and you know what? I'm not even resisting it! I'm so proud of myself. It's like I've 'grown' as a triathlete or something because I can accept these weeks without stressing out about losing all of my hard earned fitness. Ha! :)
But the proof is in the puddling, you know? It's not like the whole week is all easy. No, there are some short fast very hard efforts thrown in. Yesterday we had a good swim set planned... 2 x (2 x 200's VERY FAST with only 10 sec rest, then 100 very easy). I really had no idea how fast those 200's would be so that's why 10 sec rest instead of actually on an interval... but we finished the first one and I had to do a double take at my watch because I've never seen a time like that on a fast 200 in that pool. I had enough time to smile and blurt out "WOW!" and then take off again on #2. I felt awesome. Did it again on the second set, felt super, then got out before I had done too much work that would require a nap later in the day.
And so it goes this week. I'm still taking care of myself as if I'm training hard even though I am not. I figure the idea is to be completely refreshed at the end of this week so I can put a good race effort in on Sunday and then hit the next 3 week block with good energy. So I'm wearing my compression socks around during the day...
And of course then Moana wants to wear her socks so she digs them out and brings them to me saying, "Socks! Socks!" So I help her put them on.
I guess I should teach her that we don't actually wear these socks while training... we are too cool for that*... the socks are just for recovery (and they stay inside this house).
*But we are not too cool to wear a diaper while riding a bike.