So, here's the deal. I'm suffering from Overtraining Syndrome. Yes, it's a real thing. I'm overcooked, my system is burnt out, I have something like a stress fracture, but for my entire system, rather than just a bone. When the doctor diagnosed it last Thursday he described me as an exercise junkie who had overdosed. He then berated me for not having enough rest in my program. From that moment on I thought he was pretty rad (apparently being Steve Hooker's doctor when he won gold at Beijing wasn't enough).
But then he outlined some rules for me. Definitely two days off a week, and that means absolutely nothing related to training at all. Go get a massage, he said, or see a movie. He even wrote the latter down on my instruction sheet. And a minimum six week break every year. That sounded pretty good.
It got worse though. I'm still off the bike - completely - until the start of March. And then no more than fifteen minute rides on alternate days for the first week. No intensity whatsoever, just ticking the legs over. The next week, twenty minute rides. And so on. After the first month I'm allowed to do two sessions in a row, and a bit longer, with maybe some low level intensity. Apparently it's going to take me a minimum of six weeks to build it back up.
That sounds shit, and it probably will be, but I'm freaking stoked. Knowing what's wrong - and how to fix it - comes as such a relief, that I have no doubts whatsoever that I'll stick to this stupid, lame-ass program like glue. I want to get back to where I was at this time last year, and if I have to do a series of fifteen minute bike rides on non-consecutive days, well, I'll get that job done.
Edit: There's some really great stuff on overtraining here. I told you it was a real thing.