"Resting hard is the part most athletes screw up." - Joe Friel.
Yes I know this. Resting properly is important. I have learnt this before. I got sick multiple times last year because I didn't "rest" enough. But just because I know what to do, does it mean I really do it?...
Even though I use a training program that is "set" for me, I recently realised (with some help - thanks MW and BG) that I am still not resting "enough".
In contrast, my workouts are done correctly; all in the right zones and for the right amount of time. But I have become "slack" on my rest/recovery days. I went back through my training data and HR files, and I have noticed an increasing trend to go too hard on my easy days, simply because I feel "good" on those days. So rather than recovering and feeling truly "fresh" for the next day of training, I am building up an endless amount of endurance on my rest days... something I really don't need!
I guess I have been a bit "lucky" so far in that my lack of rest has not led me (yet) to illness and injury this year... but hopefully now that I am a lot more conscious of what it really means to go "easy" on a recovery day, my training and racing days will feel even better.
"Training must be either hard or easy - never in between. 'Hard' is related to the event for which one is training. It doesn't mean maximum effort all the time. 'Easy' means zone 1. If you make the easy days easy, the hard days can be truly hard. And race fitness improves.
If, on the other hand, easy becomes moderate, then hard also becomes moderate. And there is little progress." - Joe Friel