I have been trying to be flexible with my training this cycle so that I don't feel any pressure and don't get stressed out about not being able to do a certain workout on a particular day. What I did make sure to schedule was recovery weeks. When I was a swimmer I was always the one to get injured so I am trying to be proactive and prevent any potential injuries.
I was planning on taking a recovery week next week since I have started off pretty slowly with training. I would normally do three hard weeks followed by a recovery week but week two of training hard pretty low volume so I figured I could get away with pushing the recovery week back.
When I got back to school on Sunday night I discovered that my hip flexors were pretty sore. They were only sore to touch though, so I iced them for a little and didn't think about them again. Then on Wednesday as I was walking down the stairs after class I was having this weird pain in my left leg. It felt like a joint was inflamed or something. I'm still not sure what it was but it was pretty darn uncomfortable.
I decided to take an unplanned rest day on Wednesday since I didn't want to do anything to further aggravate my leg. I was surprisingly tired and went to bed at 10, much earlier than my normal 12-1 bedtime. On Thursday when I was thinking about my workout for the day I just especially lacking motivation. It wasn't my normal I-would-rather-sit-on the-couch-than-workout. It was more of an I-need-a-break-before-I-have-a-mental-breakdown-and-quit-school feeling.
Then I realized that my body was craving a rest week. The thought of a rest week excited me so much that I knew it was for the best. And after two full days of rest I am now itching to get back out there for a workout.
In past training I was stuck in vicious cycles of not sticking to the plan, getting burnt out, taking a few days off to rest, feeling guilty for taking rest days, and consequentially not taking any rest weeks so that I could try to make up my missed workouts.
At the beginning of the week I ignored my small aches and pains and lack of motivation and tried to power through. But I'm glad that I listened to my body and took a necessary rest week so I can go into the next training segment with enthusiasm and ready to tackle my upcoming workouts.