Sometimes in the week leading up to an event, when backing off the overall time on the bike and with reduced efforts, it's easy to start doubting and start wondering "is there something else I should do to be ready?" And it becomes difficult to trust your training. Here are some of the doubts I deal with:
SHOULD I DO AN EXTRA HARD WORKOUT?
Sometimes I feel strongest after a week of doing hard workouts, so I start to wonder if I should fit in an extra workout to give me that extra little boost. I have to remind myself that it better to be assured that I'm rested enough than take the off chance that an extra workout will bring form. Doing an extra work out certainly won't raise overall fitness before the event, so I just have to trust my training.
I FEEL SLUGGISH
Sometimes I feel sluggish after taking a few rest days, particularly if they are days totally off the bike. The best way for me personally to avoid that feeling is to do active recovery on the bike (ultra slow), or do a core and upper body weights workout. It helps to keep things active without making me tired. But however sluggish I feel, I just have to trust my training and that things will be right when I get on the bike on race day.
I WASN'T FAST YESTERDAY/LAST WEEK/RIGHT NOW
It's rare, but sometimes my last workout before a race doesn't go so well, and I worry about my form. Interestingly, those are sometimes the times that I get my best race efforts. Just got to trust my training and that what I've done coupled with recovery is the best and surest method for getting speed on race day.
I DON'T FEEL GOOD
Sometimes I think a rest week makes me feel a little down in the dumps - the lack of endorphins from exercise along with just less time doing what I love (riding!) causes that. But often that leads to greater pleasure when I get back on the back for the race, which results in a positive and determined attitude - so I just need to trust my training and know that things will be fine when I'm back in the saddle on race day.
I FEEL FAT
Sometimes because of working out less I'll feel out of shape or fat, and will have the knee jerk reaction that I should diet a little to be a little leaner going into a race. Really, gaining a 1/4 of a pound or so but being more powerful is far better than losing a 1/4 lb and depriving your muscles of what they need. Just have to trust my training and that my body will be right where it needs to be when I wake up on race day.
Whatever the thought or feeling I have that makes me question what I'm doing a few days before a race I just try and put out of my mind. It's normal, and the faster you put those sorts of doubts out of your mind the better. Because truly, there's nothing you can do in terms of gaining overall fitness at that point, and the only thing you could do is harm your chance by increasing fatigue or not eating enough.