Take a rest day 2 days before, not the day before.
If you’re training hard to get ready for a race, century, day-long tour or other important event, you want to be feeling fresh and lively on the big day.
Logic may say to rest the day before, but we’ll bet you’ll feel sharper if you ride instead — as long as you ride right.
Let’s say the event is on Saturday. Reduce your training time during the week to start saving energy. But continue pushing some hills and doing some sprints or short time trials. This intensity will keep you sharp. Just don’t overdo it.
Then use Thursday for your rest day. On Friday, spin for an hour or so. Once you’re warmed up, throw in 3 or 4 short, fast efforts. Don’t go all out, just wind it up for 20-30 seconds, then spin easily before the next one.
These accelerations will “wake up” your legs. You’ll feel livelier for the ride than if your body were basically motionless for the previous 24 hours.