By Founder and Head Coach, Matteo Cigala

Coming into the final week before a race, the bulk of your preparation should be done to keep your mind stress-free and relaxed. Given the importance of the next 7 days, you need to do everything you can to ensure your legs are at 100% come race day. The key components of a good final week are simple and effective as follows:


This is quite possibly the most crucial aspect, particularly if the event you are training for is long distance or likely to be intense for a long period of time. As your training tapers down in duration so too will the calories needed to sustain your body,

HOWEVER, if you are hungry EAT. The final week before the event is not the time to lose the last KG or starve your body of nutrients. Don’t go over-board and eat as if you are racing a grand-tour, but you must fuel your body for your training as best as possible.

This means eating until your content and follow your natural diet as close as possible with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

The 2 days before an event are usually where people can go wrong, the rule of thumb is to carb load and give your body the largest stores of energy you can.

This for most people will begin 2 Dinner’s before the race, eating more processed foods (pasta, white rice or bread, which is easier for your body to digest) and in slightly greater quantities than usual. The day before the race, make sure you have healthy snacks on hand and you can sip on an electrolyte drink during the day. The night before the race should be your biggest meal so you have time to digest it, eating a mountain of food on race morning with make you feel heavy and sluggish.


More is always better than less here. If you feel tired in the afternoons, try a 30min power nap instead of a second cup of coffee. Anything less than 40mins will generally not detract from your sleep that night.


After the months of training leading up to this event, it’s easy to get carried away with over doing it in the final week. The most up-to-date research shows that the best way to taper for an event is to decrease duration by as much as 50% while maintaining up to 90-95% of the intensity. This means your sessions will be much shorter but require absolute mental focus. The purpose of maintaining your intensity is to keep your legs sharp and your mind on task. Taper week is just as much a mental aspect as it is physical.


Once your allocated training time is complete it is important to ‘Switch off’ and relax to enjoy other aspects of your life. It is all too easy to focus entirely on the event and mentally exhaust yourself come race day. Allocate 30 minutes before each ride for activation/visualisation and 30 minutes after, for stretching (not more as over stretching will take away too much muscle tension which is important to feel the same on the bike) and after this forget about the event. Try to maintain a schedule as normal as possible and never change anything that you don’t need to. If its not broken, don’t fix it.

Once race day has arrived, eat a healty breakfast stay hydrated and then set your mind on the task ahead. If all the preparation is done correctly, you should feel 100% ready to go.

Matteo Cigala
​Founder & Head Coach