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Do you warm up before a ride?(13 posts)

Do you warm up before a ride?gsatex
Aug 9, 2002 4:10 AM
While watching this year's TDF, I noticed that several of the riders were warming up before the race. Being new to cycling, my question is how should I warm up prior to venturing off on a ride? I heard that if you do not warm up properly, your legs quickly get hit with lactic acid.
Why would you?TJeanloz
Aug 9, 2002 4:24 AM
Unless you're daily trying to set a land speed record, why wouldn't you just go easy for the first ten miles or so of your ride? Pre-ride stretching is recommended, but I really don't see the point of warming up, unless you're consistantly trying to set or beat a record or something else that requires a 100% effort on the 'ride'.
re: Do you warm up before a ride?KillerQuads
Aug 9, 2002 4:52 AM
You are right that if you go 100% from the start, you will get lactic acid build up that will hinder your overall performance. Just take it easy and concentrate on breathing at the start. Once you start sweating, you can begin to go all out.

I once went on a ride with a cross country runner. He was very fit but had an ego thing and sprinted from the very start of the ride, so I let him go. I caught him about 2 miles down the road. At the end of 15 miles he was in agony from the lactic acid he built up in the first two miles and was riding about 8 miles an hour.

This next story is not so much about warming up. I worked as a life guard at a lake and one of my coworkers was a track runner who kept goading me that running was better than biking and always wanted to race me (on foot). Our boss wanted us to carry two wooden saw horses (for traffic control) to the top of a steep hill. I told him I was ready to race him. If you every have to race a runner, do it uphill to use your quads and calves. He was very embarassed being so far behind when I reached the top first. And our boss was impressed with the all out effort from both of us.
during a ridetarwheel
Aug 9, 2002 5:25 AM
I always ride better if I take it easier the first 5 miles or so, but I can't see any reason to warm up before riding unless you are warming up for a race. Conversely, rides that have toasted me are almost always ones where I'm riding with a group that starts out too fast. It also helps me if I stretch before riding, particularly my hamstrings.
first 15 minutesBreakfast
Aug 9, 2002 5:36 AM
I ride easy the first 15 minutes then I'll do 3-5 spin-ups with 30 seconds between each and then resume a comfortable pace before any hard efforts.

If you're racing, I think you need a warm-up strategy that includes getting off the bike and stretching. For group rides you won't get an opportunity to stop and stretch but stretching needs to be incorporated into a post ride activity.
Only when riding the TDF...mr_spin
Aug 9, 2002 7:17 AM
If you are in the TDF, it's a good idea to warm up. Often, the racing starts right from the gun, and the first hour or so is devoted to chasing back undesirable breaks.

I'm guessing that you aren't riding the TDF. If all you are doing is a ride (not a race), warm up is not necessary.

Even in the TDF, there is a chance for warm up. A little known part of most stages is called the "neutralized start." Usually they start the stage in the center of a town with a big fanfare and ceremony, but that's not the real start. It's basically a parade, as they ride a few kilometers to get out of town, where the real start is. That's where the clock starts. There's no ceremony or fanfare here. Typically it's just a white line painted across the road and a flag.
re: Do you warm up before a ride?Rob March
Aug 9, 2002 7:19 AM
Can someone define a proper warmup? I am currently pretty new to road cycling. I've been doing 30 mile rides the last few weekends, hoping to build up to a half century by the beginning of September. If there is a technique to help me ride better for longer distances, I'd love to hear it. Thanks.

proper warm upmr_spin
Aug 9, 2002 7:31 AM
Just ride easy for 10-15 minutes. There are no set rules.

Basically, don't start hammering right from the start. Ease into it. Loosen up the muscles (not sure if that is technically accurate, but it works as a general description), get the systems working.
Just go easy at the beginning of a rideTomS
Aug 9, 2002 7:33 AM
If you're doing 30 mile rides, maybe spend the first 5-10 miles at a slow pace, just spinning. You'll get a feel for how long your body needs to warm up. Ironically, as I'm getting in better shape this year and going for longer rides, it seems to take me longer to get warmed up! Sometimes it'll be 30-40 minutes into a ride before I really feel things start to flow. But if I get impatient and don't go easy at the beginning, I'll regret it later in the ride. A good tip here is that if you're riding with other people, ride to the meeting point so you get your warmup in; that way it doesn't matter if they just take off from the start.

Don't forget to cool down at the end too, not as long as you warm up, but maybe just go easy for the last couple of miles.
Jack Lalane said...PsyDoc
Aug 9, 2002 7:23 AM
..."What a bunch of horse***t! Does a lion warm up before it chases a gazelle? No! It's not natural!" (Posted by: OffTheBack). Well, if Jack had stopped to think about it, then he would have realized that lions do warm up before chasing its prey in the form of stalking. I tend to ride in 39x17 for about 6-8 miles and then up the speed.
Jack Lalane said...taar44
Aug 9, 2002 7:44 AM
The above post had me LMFAO!!(nm)
Jack Lalane said...mr_spin
Aug 9, 2002 7:52 AM
Every year on his birthday, Jack Lalane would swim the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, towing a barge with his teeth.

He's a crazy man! Are you going to listen to a crazy man?
We can actually learn something from these lionsLC
Aug 9, 2002 11:23 AM
Lions don't just wake up from an afternoon nap and sprint after a gazelle. First they stretch and then pace slowly around. Then they usually have a long trek to get down wind around the edge of several miles of grassland. Whenever I do something like that, I have my best results in races.