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Poll: Do you warm up and cool down? (Be honest now)(29 posts)

Poll: Do you warm up and cool down? (Be honest now)Kristin
Jun 9, 2003 6:21 AM
Also, what is the purpose of doing a warm up and cool down. I always hear people tauting the value of a proper warm-up, but why? What technically happens when I warm up that's good for me???
Jun 9, 2003 6:27 AM
although my warmup and cooldown pace isn't a whole lot slower than my working pace. i is slow.

for me, it's just a mattr of age and creaky bones requiring a bit of time to get into the flow before pushing them really hard.
Honestly??? No, not really...biknben
Jun 9, 2003 6:31 AM
Warmup? Nah!

The only time I make a point of warming up is if I'm planning to do some type of intervals or other stenuous stuff.

If I'm just going for a ride I just take it easy for a little while. I won't just hammer out the door.
No, not technically, but I do find that by ridingIamhoosier
Jun 9, 2003 6:34 AM
5-10 miles, stopping for a drink of water, walk around the bike twice, that I am much stronger and ready to ride. Guess it gets the blood flowing better.

Cool down--if drinking a cold beer counts, yes!
I dotxcross
Jun 9, 2003 6:35 AM
Here is a good example. Every day at lunch I ride for 45-55 minutes. I can average about 19.5 to 20 mph during this ride. I am only able to warm up for about a mile or so and cool down the same. At the end of the ride my legs are burning.

This weekend I did a 52.5 mile route. The first 45 minutes I took it easy, average of about 17.5. The remainder of the ride I was easily able to average about 21-22 and when I was done my legs felt great. Warm ups are very important.
I do, but then..........Len J
Jun 9, 2003 6:47 AM
I'm old and pay for it if I don't.

I usually ride the first 5 or so miles spinning to warm up & loosen my leg muscles. When I don't, I und up really feeling it in my Quads especially. When I warm up properly, I am much looser & able to handle harder efforts easier.

I'll usually cool down by riding about a mile around the developement slowly before going in. I watch my heart rate until it's around 110. I am definatly less sore after a ride when I cool down.

Not on purpose...JL
Jun 9, 2003 6:48 AM
It just works out that way, I guess. I try not to push to hard in the beginning and when I'm near the end I tend to let up a little and spin into home. I do try to remember to stretch after the ride, with a little on-bike stretching during the ride.

Warming up, or getting the muscles "primed for use", helps avoid injury. If you push too hard too fast without warming up you risk overuse injuries by "shocking the system" too quickly. The cool down helps with recovery.

Happy riding.

Jun 9, 2003 6:59 AM
It takes me 30 to 40 minutes to really warm up on the bike. It makes a big difference. Warm up is very important if you are going to be doing some sort of hard effort. It really does actually raise the temperature of your muscles and allows the capilaries to expand increasing blood flow.

As for cool down, yeah, I do that too, but not nearly as long. Usually 15 minutes or so of easy spinning after a really hard ride is enough.

Going slow all the time works for us. nmMB1
Jun 9, 2003 7:08 AM
Now you must define slowKristin
Jun 9, 2003 7:30 AM
With all those miles you put in, I can't imagine what slow is for you.
Faster than the cruiser, but ...Humma Hah
Jun 9, 2003 9:52 AM
... a good rec rider pace. On my first ride with MB1 and Miss M, when they were in the company of a few other riders on roadbikes, I kept up to about the 8 mile point, when Miss M picked up the pace and they pulled away. On that ride, I kept up a steady pace of around 15 mph, nonstop, for the first 55 miles, and on two occasions found the paceline was actually behind me ... catching up after they stopped at a store.

Riding with just me a few months later, by about 90 miles I was so slow Miss M was about to fall asleep. I suspect they can pour on the coal if they want to, but prefer to ride at a leisurly pace. But they'll hold that pace indefinitely, when the rest of us are down to a crawl.
Start and finish downhill.dzrider
Jun 9, 2003 7:53 AM
I live on a 1.1 hill that's part of an 800 foot climb away from the river. On all but the coldest days I start riding down hill or accross the hill on a flat stretch to get my legs spinning easily. I also like to finish by coming down the hill to my home. On very cold mornings, I'll take off riding up the hill to get warm - in a temperature sense - before I encounter the wind chill of faster riding.
If it is just a ride, I take the first two miles easy.MR_GRUMPY
Jun 9, 2003 8:00 AM
On a training ride, I hate it when somebody puts the hammer down, right out of the parking lot. On a normal ride, I like to keep my HR down in the 130's or 140's for the first few miles to warm up.
In a competition, warm up is critical. You have to be ready to go all-out from the gun. For example, yesterday I had a 40K Time Trial. It was raining out, so I only warmed up for about 6 miles. After the race, I cooled down for another 5 miles.
If you're just going for a ride, a cool down isn't neccessary. Just slow down the last mile.
re: Poll: Do you warm up and cool down? (Be honest now)JS Haiku Shop
Jun 9, 2003 8:17 AM
not sure about the physiologic stuff.

yes, i warm up, on shorter rides. when i'm riding the fast 30/35-mile club ride, i'll ride 5-20 miles beforehand. i'm lucky to have the time. on longer rides, the ride itself is the warm-up. recently i've needed 20+ miles to get the engine going.

any rides i do from home (most rides, since i'll ride to the ride start) finish without a cool down. i live at the top of a large stepped hill, so no matter how slow i go up it, it's not a cool down.

Not deliberately, really.PseuZQ
Jun 9, 2003 8:53 AM
Like a lot of the other posters have mentioned, it does take me a while to "feel warmed up" on the bike. So for me, it's more of a psychological thing. If I don't feel super in the first 45 minutes, I've learned to recognize that there's not something "wrong" with me, I just need to keep going a little longer.
yes, but depends on the rideDougSloan
Jun 9, 2003 9:06 AM
If I'm going out for a (rare these days) century, a warmup is pretty senseless, because it would be my ride pace, anyway.

If I'm going out to hammer, then I just ride easy the first and last 2-3 miles.

For something like a time trial, warmup is critical.

re: Poll: Do you warm up and cool down? (Be honest now)shokhead
Jun 9, 2003 9:09 AM
Yes,about 2 mile warmup and a mile cooldown.
up yes, but not always down :(LC
Jun 9, 2003 9:15 AM
usually after a race I just want to get off the bike and breath! During training I am usually better about the cool down though.

If I don't warm up, then I won't be able to go as hard and I know I will die as soon as I red line.
45-60 minutes before a race...merckx56
Jun 9, 2003 9:27 AM
The 45 minutes is a bare minimum and 60 is the norm. In the last 15 minutes, I blow out the HR and the lungs with a couple of maximum efforts. A good hard warmup gets the blood to the legs, heart and lungs and prepares you for the effort to come. After a 60 minute crit, it's usually a 30 minute spin down in a VERY small gear, to spin the sheott out of the legs.
A good, "hard" warmup??? Isn't that a bit contradictory? nmKristin
Jun 9, 2003 10:38 AM
you should have hard efforts in your warm upclimbo
Jun 9, 2003 10:56 AM
but not constantly hard. You need to simulate a hard effort or two in the warm up to prepare your muscles.
This is very interesting. I'm going to start a new thread.Kristin
Jun 9, 2003 11:00 AM
Look up!!
Jun 9, 2003 11:35 AM
Don't go balls-out from the moment you start warming up. I gently ramp up the effort and gearing throughout the duration of the warmup. I end with the hard efforts (maybe 60 seconds each) and spin down for about 5 minutes before I get off the trainer, ready to start the race.
Usually, but some of my best rides start with a sprint ...Humma Hah
Jun 9, 2003 9:42 AM
... I usually take it easy for about the first two miles. By half a mile I have a few aches and pains, but by two miles they have vanished and I can open up.

But on a number of occasions, I've seen a suitable rabbit ahead to chase right at the start. Running down another bike, or trying to, seems to light off some metabolic switch, and I'll end up riding about 30 miles or more noticably faster than usual.

Several of these rides have also ended up in a severe coughing spell and a bonk-like power loss around 50 miles, when my exhuberence catches up with me.
re: Poll: Do you warm up and cool down? (Be honest now)4bykn
Jun 9, 2003 11:43 AM
Absolutely, I've found as I age a 5-10 minute warm-up is necessary. Otherwise I can never seem to hit a "groove" when riding. Incidentally, the couple times I've ridden with you, I noted to myself that you don't warm-up. That first time, I thought(as I was ready for a nice easy start) you were going to kick my a$$ on the ride.
Thats partly why I was asking. I tend to shoot out of the gateKristin
Jun 9, 2003 11:59 AM
For me, its hard not to start off hard--even when I make it my goal. By nature, I want to ramp up quickly, go hard for 20 minutes, then chill out and coast home. One of the negative consequences has been seriously knotted up traps. When I push, I tighten my shoulders, then, when I'm tired I take on that lazy rider posture and my traps just knot up. I couldn't look over my right shoulder all last week--grrr. So I've been wondering if the whole warm-up thing is a myth or if there is some real basis for it. If I know WHY I'm warming up, perhaps it will be easier to to stick to it.

I was also skipping my weekday rides, then trying to make up for it on Sunday. This was a big mistake. So I've changed my goal from riding 1 hour 3 x's a week--which I couldn't find the time for--to riding 30 minutes M-F and a longer ride on Sunday. It seems to be working for me so far. So I'm trying to decide on the best pace for my 30 minute rides, since they're so short.
I think ten minutes of warm-up isn't too bad,bill
Jun 9, 2003 2:22 PM
but then how hard is the effort and what good is it doing you? Which are different issues, of course. It all depends on your base level of fitness, but I've read stuff about how beneficial training requires a little more time than twenty minutes. If that's all you have, it really ought to be with HARD efforts, which, in the paradox of your time crunch, may require more warm-up.
Warm-up, yes. Cooldown-maybe.KG 361
Jun 9, 2003 1:29 PM
If you go out and try to stress muscles that haven't had a good chance of getting warmed up, you are asking for injuries. Soreness, strains, or worse can happen if joins haven't had a chance to get a good amount of blood flowing to them.
my method: ride out of the saddle for a while to warm up nmishmael
Jun 9, 2003 7:04 PM