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Help on proper warmup before training ride or race...(6 posts)

Help on proper warmup before training ride or race...LabMouse
May 25, 2001 12:56 PM
How do you racers out there achieve proper warm-up for race or fast training-ride? I tried to spin in a fast cadence for 15 minutes before the ride in low gears, but somehow I have a feeling that's not enough. Basically, what I am hoping to do is immediately kicking a 27-30mph pace from the beginning rather than gradually "warming up" to that speed. But to do so, warm-up is critical---in other words, how should one feel before the race/training ride if a proper warm-up were done correctly?

re: Help on proper warmup before training ride or race...rollo tommassi
May 25, 2001 2:53 PM
A tough one for advice, as it is an individual thing, and also depends on the type of event you are doing. Crit, road race or TT?

It sounds like a crit, if you're blasting off at 30mph at the start!

Some people prefer a half-hour riding, some prefer an hour or more for a warmup (this is for longer races, like road races or 40k TTs'). Weather, too, can play a factor - if it's raining, who wants to get all gooey beforehand? If it's cold, you should overdress and ride for a least 40minutes. If it's humid and hot, hydrate and spin light gears, maybe not ride more than half an hour.

There are several psysiological changes that occur with exertion, and a warmup is designed to prime the engine, so to speak. Clue your body into the lactic-acid processing system with jumps, prepare it for heavy breathing with tempo riding.

If you're starting off at the gun going 30mph, 10-15 hard jumps about half an hour from your start time should do the trick. One good anaerobic interval followed with some tempo riding, or a combination thereof. I've seen some numbers as guidelines that could be helpful: 20% of your race time done at race pace (gearing and HR wise), one hour before your start time. A 60 minute crit would equal 12minutes; a 2hr road race equals 20minutes at race pace. These race-pace minutes are done at the end of the warmup cycle (which should end 10-15minutes before start time)

The magic trick with Blast Off starts is in getting to the start line "hot"; i.e. having just come off a hard effort with your HR elevated (but not gasping for breath). Inevitably you end up standing forever, listening to the official talk about when the free lap is no longer valid, where the wheel pit is, blah blah blah.

The other tricky part is getting to the line "hot", but not the last guy in the back of the pack. That's why you will often see pro's arriving at the start from the wrong direction, and cutting through the front of the line to start. Sneaky, huh?

This does take some trial-and-error, but consider doing a warmup before even a club ride - see what difference a warmup does for you then. Does it make that first acceleration in the club ride easier? If your club rides are fast from the start, does it help to ride 40minutes beforehand?
re: Help on proper warmup before training ride or race...Willy D.
May 25, 2001 3:32 PM
A good rule of thumb is to gauge your warm up length and intensity inverse to the distance of the ride. In other words for a long road race, you don't really need much of a warm up. But for a time trial, you want at least an hour on the bike, and you want to do at least two efforts long and hard enough to start lactic acid production in your legs. This is because after this process starts, the process of flushing lactic acid out follows. If you are showing up for your ride cold your body has to go through all of this while you're already trying to make a major effort, plus it's better for your muscles, tendons, heart, lungs, etc. to warm up before doing this sort of effort.
Inverse ruleKerry Irons
May 25, 2001 5:57 PM
In general, the shorter the event, the longer the warmup. The assumption here is that shorter events will be more intense, and therefore you need to be fully warmed up before starting. The rule for time trials is to come to the starting line still sweating, but not out of breath. You might be able to think of your immediately jumping to a very high pace as a TT, and therefore be thoroughly warmed up. In addition to the warmup (20 minutes minimum, 30 minutes better), you should do some jumps to send your body the message that high intensity is coming. My suggestion would be something like 2 or 3 60-90 second bursts at "race pace" with the jumps ending 3-5 minutes before starting. An example might be: 2.5-3 miles/4-5 km from your start point, jump to race pace for 60-90 seconds, ride easy for 90 seconds, jump again for 60-90 seconds, and then spin easy to the starting point. Presumably you have at least 15 minutes (25 minutes better) of moderate riding before you start the jumps. Just some examples, which you can play with and see what suits you best.
Thanks guys....LabMouse
May 25, 2001 9:31 PM
Thanks everyone for the input, I highly appreciated all advices.


Thanks guys....Jimbojam
Jun 5, 2001 12:59 PM
I have found that for a Crit a good trainer with full resistance works well in combination with a Medium 5 minutes, a hard five minutes, and a medium 5 minutes. I tried warming up by riding around with the same 15 minutes and had a hard time for the first three laps. With the trainer I was up front and ready over the same area that I was truggling through before. I have to agree with the Inverse Rule for efforts. Unless you have some jackrabbits in a long road race.