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  1. #1
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    Takes a long time to warm up

    For some reason it takes me a long.time to get warmed up. Usually a for a good half hour or so I'm kinda dragging. Once I'm warmed up I'm good to go and outlast some of my riding.companions. I currently weigh 258 and started the year at 340. I have been eating and hydrating very well and stretch before my rides. I'm typically riding 3 to 4 days a week at least 1 hour. Sometimes 3 hours. Am I missing something? Also racing cat 3 but hoping to bump to cat 2 Clydesdale next season

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you're doing great! Remember that pretty much all the better racers have been at it for quite a few years. Think of your goals and fitness in terms of years, and even how fast/fit you want to be 10 years from now. I usually ride for 10-20 minutes for my warm up, just long enough to start to sweat. But, I had one of my best races last winter/spring with no warm up at all (cold rainy day in March, just showed up to the start line a few minutes before, 2nd in cat1 in my age group). I do try to avoid having a such a long warmup that it starts to get fatiguing. It only takes me about 10min to ride to my training trails (warmup), and when I commute (3 day a week ish) I usually do some hard efforts early on. Maybe try to regularly put down some harder efforts after you've been on the bike 10 min or so?, once you've got a little sweat going?

  3. #3
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    I'm 46 years old and it takes me about 30 to 40 minutes of warm-up before I can really hammer. During fast group rides with no warm-up I struggle for the first half hour or so. Then after that, I can start to put the hurt on people and 95% of the time I end the ride with the front group.

  4. #4
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    I'm glad to see I'm not alone. I thought I was doing something wrong. I have finished OK in my races just looking to still improve. I'm still shedding pounds off too.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly1 View Post
    I'm glad to see I'm not alone. I thought I was doing something wrong. I have finished OK in my races just looking to still improve. I'm still shedding pounds off too.
    Congrats on your weight loss to date!!!!

    The typical XC warm-up that came in a structured training plan from TrainingPeaks.com that I am following takes about 40-45 minutes before lining up to race.

    It's something like this...

    5-10 minutes in Zone 1
    5 minutes in Zone 2
    5 minutes in Zone 3
    5 minutes in Zone 1/2
    1 minute in Zone 4
    3 minutes in Zone 1
    1 minute in Zone 5
    1 minute in Zone 1
    Finish warm-up in Zone 1/2 before heading to the starting line.

    So your warm-up of "a good half hour" is certainly not out of line at all to prepare yourself for the effort a race requires.

  6. #6
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    Takes a long time to warm up

    If you know that you take a while to get warmed up before a race try and get there earlier, so that you have time to get out and do a longer warmup beforehand. If it takes 30 minutes to get going then allow an extra 30 minutes.

    If you're out for a group ride (not a race) which you know is going to go hard from the beginning (such as straight up a climb) then it depends. If it's a ride where you know the group will stop and wait after a bit then do your own thing for the first 10 minutes or so and ease into it at your own pace letting them go. The riders ahead most likely aren't going to notice whether you're dropped for one or two minutes whilst waiting. When you do start to wind it up later on you'll be that little bit fresher too. They'll notice then.

    Ideally you'd do some riding before the group ride to get warmed up. Ride to the start instead of driving or get there early perhaps and instead of standing around chatting keep riding.

    I tend to feel better if I rub some embrocation into my legs, hips and lower back pre-ride also.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/natures-kiss...ports-rub-90g/

    In terms of stretching have a look at this thread for some ideas on dynamic stretches to do beforehand:

    Stretching?

  7. #7
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    Generally speaking, the shorter the race, the higher the (relative) intensity, and the longer the warmup required.

    I'd switch to stretching after riding, most of the research says this is preferable.
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  8. #8
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    I agree with others here. My warm-up is typically 20-30 minutes as well. In fact, I sometimes have rides where I start to feel best a good hour+ into the ride. I don't know if it's taking my legs that long to properly warm-up, or if there is some other factor at work.

    Re: stretching before - Tommy is right. All the research is suggesting to avoid doing it before.

  9. #9
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    I usually warm up 30-40 minutes before racing, and try to get to the line as close to my start time as possible on XC races. As stated earlier, you need to have a bit of effort in there too - I usually do 2-3 in Z4 and 1 sprint in Z5.

    On marathon races I warm up about 15-20 minutes with very little Z4 and no Z5, and I don't warm up at all on 6/12 hour races since I usually just ride those for fun and set my own pace.

  10. #10
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    My favorite warm up has been this:

    Over 15 minutes build slowly into upper tempo zone
    Spin easy 3 minutes
    5 minutes threshold
    spin easy 3 min
    2 minutes VO2 max
    Roll around till it's time to start.

    I do some dynamic stretches specifically for my lower back:
    -paleo chair walk
    -Spidermans

    It does let me race longer with less back tightness
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  11. #11
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    Is not stretching before a race really the norm? I'm new to racing but have been riding for years just turned it up more this year.

  12. #12
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    Ur definitely not alone. Doesn't matter when just any ride requires warm up time. I am working on arriving early if im not riding alone so I have time to warm up and 5 mins give or take for everything to balance out before hitting it hard. Works well. Been experimenting with different methods of doing this to see what works best.
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  13. #13
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    Stretch after, there is research that suggest stretching can decrease performance if u do it before

  14. #14
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    I put a lot of work into testing out different warmups this year and have learned a lot of helpful things.

    First of all, I like to get my warmups in on my trainer as it allows me to control the quality of the warmup.

    Secondly, I've learned to not be afraid of high intensity efforts before a race. In fact, these "clearing efforts" are a huge tool to recruit additional muscle fibers and increase the production of lactate (contrary to old and widely held thought, it is great fuel for your muscles, not what makes them burn).

    As previously mentioned, generally an inverse relationship exists between warmup duration and race duration (short warmup/long race, long warmup/short race). And it is very important to keep pedaling for as long as possible before the race starts. Ideally, you soft pedal up to the line after your warm up and take off with little to no wait.

    One of my favorite warmups is shown below. The grey horizontal line represents your FTP (functional threshold power) and the duration is indicated by the timeline below the interval blocks.

    Takes a long time to warm up-screen-shot-2014-08-21-3.33.49-pm.jpg

    1. Steady 5:00 @ 50% FTP (~3/10 RPE [rate of perceived exertion] or 65% THR [threshold heart rate])

    2. Build 5:00 @50-70% FTP (~3.5/10 RPE or 75% THR)

    3. Steady 1:00 @80% FTP (~5/10 RPE or ~90% THR)

    4. Steady 1:00 @40% FTP (~2.5/10 RPE or 60% THR)

    5. Steady 1:00 @80% FTP (~5/10 RPE or ~90% THR)

    6. Steady 1:00 @40% FTP (~2.5/10 RPE or 60% THR)

    7. Steady 5:00 @95% FTP (~7.5/10 RPE or ~100% THR)

    8. Steady 5:00 @40% FTP (~2.5/10 RPE or 60% THR)

    9. Build 0:30 @120-130% FTP (~8.5-9/10 RPE or ~110-112% THR)

    10. Steady 0:30 @130% FTP (~9/10 RPE or 112% THR)

    11. Steady 2:00 @40% FTP (~2.5/10 RPE or 60% THR)

    12. Build 0:30 @120-140% FTP (~8.5-9.5/10 RPE or ~110-115% THR)

    13. Steady 2:00 @ 140% FTP (~9.5/10 RPE or 115% THR)


    This warmup takes 30 minutes and is great for things like criteriums or short track. When it gets to olympic distance races (~90 minutes) I like to extend my warmup with more efforts above FTP.
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster" - Greg LeMond

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  15. #15
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    At what point does the warmup cross over into fatigue? I suppose it depends on how much or how little endurance a particular racer has. I read in a running magazine (at the barber) that anything over 17min is fatiguing, but obviously that's a generalization. I ride with several guys who aren't super fit, but can be pretty fast for a while until they start to fatigue. Is there a way to train so as to need less warmup? In Carmichaels Time Crunched I think he recommends a sub 10min warmup routine, which is the same as his pre-test warmup.

  16. #16
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    Wait until you get I to your 50s. I am 52 and it takes me 30-40 minutes to be ready for very hard efforts (intervals). But at races I generally warm up for 20-25 minutes only and then relax for 10. The hard starts are very hard on me.
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  17. #17
    washed-up moto guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    At what point does the warmup cross over into fatigue? I suppose it depends on how much or how little endurance a particular racer has.
    Bingo. Try your best to quantify and measure performance with different warmups. Each person's body will react differently to the same warmup and training greatly affects this.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    Is there a way to train so as to need less warmup?
    To a certain extent, yes. In one respect, the best way to warm up before a race is to warm up the same way that you warm up when you train. Having said that, use your warmups during training to refine the warmup process so that you with have an efficient warmup routine for race day.

    As serious said, age, along with MANY other factors affect the structure, intensity and duration of your warmup.
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster" - Greg LeMond

    Disclaimer - I work for TrainerRoad

  18. #18
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    Re: Takes a long time to warm up

    I'm the same as the OP, and I'm only 27! I like at least 30 mins to warm up before a race. I do the warm up outlined in friels training bible and it's worked well for me. I showed up late to one race this season and only had 15 mins to warm up....it was my worst performance to date

  19. #19
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    i've always been a firm believer that endomorphs and mesomorphs always will need a longer warm up than an ectomorph due to denser muscle mass. seems to be stating the obvious but I didn't see it mentioned here yet.
    falling into the mesomorph category, I've always needed a much longer warm up than any my skinny riding buddies or competitors. in cyclocross I would frequently warm up for a longer period than the race itself!
    cheers,
    pip.

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