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Long warm up times

andyebandyeb Posts: 407
edited May 2012 in Road beginners
How long do you guys cycle for before you are properly warmed up?

I have a longish cycle commute which I do 2-3 times a week (30 miles each way). I usually find it takes me the first 10 miles to loosen up and settle into the pace which carries me the distance - typically cruising at 20 to 22 mph, depending on wind conditions.

Often towards the end of the journey, I'll tackle a Strava segment with great gusto :twisted: my legs will burn like crazy and I can feel my heart going, but I'm not out of breath and I don't get a stitch.

Yesterday I went out for a short/quick evening ride, energy levels felt good, didn't feel particularly stiff, so warmed up for 10 minutes or so, then tackled the nearest Strava segment in the normal way, but completely bonked on it - got out of breath, got a stitch, couldn't even get my legs to burn - they just refused!

I was properly hydrated and had eaten pasta for dinner just over an hour before hand, so I conclude I was properly fuelled but wasn't sufficiently warmed up. Is this a valid assumption?

How do the pros manage to go off at a great rate of knots at the start of a race? Does warmup time depend on fitness, or is it in itself something you have to specifically train to improve?


  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    It seems to take me around 10-15 miles to warm up and get up to speed. If i'm feeling a bit off, i don't know whether i'm coming or going for a while so i could end up turning round and still doing 20miles.

    I'd guess that pros use rollers or turbo trainers if a warm up is required.
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    I dont think you're unusual taking 10 miles to warm up properly really - i'd say i'm about the same before I actually really settle into a ride properly. Before that I have to resist the urge to go faster - which may be fine on a 30-40 mile ride but not a 100 mile ride into the hills.

    If it works for you then its probably right, and dont worry about it.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,711 Lives Here
    Pros warm up for things like time trials or prologues by riding on rollers for a loong time. They're pretty much already running at full whack by the time they roll off the start ramp.

    It's been known that before road race days in the Tour which are expected to start very quickly riders will (secretly) warm up on rollers so that they're already running well so they can hit the peloton hard and try and make a break.
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