Warm up...?

Neil_aky
Neil_aky Posts: 211
edited April 2013 in Road beginners
Started cycling last summer and first few weeks was pleased when I was doing 7 - 10 miles. Few months later having missed the cycling during the winter I am 3.5 stone lighter and doing comfortable 40 mile rides.

My question is it now seems to take me 6 - 7 miles before I really feel like I get going. The first 7 miles are the hardest of the ride and my worst rides are quick 7 - 10 milers.

Is this normal - at the end of a 40 mile ride I feel like I could carry on forever - should I be doing anything different to warm up...

Comments

  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Think its normal to feel this way when going out & I tend to use the first 5 miles or so of getting out onto the country roads as a warm up.

    TBH can't think of anything else you could do as a warm up unless you wanted to go all pro and put the bike on a turbo trainer/rollers but you just cheating yourself of time on the bike out in the open by doing that.

    Well done on the weight loss & increased miles by the way.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • city_boy
    city_boy Posts: 1,616
    Agree with DLB. The first 20/30 minutes when I'm cycling or running aren't pleasant!!
    Once the blood gets around the muscles and there's a rhythm to your breathing then it's fine. Like Dan, I use the first few miles as my warm up but if you wanted to warm up before getting on the bike you could try some dynamic stretches like squats or lunges for 5 minutes or so.
    Whatever you do, DON'T do any static stretches BEFORE exercise, only do them afterwards as a warm down.
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
  • I did a 20 miler after work this eve - hilly Cornwall - and it took me a good 5 miles to really get into it. I tend to now use the first 5 miles or so of a ride as a warm up , getting out of the saddle a bit, stretching, bit of pace on the flat for a short burst etc. I guess do what works for you. PS ....still a novice!
  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    Thanks for the replies, was just making sure it wasn't just me.
  • Pituophis
    Pituophis Posts: 1,025
    No, not just you, seems to take me about 20 minutes or so to warm into a ride too!

    Just going on a bit of a tangent, on one of my training loops, there is a fairly longish climb (all things being relative :roll: ) at about the 3 mile mark. Some days I can go up it quicker than others obviously, but it is never a struggle.
    About a mile further on though, there is a far, far shorter uphill section, which has a very slight kick up half way along it, which you wouldn't even class as a climb. This one always does me in, I hate it :oops: It is purely psychological for me :(
    Once I get my breath back from that, I seem to just crack on and ride comfortably :D
  • Totally normal, I don't get going until I tackle my first hill.
  • marcusww
    marcusww Posts: 202
    I always found the first 15 mins hard too. But I have really slowed down in those first miles to use as a warm up.

    I did my 1st sportive in March and was surprised how slow people rode in the first few miles, I followed suit to be socialble and have found this slower pace at the beginning really helps on the longer rides.
  • nferrar
    nferrar Posts: 2,511
    Normally try and take it easy for the first couple of miles and often don't feel I'm properly with it for 5-10 miles.
  • pinkteapot
    pinkteapot Posts: 367
    Also takes me 20-30 mins to hit my stride when both cycling and hill-walking. It's like my body suddenly wakes up after that time and realises what it's meant to be doing.

    That being said, some times it's not as bad as others. I think this is both a mental and physical thing.

    Mentally, when I'm really psyching myself up at home before the ride, I get into it quicker. I still get a lot of nervous energy before long rides. That helps.

    Physically, if I'm running around doing stuff at home then hop on my bike, again it's much easier. My worst rides by far are the commutes home from work, when I've been sat at my desk barely moving all afternoon then get on my bike. Helps enormously if your muscles have been moving a bit before you start riding, even if it's not formal warm-up exercises.
  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    Great reading all these replies - much easier to relate to normal people's experiences than just reading this stuff in training guides / books.
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Well thats what the beginners section in BR is for, glade we could help with the responses & prove that its happens to us all.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Nick_M
    Nick_M Posts: 58
    pinkteapot wrote:
    Also takes me 20-30 mins to hit my stride when both cycling and hill-walking. It's like my body suddenly wakes up after that time and realises what it's meant to be doing.

    I get exactly the same thing. On a cold day I'll feel chilly and underpowered until I hit about 5 miles and then suddenly the blood starts to flow properly and everything comes together very quickly. I think that, like everyone here, the first few miles of the ride are actually the least enjoyable.
  • fatsmoker
    fatsmoker Posts: 585
    OP - you've lost 3 and half stone since last summer? That's outstanding. Although (only?) 13 st now I've only lost half a stone in a year. I can't stop eating when i get back from a ride.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    A wee tip to aid the time it takes to 'warm up' is making sure you've eaten 1.5 to 2 hours before the ride and no later. Your body can feel quite sluggish if you don't leave enough time to digest.
  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    @fatsmokerI know how you feel, actully lost most weight during the winter when I was cycling less - been using myfitnesspal (App) to keep to 1200 calories a day. Problem is it links to Endomondo which I use to track cycling and it gives me calories back for what I've burnt!

    Seriously though it is actually difficult to judge how many calories to eat to lose weight when you start doing exercise the odd evening and at weekends.

    Last summer I over did the cycling and probably didn't eat enough and actually felt quite ill for a while, got an infection in a cut, an abscess in a tooth flared up etc etc and I am never normally ill.

    Anyway, got the balance about right now and am still losing (another 1 stone to go).

    I can recommend using 'myfitnesspal' though - really worked for me!
  • R0B75
    R0B75 Posts: 376
    Same here. Depending on the time of day it can be 20-30 minutes or maybe sometimes 10 miles into a ride before I'm properly into it and feeling good. It's the worst part of a ride, but after this warm up period I love it.
  • cattytown
    cattytown Posts: 647
    I'm another one that needs a little while to get going, but often wonders if I could manage another few miles at the end.

    As for losing weight, I am also trying to shift some - down about a stone without "dieting" What I am trying to do though is eat better - I am keeping more fruit about for when the munchies strike to try to avoid biscuits, and instead of an omelette for lunch am eating (and enjoying) salads.
    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • NeXXus
    NeXXus Posts: 854
    Neil_aky wrote:
    @fatsmokerI know how you feel, actully lost most weight during the winter when I was cycling less - been using myfitnesspal (App) to keep to 1200 calories a day. Problem is it links to Endomondo which I use to track cycling and it gives me calories back for what I've burnt!

    Seriously though it is actually difficult to judge how many calories to eat to lose weight when you start doing exercise the odd evening and at weekends.

    Last summer I over did the cycling and probably didn't eat enough and actually felt quite ill for a while, got an infection in a cut, an abscess in a tooth flared up etc etc and I am never normally ill.

    Anyway, got the balance about right now and am still losing (another 1 stone to go).

    I can recommend using 'myfitnesspal' though - really worked for me!

    1200 a day? You are adjusting this for exercise done right?
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • mabbo
    mabbo Posts: 117
    Pituophis wrote:
    No, not just you, seems to take me about 20 minutes or so to warm into a ride too!

    Just going on a bit of a tangent, on one of my training loops, there is a fairly longish climb (all things being relative :roll: ) at about the 3 mile mark. Some days I can go up it quicker than others obviously, but it is never a struggle.
    About a mile further on though, there is a far, far shorter uphill section, which has a very slight kick up half way along it, which you wouldn't even class as a climb. This one always does me in, I hate it :oops: It is purely psychological for me :(
    Once I get my breath back from that, I seem to just crack on and ride comfortably :D

    My commute home from work has one mile of false levels then up a hill for 1.5 miles which varies from 5% to a couple of bits at 12% and 18%. I have been doing it for 4 years and it still kills me. But once at the top I feel great and after that fully warmed up. The rest of the ride is enjoyed. Setting off in the morning i have 6 miles of flat, and it normally takes me about 4 miles to feel warmed up. I think some of it may be age related, older I get the longer I take to warm up. Funnily enough the missus said that as well. :D
  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    Yes, I try to set 1200 as my base and adjust up for exercise (that's where I can over compensate - cycling is hungry work :) )

    Last year I wasn't compensating for exercise and was eating too many empty calories and kept getting infections / feeling terrible etc. I now try to make all calories healthy calories with plenty of fruit etc.
  • NeXXus
    NeXXus Posts: 854
    That's less than the average womans intake :shock: Most men end up somewhere between 2500 and 2800 with a deficit taken out.
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.
  • Neil_aky
    Neil_aky Posts: 211
    I am still trying to lose weight.. I look forward to getting back to 2500 - 2800 calories (then adding a few for my cake stops, which after all is what cycling is about, right?) - maybe another couple of months and then I will be able to go for it on the cycling...!
  • NeXXus
    NeXXus Posts: 854
    Neil_aky wrote:
    I am still trying to lose weight.. I look forward to getting back to 2500 - 2800 calories (then adding a few for my cake stops, which after all is what cycling is about, right?) - maybe another couple of months and then I will be able to go for it on the cycling...!
    You'll find better results eating more. Such low intake really isn't effective longterm.
    And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon god they made.