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Addressing punitive required warm up time in training

andyebandyeb Posts: 407
I've been road cycling regularly for 4+ years now, train 2-4 times a week and have completed sportive events up to 200 km.

Although my fitness and performance are still gradually improving over time, one thing that has continued to lag behind is my required warm up time; even if I pay adequate attention to hydration and fuelling, if I go hard in the first 3rd of a ride (whether going anaerobic on a tough hill or simply riding at hard tempo pace continually), I pay for it very badly immediately; deep fatigue seems to set into my legs which doesn't really go away and I pay for it for the remainder of the ride.

On the other hand, I often surprise myself just how hard I can push myself on hills and sustaining a high pace in the last 3rd of a ride, provided I've got the fuelling right. In fact if I want to go for a PR on a local Strava segment, it seems that the best preparation is riding 60 miles at a low pace first. Which is rather counter-intuitive.

When I'm training on the turbo, I find I have to warm up for 40 minutes or so if I'm going to set a PR on a workout involving anaerobic work, like 2x20m or 30s flat-out intervals. With a warmup of 10-20 minutes, I'm unable to get anywhere near my previous PR on these workouts - I simply run out of gas.

This problem is exacerbated if I've had two complete rest days - it takes me even longer to get going.

At times, I've been borderline over-trained, so have backed off the frequency of my workouts slightly, so that I usually have a recovery day or very light day after most hard days.

To date I've simply taken this as a limitation of my physique and have worked around it by careful pacing. But I want to start riding with a stronger group on club runs without getting dropped in the first third. I've tried doing my own extended warmups before showing up for group rides and aim to show up as close as possible to departure time, but I still end up getting cold while waiting for everyone to get together and set off. So the extra warmup is wasted and I just find myself struggling later because I have more miles in my legs already.

So my question is, what specific workouts can I do to reduce the time it takes my body to get up to speed? I have a heart rate monitor, a turbo, a set of rollers and the local Surrey Hills at my disposal. And a bike of course 8)
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