06-24-08, 03:45 PM
First off, let me just say that i did not make the race on the 22nd that i had intended to. My g/f needed to move out of her apartment in the city (i have a truck) and some friends wanted to drink to the cubs game. I didn't feel quite ready to race anyways...drunk i got. I only bring this up because i'm fairly confident someone would anyways.
So at my first crit i got there early enough to warm up as much or as little as i want. I road the course for a while being the first race of the day there was plenty of time for this. I started slow and picked up the pace with some team (a cat5 team btw? How common is that, the five of 'em finished in the top 6...so i guess it works). Then i did a couple all out sprints. I felt a bit like i was probably over-doing it, so i slowed and then eventually stopped.
When the race finally got underway i felt way unready. Not in terms of overall ability (which was lacking due to a lack of enough training) but in terms of being able to hop on at the pace that the race started at.
I will say that the race was delayed about 10 mins because of some cars, so i'm not sure how that effected it, but i'm curious how you guys know when you're warmed up enough and ready to go without taking away any useful energy that can be thrown down in the race. Seems to me like a bit of a balance.
06-24-08, 03:55 PM
I like Rick Stern's approach to warmup. However, short of a neutralized start, it's never going to be all that comfortable.
Race Day Preparation
It's race day, you stumble out of bed and hastily try to find your race kit only to discover that some of it is unwashed, or missing. There are remains of food in your kit bag from the final race of last season (so that's what the smell was) and worse there's something growing in your water bottle that looks like it's from Alien… Does this sound like you? Well it needn't. Feel free to print off the checklists below. Read and put them in to practice to ensure that race day preparation is as smooth as you are at pedalling. Feel free to modify them as needed.
Generic checklist for racing
It's important to realise that these are generic checklists, and therefore, warm ups, and routine may need to be modified. Furthermore, mental preparation is also vitally important (this is only touched on). Accordingly, the lists are a great starting place, and can be added and modified!
48-hours prior to race
* Check bike, make sure, gears, brakes, wheels, and bottom bracket are correctly attached and functioning
* Clean bike
* Check weather forecast for race day - if weather is going to be inclement ensure that you have suitable race tyres
* Ensure that (race) tyres are in roadworthy condition
* Make sure chain, gears, brakes, etc., are lubed
* Wipe off excess oil, and makes sure bike is clean
* Ensure that race kit is clean, or about to be cleaned
* Make sure you have begun carbohydrate (CHO) loading
24 hours prior to race
* Go for a Pre-Race Day spin, with race pace intervals
* Continue carbohydrate loading
* Lay out race kit
* Get race bag ready (warm-up oils, spare food, food for after race, spare clothes, 2nd set of race clothes, race licence, first-aid kit)
Day of race
* Pack remaining race clothing (e.g., crash helmet, shoes, etc.)
* Eat a high carbohydrate meal around 2 - 4 hours prior to your event. This will depend on personal digestion, duration of the race, expected intensity of the race, etc.
* For each hour that you eat prior to race you should consume, 1g of CHO per kg of body mass (BM), i.e., 2 hours prior to the event you should consume 2g CHO/kg BM, 3 hours prior 3g CHO/kg BM, etc. You should however, practice this in training first
The food should be high carbohydrate, low in protein, and low in fat, choices could include-
o Pasta with tomato-vegetable sauce or a little extra virgin olive oil
o Rice with tomato-vegetable sauce
o Cereals, low-fat milk, 2 - 3 pieces of toast, muffin, or bagel with jam/honey etc., juice, energy bar
o Carbohydrate energy drink (e.g., PSP 22)
* Arrive at race 1 - 3 hours prior to race (depending on location - you should generally arrive as early as possible)
* Arrive at race
* Find signing on point, and sign on
* Find start/finish location
* Locate toilets
* Ascertain that races are starting on time, or what the delay is
* Take spare wheels to service vehicle or pit-area (ensuring that they are correctly inflated, and have been checked for cuts - see 48-hours prior to race)
* Get race bike, (and spare bike) ready to race
* Pin race number on to race jersey/skin suit
* Put drinking bottles on bike, and ensure you have a 'spare' for drinking when warming up
* Discuss race tactics with team mates
* Sip on energy drink
* Put on race clothing, with extra layers if needed (e.g., cold weather). Have spare race clothing ready if it is raining
* Ensure race bike (and spare bike) is ready to race
* Relax, play some soothing music
* Keep off your feet as much as possible (you don't want to waste any energy)
Once you start the warm up, you enter the 'zone'. This is not the time to be chatting to people - you need to concentrate on the task ahead (the race!). Partners, family, and friends need to be aware of this prior to the warm up. During the warm up you should drink a bottle of energy drink (e.g., SiS GO) to ensure that your fluid and energy stores are fully topped up.
* Place bike on trainer (trainers are great for warming up on for TT, MTB races)
* Approximately, 50 minutes before the start get on the bike - play some 'energetic' music
* Start sipping a carbohydrate - electrolyte solution (e.g., SiS GO)
* 5 minutes very easy (e.g., 42 x 21)
* 5 minutes at a light level (e.g., up to 42 x 17 / 16)
* 10 minutes at 50 b·min-1 below MHR
* Strip down to race clothing (leave on leg warmers - depending on weather)
* Start to visualise the race circuit (very important for TT, MTB XC, MTB DH)
* Visualise yourself doing well, and start positive self-talk
* 3 minutes at 40 - 30 b·min-1 below MHR
* 3 minutes at 45 - 35 b·min-1 below MHR
* 3 sets of: 30 seconds race effort (e.g., 53 x 16 / 15) with 3 mins easy between each interval
* Ride easy for 5 minutes to arrive at the start (< 50 b·min-1 below MHR)
* RACE - Go get 'em!
06-24-08, 04:11 PM
For a race an hour or less -- forty-five to sixty minutes riding at whatever pace feels most enjoyable. (Probably about even thirds zones 2, 3 and 4, in Friel terms, but don't really know.) I don't usually do any all out sprints or painful effort, but can't imagine a smattering of that hurts or helps. For longer races, ten minutes rolling around seems sufficient, and may not even be necessary if there's a decent neutral zone.
06-24-08, 09:24 PM
Well, when you go out for a ride, how do you warm up? How do you know / how do you feel when you're ready for a good hard effort? Replicate that. Or do what you do on the trainer. Usually takes me 15-20 mins on the trainer, longer on the road, to be ready to start a crit. The first laps will be hard, but hey it's a crit, they always are. On the track I'll do some harder efforts, maybe even burn a match just to make sure I'm fully opened up.
06-25-08, 06:40 AM
Since i've only been racing the local weekday training series (I've been officiating at weekend events) commuting the hour from my office to the venue has been my warmup. It works great. I did commute to one weekend race with a combo of public transportation and riding.
06-25-08, 07:02 AM
Everyone is different. You've got to figure out what works for you and stay with it. It turns out that some of my best performances are on 5m of warmup with only one sorta hard minute in there (the second minute).
For my crit on Saturday, I had to sit around for 20 minutes while they set up hay bails for us to crash into because of the rain. I was still able to attack into the first corner and get a gap with two other guys (the crashes helped that gap a bit).
Try not to approach it like "I hope I can keep up until I'm warm." Think of it more like, "If any of these motherf***ers can keep up with me on the first lap, I'll be impressed."
06-25-08, 10:05 AM
It takes me a long time to warm up, and I like to do it early. At minimum, I need 30 minutes, including some hard efforts (depending on the race, these include hard intervals on the trainer, some really fast laps around a crit course, or climbing a couple beastly hills before a hilly road race). Then I stretch, eat a gel, drink, and relax a little bit. Then it's one more lap or two on the short course just before my race or the roll out for a road race, and I'm ready to go. It's not the most conventional approach, but I started noticing that I was feeling a lot better in my 2nd race on days when I'd have 2 races and warmup for the 2nd race would be minimal. So I try to see how close I can get to replicating that, working around time constraints for early morning races. I envy the people who can do a 10min warmup.