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  1. #1
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
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    How long does it take you to warm up?

    I have been noticing that it takes me a good bit of time to get into a groove/warmed up while riding. I was MTB riding yesterday and just pissing myself off because I was quickly out of breath, legs fatigued quickly, and I had no confidence for the technical stuff(thats what the MTB riders call riding over boulders, logs, rocks, etc.). This wasn't my first ride of the season so I was a bit frustrated with my poor perfromance in the beginning. After about an hour I finally got into a groove and was flying over the techinical stuff and back to my old self. I find this occurring sometimes on road rides as well. The first five to ten miles seem to be a chore and then all of the sudden click, I am into a groove. I am sure my age and condition have something to do with it but I have been riding this season but don't feel like I did at the end of last season. I wasn't completely inactive in the winter, rode at the gym, ran on the treadmill. Any one else go through something like this? Maybe since this is only my second season riding this is what the off season does to you?

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Funny cause I was thinking about posting the same topic about 2 days ago....It takes me about 7 miles on a flat ride and 3 on a climb with a 6% grade. To start I feel like I won't last more than 10 miles. But 20, 30, 40 miles later, I feel great!

    I usually have trouble keeping up with friends at the beginning of a ride.

  3. #3
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    For me, usually things feel rough until about 2 or 3 miles in, then I get fine for about 6 miles, and then I start grinding from then on until I hit either my limit or the end of the ride (which sadly hasn't changed from about 15 miles for a long time, whatever the reason).

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    The first 5 to 7 miles isn't very fun. Less than that if I tackle the long gradual climb at the beginning of a ride. Then I'm good to go the distance.
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  5. #5
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I think you will get differening opinions. The reason why, for me it depends upon the day. Some days within about 2 miles of 90-100 cadence and I feel ready to conquer the world. Other days, I don't seem to get ready for about 5-7 miles. Other days it just really never shows up.

    When it comes to running, I am warm by about the third step, but right now, not very comfortable.
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  6. #6
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    Seems like around mile 10 I get my second wind and start feeling good.
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    You might add stretching to your start. Mrs. Fred and I usually ride for 5-10 minutes in a low spinning gear to warm up, then stop and stretch(we have a favorite street light as we exit the neighborhood), continue our ride, cool down, then stretch again. With that basic pattern, we've noticed a marked improvement in how we feel post ride and how hard we can train during the ride. Despite what some may experience, we've found stretching after warming up and cooling down to be advantageous.
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  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    My first mile or two is slow due to a couple of street crossings close to home. After that, I can cruise at 20 mph unless I'm fighting a substantual headwind.

    My second hour is often faster than my first hour.

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  9. #9
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    Most of us bigger guys take awhile to warm up. The shop guys I ride with all say it just takes the diesil train to warm up. Luckally for me they all know me and I just suck wheel for the first 10-15k. I actually hit my power band around 60k, then look out. Good thing I don't do crits.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member RoaringMad Mac's Avatar
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    A light warmup is most beneficial when getting going. In just about any exercise program it pays to warm up slightly first and then get to the harder stuff. I have even seen runners. slow jog a quarter mile then stretch after the light warm-up. Getting blood into the muscle and warmed up makes a big difference in performance.

    Same rings true in lifting weights. I used to have all my clients do at least a 10 minute jog or spin on a stationary bike before getting started. Most people want to just get down to it and don't realize that they are setting them self up for injury.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    You might add stretching to your start. Mrs. Fred and I usually ride for 5-10 minutes in a low spinning gear to warm up, then stop and stretch(we have a favorite street light as we exit the neighborhood), continue our ride, cool down, then stretch again. With that basic pattern, we've noticed a marked improvement in how we feel post ride and how hard we can train during the ride. Despite what some may experience, we've found stretching after warming up and cooling down to be advantageous.

  11. #11
    Draft Producer Fastflyingasian's Avatar
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    on the road it usually takes about 7-10 miles to fully warm up. if i am on the MTB then about a half hour.
    "If you never suffered from over training then you've never trained hard enough"

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  12. #12
    Cute, fluffy, and illegal gotls1's Avatar
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    Usually I start to feel good after 3 or 4 miles. On my metric century this weekend though I felt pretty crappy for 20 miles and then felt kind of marginal for the rest of the ride. I never really felt great like I usually do.
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  13. #13
    Neil_B
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    I have little choice but to warm up right away. If I'm commuting, I have a 10 per cent grade to climb in the first mile. If I'm riding my 11 mile local loop, I have a 10 per cent grade in three miles. They aren't long, but they come out of nowhere. All of a sudden there's a wall in front of you.

  14. #14
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Usually about 5-8 miles to loosen up, and get into the groove. The colder it is, the longer it takes...

  15. #15
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    I'm in that 5 mile group. For me it's the knees and back that need time to get going.

    I usually have varying mileage where I catch "2nd" winds.

  16. #16
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    It's the same for me... 30-45 minutes before things loosten up... And sometimes it happens kind of suddenly. It seldom/never seems to pay off when I try to ride harder early in a ride.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Anywhere from 5-15 miles.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigUgly View Post
    I have been noticing that it takes me a good bit of time to get into a groove/warmed up while riding. I was MTB riding yesterday and just pissing myself off because I was quickly out of breath, legs fatigued quickly, and I had no confidence for the technical stuff(thats what the MTB riders call riding over boulders, logs, rocks, etc.). This wasn't my first ride of the season so I was a bit frustrated with my poor perfromance in the beginning. After about an hour I finally got into a groove and was flying over the techinical stuff and back to my old self. I find this occurring sometimes on road rides as well. The first five to ten miles seem to be a chore and then all of the sudden click, I am into a groove. I am sure my age and condition have something to do with it but I have been riding this season but don't feel like I did at the end of last season. I wasn't completely inactive in the winter, rode at the gym, ran on the treadmill. Any one else go through something like this? Maybe since this is only my second season riding this is what the off season does to you?
    A book I have states the best is to start off intentionally slow in a low gear, little more then walking speed (about 8-10km/h) then once you get about 5 minutes into a ride, go a little faster in a little higher gear, then after 10 minutes or so, kick it up a notch, so that about 15 minutes into a ride you have built up to full power. About 10 minutes from the end, you start motoring down. I find the outside temperature can affect it, when it's below 10℃ out, it takes much longer to warm up then when it's over 20℃ out.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    This was so well put about a year ago, by Solveg (I miss her). I tried to find her post, but could not, so will paraphrase.

    She said something to the effect of...."For the first 4 miles of every ride, I hate myself, my bike and all aspects of riding. I start thinking about things that I need to do at home and have thoughts of turning around. It just all feels wrong. Then at about 5-6 miles, the feeling starts to change and the energy starts to rise and before I know it, I am riding and never want it to end"

    That is almost exactly how I feel. At about 5 miles I am loose, warm and ready to RIDE!. Anything before that has the potential for calling it a day.

    Sounds like a common thread for many of us.
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  20. #20
    Super Moderator making's Avatar
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    I have mild exercise induced asthma so it takes me about half hour to work through that.

    What happened to Solveg?
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  21. #21
    Senior Member knzn's Avatar
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    Glad this post came along, I thought maybe it was just me. But I need 2-4 miles to get going good.

  22. #22
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I am gald to see I am not alone. I was extremely frustrated at the beginning of my MTB ride because I was hopping off and walking through stuff that I would normally ride over. On trails it's sometimes hard to get a mild warm up since there are roots and rocks to ride over and the more momentum you have the easier it is to ride over them. That and the little ups and downs that require a burst of speed here and there. I guess I will have to change my process before diving into the woods. I did just hop on and ride the 10 yards to the trail head which is a short little up hill with a log in the middle to hop over. Luckily there are some forest roads to warm up on at the trail heads. I will give this a shot next time. Here I thought is was me just getting old and being a clyde.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    The day before may also impact you:

    Yesterday morning, I went with 7-8 friends to do our regular Monday AM ride. It involves climbing Santa Suzanna Pass (~2-1/2 miles @ 6% avg) on the way out and back. I had gone hard on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. Climbing Santa Sue on the way out, I just could not get my legs going: they were still tired from the weekend. My HR just could not get out of zone 3, usually an easy thing as we hammer up the pass. But, by the time we had descended the other side and rolled along some flats, and started climbing a couple rollers, my legs were coming 'round and I could finally push through into zone 4 when I wished. Coming back over Santa Sue on the return I did much better, holding it right at threshold and dropping a riding partner almost at will.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    What's this 2nd wind ye talk about?

    I find I get that feeling I could ride all day about 20 minutes after I get done with my ride and have eaten and showered. Especially, when I post a ride report here

  25. #25
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigUgly View Post
    Thanks everyone. I am gald to see I am not alone. I was extremely frustrated at the beginning of my MTB ride because I was hopping off and walking through stuff that I would normally ride over. On trails it's sometimes hard to get a mild warm up since there are roots and rocks to ride over and the more momentum you have the easier it is to ride over them. That and the little ups and downs that require a burst of speed here and there. I guess I will have to change my process before diving into the woods. I did just hop on and ride the 10 yards to the trail head which is a short little up hill with a log in the middle to hop over. Luckily there are some forest roads to warm up on at the trail heads. I will give this a shot next time. Here I thought is was me just getting old and being a clyde.
    Another thing that does not help, is if your riding is seasonal, for a lot of people they don't ride during winter and that means that your muscles are not tuned for riding, You must warm up for the season as well. A roadie that last rode in November, isn't going to be able to jump on his/her bike and do a century. That first ride may be a rather difficult 10 miles, if that.

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