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Old 07-31-07, 04:09 PM   #1
BSLeVan
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Longer warm-up seem to be the norm...

Lately I've noticed that it takes me longer to warm up than it used to. Typically, I'd need 15 or 20 minutes warm-up before I could push, get my cadence up where it belongs, and start to feel comfortable.. These days it's closer to 40 - 45 minutes. The good part is, however, that with the 40 to 45 minute warm-up I can ride faster, stronger and longer than I've been able to ride in the past three years. Maybe I needed to warm-up longer in years past, but just didn't know it. I'm interested in the experience of other 50+ when it comes to warm-up and performance.
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Old 07-31-07, 04:24 PM   #2
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On my longer rides-I do not bother with a warm up but do not start to push till 10 miles are under the wheels. Can't always be done as several of my long rides have hills in that come too soon.

I have a Warm up that works for me that is done in the first few miles of any ride. Using a heart monitor- I get to 120 and rest. Then push to 130 and rest again. Then go to 140 and make certain that the HR does drop back into the 110's. Then I go to 150. The recovery from this does take a bit of time but once I am back to 120 and the legs are fine- I can ride all day at 140 to 145, pushing to 150 on the hills, but letting it get to 155 and for that final bit of the hill- or where it steepens just at the end- I can get to my max of 165.

If I do not do that 10 miles at gentle pace- or the warm up- I will have trouble getting to 135 without feeling that I am not going to finish the ride.
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Old 07-31-07, 04:53 PM   #3
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I improve my riding drastically after 40-45 minutes. With a computer, I am able to monitor the progress I'm making in terms of speed and later in the ride, my AVG goes much higher from let's say 12MPH to 15MPH and finish the rides with the higher speed. I wear a HRM that keep my HR in check, not to exceed 165 BPM. I ride longer distances and gain higher speed the more I spend time in the saddle. The longer time to get warm up pays off later in the ride IMO
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Old 07-31-07, 05:48 PM   #4
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Yeah, it probably takes me 5 miles to get breathing. Most of my riding is less than that. No wonder I'm such a wimp these days. Ah, for youth.
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Old 07-31-07, 05:54 PM   #5
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I don't have a HRM (yet) but I can usually tell at about 4 miles that I am warmed up and can start riding harder. Some days it takes a little longer, but I alway feel better after I ride a few miles.
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Old 07-31-07, 07:43 PM   #6
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Warming up = Good. Just look at those TDF riders on their stationary bikes spinning away waiting for the time trial to start. Or pro golfers who get to the practice range 1.5 hours before tee-off time. Warming up = Good.
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Old 08-01-07, 12:10 AM   #7
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yup, the motor needs at least 8 miles in a 70 inch gear, 85 to 90 rpm - a good start. 10 miles at same is even better, Moe betta if I can include a light climb to bring the HR up to 150-160 for a few minutes.
Then I'm ready to go
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Old 08-01-07, 12:25 AM   #8
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Congratulations! Y'all have just discovered one of the great secrets of bike racing. In athletics (track & field), it used to be called "getting your second wind." You're bringing your body systems to operating temperature and the chemical processes up to speed.

Here's another way to look at the longer warmup: The more muscle you have, the longer it takes to warm it up. You're not taking longer to feel warmed up because you're getting older; you are taking longer to warm up because you've developed more muscle mass.

It's instructive to see how the most muscular track racers - the sprinters - warm up. You would not believe how slow they ride in warmup. One older guy I know says it takes him about an hour before he starts to feel warmed up. And then they go lighting fast.

Typically, I'll go out with a pace line on the track for about 25 minutes in my "warmup gear", usually around 80 inches (47 x 16 is typical). We'll do the first ten minutes at around 30-34 kmh. If you just hold it at this speed, you notice that after 10 minutes, the speed starts to come up automatically, without even trying. As we approach 20 minutes, we're doing close to 40 kmh, and not even feeling it. The last few laps will be at between 40 and 45 kmh (and feeling it). If we've got the race gears on just before a race, we'll be hitting 50 kmh or more at the end of the warmup.

I'll usually finish the warmup with a couple of 100-meter rollups in the warmup gear - just stay in the saddle and accelerate over 100 meters, trying to get the bike above 50 kmh. This is primarily to get the nervous system used to the idea of going fast.

So the warmup needs to open up the physical, mental, and nervous systems. I don't know if you've tried to do a hard ride without a warmup, but it really hurts. But, I have to admit that one of the fastest kilos I ever did was at the 1977 Canadian track nationals in Edmonton, back when I was around 26 years old. I didn't realize I had been registered for the kilo. I showed up at the track, the provincial coach told me I was on in two minutes, so I just went out there and ripped off a 1'15 or thereabouts. That was back before I realized I had to warm up first.

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Old 08-01-07, 12:29 AM   #9
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I'm finding the slower I go in the first 10 miles, the harder I can go the rest of the way, even on a century ride. I now try to keep my heart rate under 70% until the 10 mile mark. More often than not, it's hard to force myself to go that slow, but it pays off in the end.

Also, does the heart itself warm up? Or just your (other) muscles?

Last edited by Big Paulie; 08-01-07 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 08-01-07, 04:56 AM   #10
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It may have something to do with the body getting rid of Lactic Acid and boosting oxygen flow to the muscles.
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