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Old 08-24-08, 06:37 PM   #1
Velo Fellow
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Age = Longer Warm-Ups??

Six months ago I returned to cycling after years off. One thing I note, besides even more joy in riding now and the fact my once tricked-out bike is now a museum piece, is the need for a longer warm-up period on each ride. 5 miles is good, but I feel even looser and ready to "seriously" cruise at 10 miles. I notice my younger fellow riders clip in and are over the horizon while I'm still clearing my computer. Either it's their youth or my stiffer joints.

I also notice that if I save something to eat during my 3-4 miles of cool-down I seem to feel better later in the day....maybe just a misperception.

Others' experience?

Last edited by Velo Fellow; 08-24-08 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 08-24-08, 06:54 PM   #2
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You've got it right. And the longer warm-up, the better. I find that it takes me about 45 min to actually get into a groove. There is a general rule that you don't put a climb into the first 10 miles of a ride - which I totally agree with. I would say maybe 15. We did a ride today that was 55 mi, 4K ft. climbing and we avgd. 16.2 mph. We were discussing the need for additional warm-up as we age (most of the group is 50+). Warm downs are always good, regardless of age. I think that eating something at end of ride, whether in cool down or shortly after, helps a lot. I usually have chocolate milk and banana.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:34 PM   #3
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About 10 miles does it for me.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:45 PM   #4
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Seems like that for speed on my roadie bike it takes 20 miles to really get in the groove. Of course by 30 I'm then wiped out (just kidding)
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Old 08-24-08, 07:49 PM   #5
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Am 75; never indulged in warmups . . . get on, go!
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Old 08-24-08, 07:49 PM   #6
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Yeah, I need at least 10 miles and a little more to get my groove.

I've never done any pre-ride stretching, but have been told it would help.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:51 PM   #7
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In my 60s it takes 5-10 miles to warm up at 12-18 MPH. I've heard enough times about eating the right recovery foods within 30 minutes or so of ending the ride can help.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:05 PM   #8
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At least five or ten miles at 14 or 15 MPH is about it for me too, and doing the first three or four miles even slower seems to make a difference beyond mile twenty or so.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:07 PM   #9
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It takes me about 10 miles before I'm in the groove too. I used to do stretching before my ride. Then one day I forgot and it made absolutely no difference in my ride. So I quit stretching. I do a lot of 10 miles rides after work. I can feel me wanting to ride more, but there's just no time.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:35 PM   #10
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It takes me about 5-10 miles before I feel warmed up. After 50 miles I have a problem climbing steeper hills. The legs are usually too tired at this point to handle anything steeper than the 5-6 % grades I guess at age 65 I should be thankful I can climb any hills
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Old 08-24-08, 08:45 PM   #11
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I like to take about 3 to 5 miles to warm up. During the week that's OK, but on Saturday morning with the club that won't work. They start out at 8:00 sharp and don't like to wait for me (or any one else) to warm up. So its go now or ride with the back of the pack. It hurts for a little while, but after about 3 or 5 miles, I get into a groove and can rock with the youngsters. I'm the oldest at 61 riding with the 18MPH group, but not by much. There are three others at 59 or 60. The youngest rider in the group is 13! He's gonna be very fast some day.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:02 PM   #12
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I havfe always been slow to warm up. When I do my morning training rides we ride for about 1.5 miles before we go down a hill which is maybe 1/2 mile long - when we hit the bottom I throw on the coal and start going all out. This loop is only 17 miles so if I take a long time to warm up the ride is over. On longer rides I take a little more time to warm up - usually 3 to 4 miles and then I am good to go. For the last month I have been fighting what I think is the on set of arthritis in one knee, if I get that knee good and warm it does not give me any trouble, if I don't it can bother me quite a bit.

Cool downs are usually the last 10 minutes of the ride done at an easier pace - not goofing off, but not driving real hard either.

After the ride I try to drink about 8oz to 16oz of skim milk depending on the length of the ride. It is a great recovery drink.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:46 PM   #13
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Doesn't seem to matter how long my ride is. The warmup seems to last until I ride back through the garden gate again.....
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Old 08-24-08, 11:36 PM   #14
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Like most things in cycling it depends on objectives. It takes me about 45 minutes of warmup before I can produce threshold power. For more casual settings or group rides, I go with the flow and conserve energy until I am warmed up. For races, I use a structured warmup.
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Old 08-25-08, 03:23 AM   #15
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10 miles and I'm reaching for the remote!
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Old 08-25-08, 04:38 AM   #16
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15 to 20 minutes does it for me.
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Old 08-25-08, 04:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Fellow View Post
I also notice that if I save something to eat during my 3-4 miles of cool-down I seem to feel better later in the day....maybe just a misperception.

Others' experience?
If you've ridden in the higher carb burning heart rate zones, that's standard procedure. I have about 300 calories of not too low glycemic index real food after a ride. There's a 15 minute to 30 minute window where it results in the fastest recovery.

Al
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Old 08-25-08, 05:47 AM   #18
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I use a heart monitor and I use that to gradually raise my HR. 1/2 mile from home and still cold but a slope and I get to 120. Then recover to around 100. Then get to 130 and recover again. Then another slope and get to 140 and recover. When down to about 100/110- I will then push to get to 150 and fully recover.

Normally takes about 4 miles but once I have got to 150- I can ride comfortably at around 140- push to 150 on the slopes and 165 on the hills.
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Old 08-25-08, 07:11 AM   #19
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Warm ups are a bit of a mystery to me. Sometimes on longer rides (40 to 50) I'll start out spinning easier gears to save energy and at the 30 mile mark suddenly my breathing will seem relaxed and the legs actually feel stronger than in the first 20 miles. Other days I will feel like I bonked at the 30 mile mark and just limp back home. I can't seem to figure out what it is I'm missing in my diet or the routine. I usually try to ride easy for the first 10 miles of any ride to get warmed up, but when I leave from the house I always have to encounter a couple of stiff climbs just to get out of the nieghborhood.
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Old 08-25-08, 07:26 AM   #20
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As I reach a higher level of maturity, I'm finding that longer warm-ups are nice. Like for instance, a 50 mile warm-up on a metric century ride. Don't forget, the cool-down at the end is imortant, too!
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Old 08-25-08, 07:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Fellow View Post
One thing I note, besides even more joy in riding now and the fact my once tricked-out bike is now a museum piece, is the need for a longer warm-up period on each ride. 5 miles is good, but I feel even looser and ready to "seriously" cruise at 10 miles. I notice my younger fellow riders clip in and are over the horizon while I'm still clearing my computer. Either it's their youth or my stiffer joints.

I also notice that if I save something to eat during my 3-4 miles of cool-down I seem to feel better later in the day....maybe just a misperception.
You got it right.

When I was in my late 50s I was warmed up after 2-3 miles. Now, at 63, it takes closer to 8-9 miles.
Maybe it's something in the water?
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Old 08-25-08, 09:02 AM   #22
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I use a heart monitor and I use that to gradually raise my HR. 1/2 mile from home and still cold but a slope and I get to 120. Then recover to around 100. Then get to 130 and recover again. Then another slope and get to 140 and recover. When down to about 100/110- I will then push to get to 150 and fully recover.

Normally takes about 4 miles but once I have got to 150- I can ride comfortably at around 140- push to 150 on the slopes and 165 on the hills.

I have to try this! I'm in the 5-10 mile warm-up category, too.

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Old 08-25-08, 09:45 AM   #23
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I have to try this! I'm in the 5-10 mile warm-up category, too.

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Forgot to say---Without this warm-up routine- it will take me a long time on a ride to get comfortable enough to push. And on this mornings ride-I was at 135 to 140 for most of the ride except uphills where I allowed it to get to 145. My riding partner (Who I was waiting for on the hills) was 30 years my junior- saw 198 on the steepest hill- and averaged 155 for the ride. Only thing is that at present he is about 20lbs overweight and only done a few months riding.
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Old 08-25-08, 10:40 AM   #24
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such a fine line between warmed up and worn out.....My energy levels will fluctuate during any ride. I don't have a choice about hills....either direction I hit a 4-8% climb within 1-2 miles of the house.....usually I try to ride it hard just to wake the legs up and tell the lungs and body that Yes we are back out on the bike and Yes we are going to riding anf climbing.....
eventually they get the message.....but sometimes I get an all warmed up feeling after 18-20 miles and the climbs feel much less serious....
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Old 08-25-08, 11:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Like most things in cycling it depends on objectives. It takes me about 45 minutes of warmup before I can produce threshold power. For more casual settings or group rides, I go with the flow and conserve energy until I am warmed up. For races, I use a structured warmup.
This is a better explanation than my "in a groove" statement.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "structured warmup", it's typically done prior to a race and done on a trainer. The approximately 45 min. of warmup need to produce threshold power is reflected in the following example from http://ashwinearl.blogspot.com/2005/...x-mtbdoc.html:

The following is for a pro/expert level racer. Sport riders could certainly use this. Probably too much for a beginner. Okay, here we go:
10-15 min easy spinning (zone 1-2)
3 min zone 3
3 min zone 4
3-5 min easy
4 repeats of: 1 min zone 5 (steady anaerobic effort), 2 min recovery
5 min easy
5 repeats of: 10 sec sprint, 50 sec easy
5-10 min easy spinning until start
the DOC


For racers like Hermes, he's warmed up when he can first produce threshold power - which he may need to do at the beginning of a race. For most of us, threshold power is needed to "seriously cruise" or manage hills, so that's why it's better to warm up first.
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