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Old 04-05-13, 09:19 AM   #1
TomD77
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Warm Up Distance

Recently I've increased my warm up distance from a mile or so up to around 4 miles and have found that I have much more pleasant rides.
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Old 04-05-13, 09:24 AM   #2
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A year ago -- when I started riding -- 4 miles was about as far as I could go before I fell off the bike from exhaustion and my heart's inability to pump enough blood and O2 to the parts that needed it... 3,500 miles later, things have improved -- but not enough...
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Old 04-05-13, 09:26 AM   #3
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4-5 miles of warm up, and it gets much easier for me. I've always been amazed at that!
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Old 04-05-13, 09:49 AM   #4
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I typically warm up by time not mileage. In the winter or colder months it's 25 to 30 minute. In warmer weather it's 15 to 20 minutes before I do any hard work.
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Old 04-05-13, 09:56 AM   #5
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So many rides here start right off with a climb. I really need a good warmup but sometimes it's just not in the cards. I try to take it easy at the start. The ride tomorrow starts with a sharp 10%. I'll be letting everyone move on up the hill as I limp up it. I will do a few laps of the parking area before the ride to loosen up a bit.
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Old 04-05-13, 10:55 AM   #6
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I noticed last spring the benefit of a warm up.I often ride at a county park that is a mile and a quarter oval.One day I timed myself ,Times are approx.First lap 7 mins,second 6mins,third 5mins.As you can see the more I warmed up the faster I rode.The strange part, I thought I was riding with the same effort and the same speed untill I measured myself.Shortly after that I began using a cycle computer.I'm not a number nut but its interesting to look at them once in a while.
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Old 04-05-13, 12:18 PM   #7
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Usually, everything loosens up and gets working properly after 7 to 10 miles for me.
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Old 04-05-13, 02:12 PM   #8
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Ah, warming up. One of the great secrets of successful cycling. Usually, the shorter and harder the effort, the longer the warmup. When I was racing on the track, I loved warming up with the sprinters. They'd take the longest, easiest warmups, 20 to 40 minutes at 25 to 30 kmh, but then about 10 hard laps at the end. These guys had more muscle mass, so the warmup would take longer.

Before a 20-minute criterium, I'd usually go on a one-hour ride to warm up. But for a long road race, I'd ride maybe ten minutes or so, doing most of the warmup at the start of the race. You just have to watch for guys attacking from the start.

On the big mass start rides, you usually see guys on their expensive bikes taking off real fast right from the start. Some of them can actually hold the fast tempo, but most of them I'll pass during the ride, and on my fixed gear bike. I don't even warm up for these rides; I just ride easy for the first few miles/km. I don't even fill the water bottle. Quite often there will be a big hill before the first food stop, so I like to climb with an empty bottle, then fill it at the stop. Who needs to eat or drink anything in the first 40 km anyway? (I'm also quite a cheapskate!) By then I'm warmed up enough to latch on to faster groups going by, or bridge up to groups up the road.

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Old 04-05-13, 02:16 PM   #9
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I warm up with the heart monitor. Get to 110 and rest- go to 130 and rest-then 140 and rest and finally to 150 and totally recover. That way I can ride all day at around 135 to 140 and feel fine. Try to go to 150 straight away and I won't get there and I will be having a slow ride after that. Can take a couple of miles or 4.
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Old 04-05-13, 03:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
So many rides here start right off with a climb. I really need a good warmup but sometimes it's just not in the cards. ...
Perhaps if you drive to these rides/events, you can toss a windtrainer (that attaches to the rear wheel) in the car and warm up with that before the ride starts? At least you're not blasting off cold on a big ol' climb.
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Old 04-05-13, 04:03 PM   #11
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I'm not too scientific on warm up distance. Has a lot to do with temps, length of ride, whether I'm alone or in a group. Can take anywhere from 5-15 miles. Sometimes if I'm going to do a century or a long ride I'll ease into it more just not to overdue it too early.

I ride for distance and endurance...not much into racing although gotten decently fast in longer rides.
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Old 04-05-13, 04:45 PM   #12
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Warm up time or distance for me depends on the planned ride and the weather conditions. I have to go by the way my body feels, usually it is around 4-6 miles and I feel loosened up.

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Old 04-05-13, 07:00 PM   #13
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A corollary: in running it was said that a run didn't suck until it sucked for at least three miles.

For me a ride doesn't suck until I've ridden for about 1/2 hour. At my pace that's about six miles or so.

If its not clicking at that time, I usually just soldier through it, but I know it's going to be ugly.
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Old 04-07-13, 06:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
...Warm Up Distance...
I've found it's related to [my] age and ambient conditions. On a 50-degree F day, I'd really like 45 easy minutes. Under 35-degrees and high humidity, it just doesn't happen some days. WELL worth the investment in time; make the ride got SO much better.
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Old 04-07-13, 08:34 AM   #15
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About 8-9 miles, typically at 14-15 MPH. I wish it was sooner/shorter, but for some reason it just takes that long before my breathing gets regular and I feel like I can go on. Except like yesterday when I rode for the first time in 16 days (only about the 6th time this year). Even the 12 MPH south wind was giving me fits, so it took longer to get over the 'completely insufficient' feeling.
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Old 04-07-13, 08:42 AM   #16
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I too go by time because my speed--and therefore distance--can vary quite a bit.

In winter, it's 10-15 minutes until I've worked thorough the initial chill and my temperature comes up, then the same again before I'm warmed-up and can put forth some effort.

Of course, through most of the winter, I don't have that luxury. Between pushing the studded snow tires, then battling the winds after the first minute, I'm pushing hard right away.

IN the three seasons, I can start a moderate effort at 10-15 minutes, and can pour on the coal at double that. Which works out nicely on my favored commute route. First some modest climbs, a descent or two, followed by the standing climbs on the cobbles. It's a mile or so after those cobbled climbs that I begin to feel fantastic.
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Old 04-07-13, 03:13 PM   #17
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I'm one who really doesn't pay any attention to warmup. Keeping it simple and just letting things happen as they may is my type of riding. Sometimes fast, sometimes not so fast. There is never a plan on how I'm going to ride when I hop on the bike.
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Old 04-07-13, 05:13 PM   #18
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Two tiered warmup, depending on how far I am going. If it's only 25 miles or so, the first 4 is easy warmup and the next 4 intermediate. If I'm going for a century or better, the first 4-5 is easy and the next ten is intermediate. And I don't really cut it loose on the century rides, just probably 80% +/-. When I get to start riding the first of the year, it is hard to keep myself from pushing it too early. I blame it on the spinning classes, as we push it from the git-go there. Bottom line when I'm touring and doing 50-150 miles a day, it's best to ease into it so I'm still strong down the road.
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Old 04-07-13, 05:27 PM   #19
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It seems it takes about 20 minutes or so until I am properly warmed up, sometimes longer. So in mileage terms that is around 5 miles or so. Once my HR stabilizes and my breathing becomes rhythmic, I'm good to go. It varies.
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Old 04-08-13, 06:45 AM   #20
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I like to start off easy - maybe that's a part of becoming both older and wiser. My body tells me when it's time to start adding power bit by bit. Usually it's (like most others) 20 to 30 minutes after starting. Depending on any number of factors, that might be five to 8 miles or so. After that, I can feel my hip flexors stretching out and my pelvis settling in for a comfortable ride. I've learned to listen to my body after many years of not having paid any attention to what happened naturally. PG
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Old 04-08-13, 07:21 AM   #21
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My warmups are rather weird. I usually do the first two miles of my ride at a reduced speed of 14-16 mph. I do this on the service road before I get to the loop. When I get to the loop, I pick it up to 20+ mph for about a mile while my heart rate gets up to 145 bpm. I then slow it down to around 17-18 mph until my respirations return to normal and my HR is around 130 bpm. At that point, I'm pretty much good to go. I told you it was rather weird.
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Old 04-08-13, 07:48 AM   #22
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I'm one who really doesn't pay any attention to warmup. Keeping it simple and just letting things happen as they may is my type of riding. Sometimes fast, sometimes not so fast. There is never a plan on how I'm going to ride when I hop on the bike.
+1

I don't "do" rides, I ride. If I did time-planned or competitive rides/races then a warm up would be sensible, but I tend to get on a bike and see where it takes me within rough parameters and often with detours, so a warm up period is just part of the ride. Similarly I rarely warm down, which I know would be the sensible thing to do, but I'm usually so tired at the end of a ride that I just want to get back for a cup of tea!

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