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How do you warm up?

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Old 07-08-18, 04:37 PM
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big chainring 
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How do you warm up?

I dont ride much. Maybe a half dozen rides a month at most. So its not like I have a base of miles behind me. I'm a painting contractor so I do a good amount of physical labor. Lots of kneeling. Climbing up and down ladders. Pretty much moving all day long. So when it comes to a ride my muscles are usually tight. This morning I rode 30 miles. The first 7 or 8 miles muscles were tight. Hamstrings cramping. After a hard jam up a hill I finally felt good. And really felt great after 10 miles. So what can I do to get the muscles loose before riding?
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Old 07-08-18, 04:42 PM
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I usually just spin without putting a load on my legs for a couple miles. I can feel when I'm ready to put more of a load on my legs.
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Old 07-08-18, 05:07 PM
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I just get on the bike and go. Like previous reply I just stay in an easy gear initially.

Cramping might be poor hydration, low electrolytes (unlikely for short rides), or perhaps you are putting out too much torque and need to shift to lower gear ratios. If you are already in the lowest ratio gears, then you need to change them to what you need.

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Old 07-08-18, 05:30 PM
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Just spin easy for the first 15-20 minutes. For me, that's about as long as it takes for me to finally get out of congestion and on the bike trail or to the city limits.
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Old 07-08-18, 06:13 PM
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I always stretch for a bit before every ride.
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Old 07-08-18, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I just get on the bike and go. Like previous reply I just stay in an easy gear initially.

Cramping might be poor hydration, low electrolytes (unlikely for short rides), or perhaps you are putting out too much torque and need to shift to lower gear ratios. If you are already in the lowest ratio gears, then you need to change them to what you need.
Same. Its the way I've always warmed up for any physical activity.
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Old 07-08-18, 07:27 PM
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I ride a little easy until I break a sweat.

It is go time when I'm sweating good.


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Old 07-08-18, 08:50 PM
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Stretching is a good thing but doesn't have to be before or after a ride. Just do it on a regular basis. I concentrate on legs and lower back.
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Old 07-08-18, 09:34 PM
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two miles at high cadence, low effort.
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Old 07-08-18, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Stretching is a good thing but doesn't have to be before or after a ride. Just do it on a regular basis. I concentrate on legs and lower back.
Some people need to stretch, others do not. I've never stretched in my life -- except in school/the service/groups where they make you stretch.
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Old 07-08-18, 10:35 PM
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Don't stretch cold muscles, but if you want to, do it after 5-10 miles or after a ride. Stretching hasn't proved to be of any help.
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Old 07-09-18, 12:04 AM
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Stretching, before, during and after rides -- especially my neck and legs.

Gradual warm up for the first 10-15 minutes, staying in the small chainring, which conveniently covers the easiest parts of my usual workout routes anyway.

After that warm up I'll stand for about 15 seconds to sorta-sprint or climb the first short steep climbs, just to see how the knees and legs feel. If it goes well I'll increase to 30-60 seconds standing on the pedals to get the blood flowing a little better and check the legs before reaching some tricky segments where I might want to improve my times.

I may start using an indoor trainer before rides to warm up. A friend gave me one he wasn't using. Turned out to be more useful than I'd expected.

After rides I may use a ridiculously heavy nearly solid marble rolling pin on my thighs. It's mostly a kitchen ornament, although I may use it for baking once a year. Yeah, I'll wash it before making those cookies and biscuits.
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Old 07-09-18, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I dont ride much. Maybe a half dozen rides a month at most. So its not like I have a base of miles behind me. I'm a painting contractor so I do a good amount of physical labor. Lots of kneeling. Climbing up and down ladders. Pretty much moving all day long. So when it comes to a ride my muscles are usually tight. This morning I rode 30 miles. The first 7 or 8 miles muscles were tight. Hamstrings cramping. After a hard jam up a hill I finally felt good. And really felt great after 10 miles. So what can I do to get the muscles loose before riding?
Hamstrings cramping? I'd check your fit on your bicycle.

I try to start by riding lightly for the first couple km and then going harder. But if I leave from home, that's right out the window because first I need to climb a 14% grade, so I guess that's my warm up.
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Old 07-09-18, 04:23 AM
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Need to find what's best for yourself. Spin first, stretch first, hammer right from the get-go ---- every body is different and one must find what works for their body.

some STRETCHING info ---- https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercis...re-exercising/

I currently require a "warm up" period of varying cadence and effort, like a race car driver scrubbing tires before a start or re-start. Before my prostate cancer treatment began 4 years ago, I could head out of the garage and within 1 minute push 20/22 mph for the 5 miles to the group ride start.

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Hamstrings cramping? I'd check your fit on your bicycle.
.....I try to start by riding lightly for the first couple km and then going harder. But if I leave from home, that's right out the window because first I need to climb a 14% grade, so I guess that's my warm up.
Tight squeeze ???? I raise the garage door to exit.
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Old 07-09-18, 04:52 AM
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I ride a little easy for the first ten mile, then I'm good to go. Occasionally I will stretch when I get off the bike, but almost never before (used to stretch a lot and had a lot of injuries, probably due to cold muscles). Figure out what works for you.
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Old 07-09-18, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I ride a little easy until I break a sweat.

It is go time when I'm sweating good.
Lately I've been breaking a sweat just getting the bike out of the garage.

But still, take it easy for a few miles. I also wonder about your bike fit, if you're cramping within a few miles.
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Old 07-09-18, 11:53 AM
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I just pedal comfortably for a few miles. To meet club rides now it is fairly easy, as it is 6 or 7 miles (depending on which club) and is a 1% downhill.
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Old 07-09-18, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I just get on the bike and go. Like previous reply I just stay in an easy gear initially.
This.
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Old 07-09-18, 04:27 PM
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I ride in lower gears, spinning a bit until my knees quit burning. Then, I push a bit on higher gears to get my heart rate up until the end. Probably not a very scientific approach, but so far it’s worked for what I do.
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Old 07-09-18, 05:27 PM
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I go slow for a while before I go fast.
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Old 07-10-18, 03:07 AM
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How do you warm up?
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
…This morning I rode 30 miles. The first 7 or 8 miles muscles were tight. Hamstrings cramping. After a hard jam up a hill I finally felt good. And really felt great after 10 miles. So what can I do to get the muscles loose before riding?
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I usually just spin without putting a load on my legs for a couple miles. I can feel when I'm ready to put more of a load on my legs.
I had previously replied last year to this thread on the Road Cycling Forum, “Pre & post warm-up warmdown.I have tried to “quantify” my answer (distance and intensity):
Originally Posted by boshk View Post
How much if any do you do before and after a ride?

..A ride where you need to shower afterwards...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For me, that’s a ride of minimum of ten miles, and my commute is a minimum of14 miles. I only warm up, and then ride at cruising pace to the end.

When I first started a training schedule for a century, I noted at what mile I spontaneously realized I felt completely warmed up, i.e. I did not consciously look for it, and it usually occurred at about 6 miles. My basic riding routine is:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...last year I developed for myself my"Time-restricted, Personally Ambitious, but Non-competitive CyclistTraining Routine,"…based on Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE).”
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I use the semi-quantitative, standardized, but personally relavant system of (Borg’s) Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE) (link) with my own particular adaptation.
My basic premise was that I wanted to get significantly fit, within a busy work/family time-crunched life, but not suffer so much that I would abandon the program.

I do have the advantages of a very nice minimum 14 mile one way commute that is easily extended; and a high end, very comfortable carbon fiber road bike that encourages riding.

The RPE scale ranges from 6 to17, with descriptions of the intensity. Multiply the RPE by 10 is the approximate heart rate. Jim's scale is the equivalent on a 0 to 100 scale, easier to think about…

My basic training is to ride at my RPE of 50% for six miles to warm up, then cruise at an RPE of 60%, and do intervals (on hills) at 70% [described as“hard”; 60% is“somewhat hard," and 80% is “very hard" (lactate threshold;breakpoint between hard but steady breathing and labored with gasping). 50% is "fairly light" (my usual happy-go-lucky pace without thinking about it)].

I try to change gears to maintain a cadence of about 85-90 rpm on flats and rolling hills, and about 60 to 80 rpm on harder hills, to maintain my RPE. Shift up to higher gears as the cadence rises, and shift down as the RPE increases.
Originally Posted by az_cyclist View Post
I just pedal comfortably for a few miles. To meet club rides now it is fairly easy, as it is 6 or 7 miles (depending on which club) and is a 1% downhill.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-10-18 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:03 AM
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warm shower
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Old 07-10-18, 10:42 AM
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I stretch every morning just before breakfast, but I never need to do so until I turned 65.

I don't usually warm up. Maybe I ride a little easier the first couple miles is all. That said, it takes me almost an hour of relatively hard riding before everything is functioning normally. If I ride easy, those changes don't happen.

By far the most useful thing you could do is to ride ~4 times/week, every week. Say three 1-hour rides if that's all you have time for, and one longer ride every weekend. Riding will then be even more fun.

A good way to warm up is to stand for a couple minutes, maybe after the first mile. Gets the blood moving.
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Old 07-10-18, 11:01 AM
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This morning I had roughly 90 minutes to do a hard set of intervals (3x2'; 3x1'; 3x30"). Since the actual work time was so short and the efforts so hard, I needed a decent warm up. I spun very easily for the first 10 minutes, then gradually increased till I started to break a sweat (another 10 min or so). Did the intervals and then cool down was essentially a reverse of the warm up.

Rule of thumb: the shorter the event/workout, the longer the warmup.
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Old 07-10-18, 11:06 AM
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Not every ride has the same terrain profile or purpose.
A recovery ride is just one long "warm up", power work on the short sharp steep hills and/or HIIT speed work intervals does require thorough laddering up of cadence/effort to start and a cool-down as well.
Going to the Farmer's Mkt on the town bike requires nothing more than remembering to bring cash.

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