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warming up before a crit

Old 06-06-15, 10:17 AM
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warming up before a crit

For how long and how much time before the race do you warm up? Trainer or riding around? The crit is a CAT5, 30 minutes.

Thank you,

Juan
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Old 06-06-15, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by juanebici
For how long and how much time before the race do you warm up? Trainer or riding around? The crit is a CAT5, 30 minutes.

Thank you,

Juan
I ride around. Usually like to get 30-50 minutes in, at least a few practice sprints and a couple of efforts that push the heart rate up into race zone. Because crits are on from the gun, you want to be ready to go. Riding around gives me a chance to check the bike out, and get a handle on temp and clothing.

On the other side, you shouldn't tire yourself out warming up. I see guys sitting out in the hot sun warming up aggressively on rollers with sweat pouring off of them...I seldom see these people at the end of the race.
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Old 06-06-15, 03:20 PM
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I do a 10-15 minute step workout on the trainer in the shade. I have power targets but RPE rules.
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Old 06-06-15, 07:44 PM
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Well, I did my second crit and same results. I lasted 7 minutes both times! Is this normal? At least I am being consistent...Gotta get stronger, that is for sure....
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Old 06-07-15, 07:52 AM
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Hmm, i warm up for about 45 minutes.
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Old 06-07-15, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl
Hmm, i warm up for about 45 minutes.
At least. Rule of thumb (of sorts) - "the shorter the race, the longer the warmup". And, don't give up, just train more!
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Old 06-08-15, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by sarals
At least. Rule of thumb (of sorts) - "the shorter the race, the longer the warmup". And, don't give up, just train more!
Thank you! One thing for sure then, I didn't warm up enough...next time!
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Old 06-08-15, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by juanebici
Well, I did my second crit and same results. I lasted 7 minutes both times! Is this normal? At least I am being consistent...Gotta get stronger, that is for sure....
Warming up isn't going to help you much. You need to:
1. train more to build up your endurance,
2. Learn how to pace yourself so you don't blow up early.
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Old 06-08-15, 12:57 PM
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Getting blown out the back of a crit can have many causes, often not related to fitness. Positioning is huge; staying sheltered and close on wheels, anticipating surges, all this plays into things. And a lot of what passes for cycling fitness advice these days (FTP! FTP! FTP!) has little to do with hanging on in a crit.

Crits are on/off. Sprint, recover, sprint, recover. If you're doing a lot of 20m intervals this isn't going to get you what you need. Train like you race....
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Old 06-15-15, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by juanebici
Well, I did my second crit and same results. I lasted 7 minutes both times! Is this normal? At least I am being consistent...Gotta get stronger, that is for sure....
It sounds like you're working too hard. Could be that you're not positioned well on the bike, not sheltered enough, not cornering well, not fit enough in the right way, or some combination of the above.

If you're not positioned well on the bike you won't engage your most powerful muscles, you'll be less aero, and you handicap yourself immediately.

If you're not sheltered enough you're going to be using massive amounts of extra energy, like exponentially so. It might take 150w to sit in but 400w to be in the wind. You want to be closer to the 150w effort level, not 400w. This means being able to draft well, and that means being able to ride closely, anticipate pace changes, focus, etc. My average wattage in many of my flatter crits will net m about 15-18 mph on flat terrain when riding solo. However I'm averaging maybe 23-26 mph during the races. This is because I shelter well.

If you're not cornering well then you won't be in the draft/shelter coming out of turns. Acceleration takes a lot of power, and if you're not sheltered then it gets exponentially harder. It's part of sheltering but requires some thought/practice. You can practice cornering whenever you drive your car, push a shopping cart, or even push Matchbox cars around on your desk.

If you're not fit in the right way then you may not be able to respond to surges and such. Everyone can ride a Cat 5 crit distance. It's being able to ride that distance while staying relatively sheltered that's the challenge. It means responding to surges (to stay on a wheel, i.e. stay in shelter), accelerating hard enough out of corners, etc. You have to be able to make some punchy/surge/jump type moves otherwise you'll find yourself gapped off, unsheltered, and using increasingly more energy just to stay with the field.

You'll get the hang of it. It took me a while, that's for sure, but it was definitely worth it.
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Old 06-15-15, 11:47 PM
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Thank you for the advice! I will be doing another criterium in two weeks and will for sure pay attention to the things you mention. I have enjoyed the two I have done so far....I am sure I will get the hang of it.

Thank you to all for the words of wisdom! I will keep at it!

Juan
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Old 06-17-15, 09:44 PM
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Well done on getting out there mate. Yep, crits are good fun. Your ability to surge/jump multiple times, as well as read a race and position yourself where you are most efficient are all factors. You'll get better with practice!

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