Race & Ride Warmup

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
It has become apparent to me that my race warm-up is about as bad as it can be. What do people do for a race warm-up and do you guys do it for regular weekday rides or just on weekends or only on race day? Seems like on any given non-race day I can start out fine with no warm-up but when race day rolls around I'm terrible, at best.
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
My race day warm up for a standard XC race is very basic, and is adjusted to the length and importance of my race. The shorter the race, the longer the warm up.

For an important race, I will be in the saddle a minimum of 1 hr before start. I have 3 segments to the warm up. Loosen up, tempo and intensity. First, I'll roll around a bit to loosen up. Then bring it up to tempo for atleast 15 minutes. Finally, I will find an uphill and force my heartrate above 150. Repeat that 3 times, the last time holding a bit longer. Keep rolling as much as possible until the start.

This can be difficult at certain races because of availability terrain. The trainer probably would work more accurately, but I HATE trainers, and would rather get out on the trails and find a real hill.


As far as regular rides, I try to generally treat my body the same way.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Good stuff, thanks for the reply Pixy. My warmup is basically 15 minutes of total riding, with a few hard efforts in there. Sounds like that's woefully inadequate. No wonder going remotely hard from the gun feels so painful.
 
N

Neen

Guest
okay so you do your warmup -- how long do you allow between the end of the warmup and the start of the race? :confused:
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
MTB races are always a PITA to warm up at. You often end up getting what you can and hoping for the best. You can never be sure when the race will begin. Your car is parked no where near the race course. Between registration, restrooms, and other prep, it is a real challenge.

I thought the scenario at the chainstretcher worked well. The road to the start was uphill which provided the resistance to get you HR up. The course went immediately uphill from the beginning. I went back and fourth on the road a few times. Then, I hit the course and rode the first climb twice. Since I did not pre-ride, this provided warm up and allowed me to scout the lines up the fire road.

No wonder going remotely hard from the gun feels so painful.
I know a great interval workout to help improve your MTB starts. It is from Joe Friel's Training Bible.

After adequate warm up, ride at maximum effort for one minute followed by 6-10 minutes of tempo pace or above. Repeat until dead. As your fitness improves, increase the intensity of the start and/or the length of the tempo segment. Tempo is a sub-maximum effort but still quite high.

This is how every MTB race starts. Guys gun it for position and then settle in and see how long they can hold the pace. The rider that can hold it the longest wins.

okay so you do your warmup -- how long do you allow between the end of the warmup and the start of the race? :confused:

As little time as possible. Do your warmup near the start so that you can periodically check to see if the promoter is getting ready to call riders up to the line.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Ben - good stuff. I have the Friel book but don't remember seeing that workout but that may be because I never deemed the start of a race one of my "limiters". It still may not be but I think I need to change tactics a bit. I imagine that would be a once a week workout? And nothing in between the tempo and the next rep? Usually there's a rest to make the 1 minute closer to 100% no?

This makes a second reason why my assessment that L6 wasn't of particular importance to me incorrect. Again I admit Sean was right on that.

This sort of reminds me of Bill Black's "hour of power" from the Coggan book. Something like threshold for an hour with micro busts every 90 seconds.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Here's another suggestion I found on the XC forum:

1. Firstly find a road thats straight thats slightly uphill %1 gradient.
2. Grab your road bike put it in it's biggest gear.
3. Second start your stopwatch for 1min
4. From a standstill maybe someone holding you, start your stopwatch for 60seconds accelerate and go eyeballs out for the minute your lungs and legs will feel like you are going to explode!!

Do this 4 times for the first time and add 10min easy spinning between each one

More or less what you suggest Ben, but without the tempo. The reality of course is that you don't get to rest 10 minutes between the your efforts in a race. And at this stage of the season, my "training" is probably better to be as close to race pace as possible.
 

Kirt

JORBA: Chimney Rock, Team MTBNJ.COM
JORBA.ORG
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I thought the scenario at the chainstretcher worked well. The road to the start was uphill which provided the resistance to get you HR up. The course went immediately uphill from the beginning. I went back and fourth on the road a few times. Then, I hit the course and rode the first climb twice. Since I did not pre-ride, this provided warm up and allowed me to scout the lines up the fire road.

I wish I followed you around on Sunday.:) I most certainly didn't warm up enough as I only did about a 5 minute warm up with no hard effort at all. Live & learn. Thanks for the info.
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
...nothing in between the tempo and the next rep? Usually there's a rest to make the 1 minute closer to 100% no?

details details :rolleyes:

I forgot to mention Rest before starting the next rep. I forget what Friel suggested but I think it was long between reps (like 20 minutes) so that you had a relatively low HR when you started each rep.

The reason for the long rest is to better simulate an actual race.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Hmm, that sure makes for a long session unless you want to do like 3 reps.
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
Hmm, that sure makes for a long session unless you want to do like 3 reps.

Here is the exact workout quoted from Friel.

A4a AE, MTB Starts
BT: Warm-up well. Then from a full stop go max effort for 1 minute before settling in at heart rate 4-5a zones for 10 minutes. Spin 15-20 minutes for recovery. Then repeat. Can be done on gentle trail or road


In 2004, when I was really into this crap, I compiled a list of every workout that Joe Friel published. I've attached it for whoever would like to see it. It's quite extensive. Abbreviations are at the end to help with the lingo.
 

NJ Jess

Active Member
Great Thread.

I must admit I've just started incorporating warmups into my racing prep. I like to socialize before the race. That didn't help my lungs though. It seemed that I would finally settle in at the beginning of my second lap.

My first ever, "by the book" warmup was at Mt Snow VT for the Nationals. It only happened because I had a "Nationals newbie" following me and she needed some guidance. So, doing exactly what Pixy said,...loosen up for 20 minutes, tempo for 20, and then intensities up a hill for a HR over 150 for 3 -4 times. Needless to say,...won Nationals with the newbie close behind. We both remarked on how "good" of a race it was for us.

I would like to add that having a strong "base miles" fundation and fitness makes fast starts much easier. Now that I moved to Expert, I'm having to "spin recover" after many of the hills at Blue Mt. That's were I "should have been" flying down the back half of the mountains. I've got a lot of work to do this winter.
 

velonut

Member
"Life isn't about growing old with a well preserved body--it's about skidding in sideways, thoroughly used up, worn out, and loudly proclaiming "WOW! What a ride!" with a smile on my face and mud on my butt!"

Jess, you made me laugh! The best footer I ve read so far.:)
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Cool Ben. You sound like me with a lot of this stuff, but faster. You should check out the Coggan and Ross books.

Hey look! Velonut is here on my direct recommendation from the XC forum!
 

NJ Jess

Active Member
huh

Hey look! Velonut is here on my direct recommendation from the XC forum![/QUOTE]


Show off,..hee hee hee
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
I pre-rode the first half of the course to the parking lot twice...First time at "Recovery Pace" to scout lines and whatnot...Second time at "Race Pace" to open up the piping and to try those lines again at speed...Of course perceived race pace by yourself, and actual race pace during the race, always seems a little skewed...Before a road race, I warm up for about 40 minutes on the trainer with my PowerTap and it makes a HUGE difference, but I feel weird bring a trainer and road bike to a MTB race, I'm not nearly fast enough for all that yet!!

-Jim.
 

ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
Before a road race, I warm up for about 40 minutes on the trainer with my PowerTap and it makes a HUGE difference, but I feel weird bring a trainer and road bike to a MTB race, I'm not nearly fast enough for all that yet!!

-Jim.

I thought of doing the for mtb races, but i have found it better to warm up on the trails. Have to also warm up the bike handling skills also.

With that being said Jim or whomever else can answer i have a question about CX races and warmups.

What do you typically do? I was thinking of bringing the roadie and a trainer to warm up. I also would pre ride the course to get a feel for things. My guess is bc CX races are a much shorter time w/ a harder effort it really is best to be loosey goosey. :)
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
The trainer/road bike is the way to go for CX...Or just the trainer and swap the rear wheel on the CX bike with your road one so you take up less room in the car...More room for your pit stuff like extra wheels, or if you're pro enough to have an extra CX bike!! I'm not that pro so I bring my MTB as a pit bike...

-Jim.
 
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