Warm Up for Time Trials and Criteriums: Page 2 of 3

Training & Health

10/15/2008| 0 comments
by Ivana Bisaro

Warm Up for Time Trials and Criteriums

You have put in hours of training on the bike; you have the equipment and the bike dialed in to the very last detail. Arriving at your peak race time trial or criterium, you start your usual warm-up, not quite sure what to do for a proper warm up.

and/or heavily trafficked areas, poor riding surfaces such as gravel roads and/or undesirable weather conditions. Your best solution is to pack a trainer so you can warm up at any race venue in any conditions.

If you are experiencing extremes in weather, pack your gear accordingly and be prepared for any condition.  In hot weather you want to prevent your core temperature from increasing excessively, and you can do this by warming up in the shade or in an air-conditioned building. Be sure to staying adequately hydrated and minimally dressed to help cool your body. If the weather conditions are cold and/or wet, you want to be properly dressed and sheltered from the elements. Place the trainer as close to the start line as possible so you can hear any changes in start times and be available at a moment’s notice.

If you must do your warm-up on the road, under any conditions, try to pick a relatively traffic- and interruption-free route. Check the start times and make sure you are within range to hear any schedule change announcements to ensure that you make your start. Remember, the clock starts at your start time, whether you’re there or not. 

When preparing for a time trial effort, start your warm up one hour before your start time.  Your actual riding time will be 45 minutes but you must factor in a bathroom break(s) and enough time to get to the start line. You should also have your energy drink readily available during your warm up routine. 

The warm-up is a series of progressively higher intensity efforts designed to activate the energy systems used during your race, including those for the production, buffering, and clearing of lactic acid. Your warm-up should go as follows:

Your total warm-up time is 46 minutes, and the first 20 minutes consist of an endurance-intensity spin at 85-95rpm; this can be done either on the road or on the trainer. Then:

· 10 minutes Tempo, 75-85rpm

· 2 minutes Recovery

· 6 minutes ramping SteadyState 90-95rpm at or just below lactate threshold

· 2 minutes Recovery

· 2 minutes PowerIntervals, 105rpm

· 2 minutes Recovery                               

· 2 minutes PowerIntervals, 105rpm

· 2 minutes Recovery

The 10 minutes of Tempo act as a transition between endurance and SteadyState efforts. The ramping portion of the 6-minute Steady State (SS) effort at 90-95 rpm is very important. You should only reach SS intensity, at or just below LT, during the last minute of the interval. The high-power intervals towards the end of your warmup will push you above lactate threshold and stimulate your body to produce, buffer, and clear lactate. The last 2-minute recovery interval should be as close as possible to the start of your race.  The difference between a criterium and time trial warm up is in the energy systems that are predominant in that particular event. With time trialling, your emphasis should be on performing a lengthy SteadyState effort as in the above warm up routine.

In criterium racing more emphasis should be placed on the 2-minute high-power, high-cadence intervals

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