Failing to warm-up properly isn’t just damaging your times but also putting yourself at risk of injury. This isn’t scaremongering this is fact. Going from nothing to full without an adequate warm-up might damage your body. Think back to the days before we had synthetic oil to put in your car, you wouldn’t go from turning the key to full throttle, would you?

Consider the mental reason for warming-up. Have you thought that a warm-up routine might help you get into the zone? The best riders out there are the ones who can isolate themselves, perform their warm-up routine and get into the zone with no complications and no distractions. Get in contact to speak to our Mental Health Coach.

When questioned, most cyclists are actually more concerned about doing too much than they are too little. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it… so how much is enough?

When you warm-up for a short time trial, you might actually spend more time preparing your body for it than you do in the race itself. You might try to do about 30 minutes for any race an hour or less. You might do about 20 minutes for anything up to about 50 mile TT or a road race with a neutralised zone. For a Sportive (where, if you’re careful enough, you might complete your warm-up at the start of the event itself!), a 50 and 100 mile TT you might do 10-20 minutes. Anything ultra-distance (12 hours and longer) you might just get the legs going. The main consideration you need to think about isn’t the distance or time it’s the effort or power output you’ll be doing. You might put slightly more power into you warm-up than you do in your race. This will help prepare your body for what is about to happen.

Here is my preferred protocol, the British Cycling warm-up:

5 minutes at cadence 90. 2 minutes at cadence 95. 2 minutes at cadence 100. 2 minutes at cadence 105. 1 minute 30 seconds at cadence 110. 30 seconds at cadence 120 or more (rev out). 2 minutes at cadence 90. 6 second sprint at maximum. 1 minute at cadence 90. 6 second sprint at maximum. 1 minute at cadence 90. 6 second sprint at maximum. 2 minutes 42 seconds at cadence 90.

Tailor this to you own needs, for example some might start at 70 cadence and work up and make adequate post-race notes on exactly how your body felt. You should be able to tell in the first few minutes (sometimes seconds!) if you’ve not warmed up enough. Use interval training to develop this and, with time, you’ll have a routine that switches both your body and mind on.

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