Do you warm up before going cycling?

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  • Do you warm up before going cycling?
  • jekkyl
    Member

    I was just reading an article about middle aged men and getting into fitness. I’m 38 and will be 39 in January πŸ˜₯ and I never warm up, I just tend to jump on the bike and ride. I usually start my ride down a steady hill away from my street cycling as fast as I can.
    Do you warm up and do you think you benefit from it or suffer as a result if you forget/don’t?
    What excercises are good for warming up for cycling?
    Cheers

    Cycling is a good warm up for cycling.

    jekkyl
    Member

    yeah that’s what I kinda reckoned.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    No, but yes. I don’t do a ‘warm up’ but I take the first 15 mins or so at a steady pace to allow my lungs to open up and acclimatise. Particularly at this time of year when hitting them hard with cold damp air in the bits that don’t normally get accessed has created asthma problems for me.

    If i was racing (riding round with a number on) then yes, i do ‘warm up’ so that 15 mins has been done, and then ramping it up to a few all out efforts as well.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    For a start: you’re a bloody whipper snapper.

    Warming up sounds like the kind of thing you’d do if you were one of those runners who stand there in the street, stretching their quads, or jogging on the spot at traffic lights, or whatever. Which they obviously think makes them look like a serious, perfectly-honed athlete, on the cusp of glorious victory at some major sporting event. When in reality it just makes them look like a colossal, throbbing bell end, who no doubt take themselves way too seriously!

    I do religiously warm down after cycling though. In the pub. πŸ˜€

    rocketman
    Member

    Cycling is a good warm up for cycling

    ^^ this

    After 10 miles I’m ready for anything

    wors
    Member

    I usually have a poo to warm up with, then cool down like Binners πŸ˜€

    If its just a z2 ride, then i do about 5mins in z1, then into z2. For racing or intervals, i do a 20 min warm up on the rollers which if i didn’t do, i’d probably be dropped in the neutralised start of the race, or not hit my first interval properly. I just feel rubbish if i go from nothing to race pace in seconds. A 10min cool down on the rollers helps my legs recover for the next day too.

    If i was just riding my bike then i wouldn’t warm up in the same way.

    Dibbs
    Member

    My ride up to the top of the Quantocks is a natural warmup for me as it’s a mile of flat(ish) followed by a couple of miles of steady climbing (20% in places). I’m nicely warmed up for the offroad stuff when I get to the top. πŸ˜‰

    I’m 56 BTW.

    yunki
    Member

    As said, I’ve found cycling to be the ideal warm up for cycling.. I’ve started to do a bit of stretching though, otherwise I’m crippled by old injuries..

    First 20 or so miles on the roadie nice and easy to warm the legs and back up then I am ready. I do not feel the love for the first hour or so.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    I’ve skinned up a fair few times.
    Does that count?

    No. I just start slower and get into my stride after about an hour, which is tricky as a certain person in the riding gang likes to (and can) whizz off uphill like a missile. You know who you are πŸ˜‰

    A bit low speed balancing exercise around the car park while The Avengers Assemble seems to be helpful.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Most mountain bike routes I do tend to start with a bloody great climb, so I’m usually pretty warm by the time I get to the top.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    What dirtygirlonabike said. If I’m just out on a ride I just take it easy to start with and build up the effort slowly. If it’s racing I have a specific 30 minute routine I try and follow. Use to be able to just do a quick lap of the car park and then race in my younger days, now need to be properly warmed up or I’d blow on the first big effort.

    jamiea
    Member

    First 20 or so miles on the roadie nice and easy to warm the legs and back up then I am ready. I do not feel the love for the first hour or so.

    Ditto! I’m actually thinking about starting the Strava app after 20 miles πŸ˜€

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    stur
    Member

    A lot of macho crap above. But everyone is different. Some people never warm up and get away with it. Some people never warm up until they get injured. It’s safer to stretch warm up and stretch again before you ride and warm down afterwards (with some stretching). It needn’t be a big deal (takes me about 20 mins at the most). You will get more out of your riding and stand less chance of getting injured.

    Shred
    Member

    Ah, no. All the research has shown that stretching before endurance exercise will decrease you performance during the event, and does not help with reducing injury.

    Sausage rolls are quite warming, as is soup.

    stumpy01
    Member

    I never feel the need to particularly warm-up. I just start steady and put more effort in after 10 mins or so. I do the same on the turbo trainer (not that I use it much).

    I should probably warm down more, as quite often I’ll stick the bike in the car after a hard ride and then drive home before wondering why I can barely get my legs out of the car when I get home!

    Stevelol
    Member

    I’ve started doing a routine from this book recently http://www.amazon.com/Tom-Danielsons-Core-Advantage-Strength/dp/193403097X

    There is a lot of good information in the first 1/3rd of the book about the differences in stretching. Doing things like stretching your quads (grabbing your foot and pulling it up behind the back of your thigh) is apparently the wrong thing to do before exercise, I don’t remember the exact reason why but it’s something to do with how a muscle’s power output is reduced over a period of time when it is stretched. Dynamic stretching is much better (stretching that involves carrying out a movement), think about what you see footballers do before a football match, they’re not standing around touching their toes are they?

    I stretch my IT bands before a ride because like a lot of people I used to get pain in my lower back, and always set off gently for the first 30 minutes or so to avoid any injuries.

    stur
    Member

    [/quote]Ah, no. All the research has shown that stretching before endurance exercise will decrease you performance during the event, and does not help with reducing injury.

    If you read ‘all’ the research you will see that findings differ and timing, duration and intensity of stretching all play key roles. From the OP’s original question/statement he. I would argue it safer for him to warm up and stretch before riding.

    5thElefant
    Member

    I would argue it safer for him to warm up and stretch before riding.

    I would argue it won’t any odds at all. He’s not a sprinter.

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    Token efforts really. Fell races tend to start with a big blummin climb, so you kind of get used to the cold start. I haven’t got the fitness to spare to really open the guns beforehand like the proper fast people πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    Personally I don’t “warm up” off the bike but I do start off slower.

    IME stretching is only useful if I’m attempting to address a specific issue (like a tight muscle for example, or the IT band thing stevelol mentioned above) or if I’m doing an activity that requires a large range of motion (like weightlifting or martial arts but not spinning your legs round in circles!)

    trail_rat
    Member

    before i ride the tour de **** you every day i get my rollers out on the front lawn and ride at z1 for 20 minutes , do some z3 intervals stop – side hop , down my espresso , press record on my garmin and shout strava at everybody i pass all without unclipping.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    tend to start at a gentle pace, I find as I get older it takes a good 20 mins to warm up and feel switched on.

    Also, I ride indoors on the track a bit now and find that I need a steady slow 10 laps before my legs are able to go round at a proper pace πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    No but any physio would tell you you should.

    My typical ride from home is quite poor in that regard, short sharp climb from house, freewheel down hill, longer sharper climb requiring granny ring and 2nd lowest gear. Cycling is quite bad for shortening hamstrings and tightening calfs so a bit of stretching before and after (inc for lower back) is what a physio would recommend. Do I do that at 50, no but I know I should especially now it’s colder/damper.

    Losidan
    Member

    On the road or mtb:

    Just ride very steady for the first ten minutes then pick it up gradually.

    On the turbo
    5-7 mins easy spinning then start to gradually work a bit harder to start bringing the heart rate up but nothing too bonkers up to 10 mins. At ten mins start first interval.

    Milkie
    Member

    Yea I do warm up. Stick the heaters on in the car! I swear they got the idea for the WKD advert from me!

    After cycling for 5-10 mins I then stretch a little.

    tomj
    Member

    I start riding slowly then when I feel better I ride a bit faster.

    Then I usually get off and push!

    Mind you wrestling the bike off the roof rack is enough of a warm up for me.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    It’s safer to stretch warm up and stretch again before you ride and warm down afterwards (with some stretching). It needn’t be a big deal (takes me about 20 mins at the most).

    I’m going to have a stab in the dark here. Not married? No kids?

    20 minutes spent fannying around before you head out on the bike, is 20 minutes in which to be accosted by one of your off-spring for help with homework, a lift to football practice, or hospital as one of them has just fallen off the sofa and sprained her knee*. Or to hear the apparently innocuous “could you just…..?”

    If you bothered with any of that nonsense, you’d never make it out at all!

    Anyone married with kids knows: as soon as you’ve got clearance, seize the moment, grab your bike and get the **** out of Dodge. FAST!

    And 20 minutes ‘warming down’ afterwards, is 20 minutes less in the pub. Which is a crime against nature

    * this actually happened

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    If its just a z2 ride, then i do about 5mins in z1, then into z2. For racing or intervals, i do a 20 min warm up on the rollers which if i didn’t do, i’d probably be dropped in the neutralised start of the race, or not hit my first interval properly. I just feel rubbish if i go from nothing to race pace in seconds. A 10min cool down on the rollers helps my legs recover for the next day too.

    That made no sense to me – you might as well been speaking Mongolian.

    brakes
    Member

    I live at the bottom of a hill so I tend to ride round it to avoid straining something on the way out. Don’t do any stretching before hand but do tend to take it easy for a few miles before pushing it. Often I’m late to meet mates so that goes out the window and I can feel it in my legs for the rest of the ride.
    I tend to take the last leg of a ride easy to warm down, but don’t stretch. I do eat what I need to afterwards though which helps massively with recovery.
    The only stretching I do is when actually on the bike during a ride.

    Anyone married with kids knows: as soon as you’ve got clearance, seize the moment, grab your bike and get the **** out of Dodge. FAST!

    I tend to leave before anyone gets out of bed on a morning. Means I get to have a morning coffee and a poo in peace too.

    cbmotorsport
    Member

    If I can I start a ride with a bit of flat pedalling, before my first hills, If I can’t I just get on with it. I do find though that it takes me 1/2 hour of any riding or so until I get in my groove and feel ‘warmed up’

    jekkyl
    Member

    2 dumps is usual before I can leave the house most mornings. and I tend to ride at night within 5 minutes of my little one going down, so the wife has to deal with any get ups!! har harhar.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    It’s safer to stretch warm up and stretch again before you ride and warm down afterwards (with some stretching).

    That is so wrong. Stretching when cold is more likely to tear muscles/damage them. Warm up first and then stretch if you think you get a benefit after that.

    thecaptain
    Member

    I think it’s probably all been said above, but my summary:

    There’s no need to warm up before merely “going cycling” if you are riding off at a comfortable pace, but it’s a good idea to warm up before the start of a flat-out effort, whether that’s a proper race or just a group ride hammering off up a hill…

    I find it’s important to stretch occasionally during/after riding, especially long days, or else I get more and more hunched and immobile. From what I’ve read, stretching doesn’t really have much effect in enhancing performance or reducing injury, but it does make me more mobile and comfortable in my daily life. I’ve taken to doing a short routine of pilates after my commute to work (before spending 8h hunched over a keyboard).

    jonba
    Member

    I warm up for short intense rides like cyclocross, timetrials, crit racing, hill climbs but never for general rides or long races. General rides just start steady, long races generally start steady as well as.

    for the short stuff the warm up is usually 20-30minutes a mix of slow riding with some hard bursts to get the blood flowing. I’ve found that if you make your first hard effort in the warmup rather than of the start line in CX then it is a huge help.

    stur
    Member

    I’m going to have a stab in the dark here. Not married? No kids?

    20 minutes spent fannying around before you head out on the bike, is 20 minutes in which to be accosted by one of your off-spring for help with homework, a lift to football practice, or hospital as one of them has just fallen off the sofa and sprained her knee*. Or to hear the apparently innocuous “could you just…..?”

    If you bothered with any of that nonsense, you’d never make it out at all!

    Anyone married with kids knows: as soon as you’ve got clearance, seize the moment, grab your bike and get the **** out of Dodge. FAST!

    And 20 minutes ‘warming down’ afterwards, is 20 minutes less in the pub. Which is a crime against nature

    You poor bugger, that sounds a nightmare. Yeh I wouldn’t bother with any of it if I was in that situation. But thank fek i’m not. ‘Make yer bed…’ and all that! I’ll take a stab in the dark at…
    a once in a blue moon trip to the same old trail centre’ when (and if) you can escape’ followed by three times as many miles and way more skills round the bar and when the wife is asleep more secret purchases on CRC and a quick flog over the latest Miley Cyrus vid. πŸ˜›

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