From the Coaches: Why you need a proper Warm-Up

Yes indeed! the more “mature” we get the greater the need for additional warm up time!

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If anyone happens to be interested in a running warm-up, I can provide what I worked out over two decades as a runner. It’s all trial and error based, not much science behind it.
I did, however, put a huge effort into optimising my warm-up routine, as over the course of what must have been a few hundreds of high intensity interval sessions I found that warming up is absolutely crucial if you want to nail these sessions.
I go as far as to say that if I bring only slight changes in, I feel severe differences during the first 2 or 3 intervals.

So here’s my summary:

  • 800 m @ low base pace (65 - 70% HFmax)
  • 800 m @ base pace (~75 % HFmax)
  • 400 m @ tempo, fully aerobic (80 - 85% HFmax)
  • pee break (ABSOLUTELY KEY! If you have only 2 min to warm up, make sure you get at least the pee break right! Joking aside, I have a pee break in my warm up routine, ALWAYS, and ALWAYS exactly at this point. I neglected it once. Never again…)
    Now after the pee break is where I would adapt to the target pace of the beginning stages of the workout:
  • 400 m @ tempo (this is an identical effort to the one pre-pee, if my target is less than 40 sec faster than the tempo effort pace, say for something like 4 x 3000. If target pace is more than 40 sec faster, I would increase my pace here by 5 to 10 sec, never more)
  • 400 m @ threshold (same logic here, this is threshold minus 5 sec, depending on target pace)
  • 3 x 100 m very easy jog / 100 m staggered sprint all the way from tempo to all-out for the last 10ish m
  • walk back to starting line, hydrate
  • 200 m @ target pace (this both gives my anaerobic system a push and my brain a good reference for pacing. For very high intensity very short intervals, something like 12 x 400, I might reduce this to 100 m)
  • easy jog to starting line
  • 2 min break
  • go

This is track based obviously and takes me pretty much exactly 24 min every time I do it. It is what I have relied on over the last, yeah, 3 years I’d say, without any bigger changes.
While the warm-up details themelves will be useless for a cyclist, perhaps it can give people ideas for how to create a warm-up for themselves. Of course, I do not claim this was optimum! But I hope the coaches would step in if there’s a big no no in there :wink:

I am fairly new to cycling and I must admit, I am nowhere near a good warm-up that does the trick for me. I feel like it takes me ages to get my temperature up when on a bike…
Also, I’m struggling to phase the pee break in when riding indoors…

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