Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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cyclingcenterdallas
13:48

The Importance of a good warmup

With a new series of classes, and several new faces in class, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit warmup theory and application. [caption id="attachment_76" align="aligncenter" width="425" caption="Just part of a complete warmup"]Just part of a complete warmup[/caption] There are a few reasons why I like to see people at the Cycling Center of Dallas get in early, so they can do a proper warmup. First off, it sets the tone for a good workout. Hustling in at T-10 minutes, then rushing around as you throw the bike on the mount, put your shoes on, etc. doesn't prepare the mind for the intervals ahead. Second, remember the physics behind the physiology. The CompuTrainer, as well as your bike and body, need time to raise internal temperatures, increase heart rate, vasodilate the bloodstream, and increase the levels of lactic acid in the system. Now, you usually think of lactic acid as the enemy, but it's not. It's a valuable source of energy that just takes time to process after creation. Raising heart rate, intensity, and body temperature will also raise levels of lactate in your blood. Research (link below) has shown that a proper warmup will also improve performance. Finally, in order to get the best accuracy, the CompuTrainer needs about 20-25 minutes to get warmed up, and get the tire warmed up to a stable temperature for accuracy with our wattage-based workout. When you get in to class, give yourself at least 20 minutes. Use the first 10 minutes to warm up body, bike, and tire, then do a coast-down calibration. Ride for a few more minutes at a slightly higher load resistance, and recalibrate. If the numbers are similar, you're good, and no further calibration of the CT is necessary. But if you still have time left, try this: Perform anywhere from 1 to 3 30-second "spin ups", where you go out and increase resistance to above threshold, and pedal at a fast clip (110 rpm+) for 30 seconds. After that 30 seconds, drop the load, coast for a few minutes, maybe 3, then perform it again. Do it one more time as time permits... When class starts, you'll find yourself performing a better workout, for a longer period of time. Finally, don't forget - IF weight loss is your goal, then the extra 20-30 minutes will only enhance your calorie burn, putting you closer to a caloric deficit, and pending weight loss. Remember, that's IF your goal is weight loss. For everyone else, this is a chance to get a great warmup, improve stamina, and prepare for a killer workout. http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/cyclists-warm-up.htm

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