Warm down, is it really that important?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Greymattar, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Greymattar

    Greymattar New Member

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    As with most people I have a limited amount of time to train. Most morning I have a 90 minute window in which I can ride my bike. I've been doing some of the Interval workouts from coggin's book and have to admit that many times I cut out most of the warm down in the interest of saving time.

    I can certainly see the imporance of a 15-20 minute warm up, I just don't grasp the importance of a 15-20 minute warm down. Most days my warm down is more like 5 minutes.

    Am I shortchanging myself some benefit by cutting down my warm down time?
     
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  2. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    As you age warm up and down become very important. I suffer from chronic fatigue, without warm down i'm a cot case for the afternoon.

    Your exercise physiologist should be helping you on the correct HR pyramid.
     
  3. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Unless I'm doing VO2MAX or higher intervals, I warm up for 5mins at 150W and then crank it up. Likewise, a 5min warmdown max. Oh, and I never stretch, before or after.
     
  4. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    If anyone does lactate testing, it is possible to do a lactate balance test.

    It will prescribe a HR where cool-down is most effective where output is high to flush the muscles without creating lactate. For most of us, it is high zone 2 (Coggan's zones). Try it, it is not easy, but you may recover faster.
     
  5. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    Forget warm downs!! I have almost never done them (maybe a few times just talking to someone at the end of a race).
    Even at the end of races I just go back to my car and change etc as soon as possible. With training rides I ride hard all the way home, put the bike away and head inside to change - and have my 2 1/2 year old son grab my drink bottle and drain the remains!:p
    I don't see the point of them - I've never felt ceased up. I always relax and shower after a ride.

    Stretching - I've bascially not done that either(for running yes, and in recent years I do them - mainly for back and upper body). If someone is riding regularly the tendons etc will be as "stretched" as they need to be for that discipline.
    If you're not getting those sort of aches or stiffness and don't have the time - don't worry about them. :)
     
  6. Bikeridindude

    Bikeridindude New Member

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    I've been curious about how much is necessary as well. The conclusion that I came to awhile ago was that it was similar to a recovery ride. Just a way to get the blood flowing through the legs to flush out some lactic acid and help heal the muscles quicker. Is this off base? And are recovery rides only for people with the luxery of extra time? Are they really beneficial?
     
  7. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    Hi. Read my post above.
    Flushing out lactic acid? How would a recovery ride/warm down do that? We're not turbo charged cars - we don't have a turbo timer!!:)

    "Flushing"? and re hydrating ourselves = drinking, water and sports drinks.
    As the pros do - resting and spending time with legs up - horizontal or raised.
    A prolonged sit in a lukewarm bath(with a good book?) will do wonders.

    So, in my humble opinion, after years of riding and racing - no, warm downs at the end of rides are a waste of time.
    Recovery rides, as in an easy ride is worth it.
    Don't confuse the two.
    Paul :)
     
  8. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I don't warm up and seldom cool down (technically). I don't even warm up for 3 minute intervals. I just do the first one at a little easier pace. Now if I were doing some all out sprints or something that would be much different. But I never do them.

    When I say I don't cool down technically, I mean that I may do 30 minutes at Tempo then 15 minutes at an average of 75% MaxHR. No need to cool down from such a low effort. Even when I when I don't do a low effort pace at the end of a ride I don't warm down. Just hop off the bike, grab a rag and wipe off the chain and sip on water and grape juice.
     
  9. AndROOb

    AndROOb New Member

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    This is thought provoking stuff.

    I have always done a warm-up and warm-down, but it's only after reading this thread that I have realised that my legs still feel achey and heavy 1-2 hours later, whether I warm down or not. I have often wondered when watching TdF at the end of a mountain stage, with a sprint finish, those guys just get off their bikes after wheeling over the finish line. When do they do their warm down? I would imagine they all get a massage shortly afterwards.

    Given that I do have time, I will try experimenting with Spunout's idea about using high L2 for warm down. Worth a few more TSS points :D
     
  10. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    If you warm-down at a level where you are increasing circulation (HR) but not creating excess waste/lactate/stress in your muscles, then you are improving your condition compared to high intensity training.

    Try this link: http://www.fact-canada.com/LactatePro/FactTestInfo.html
     
  11. rayhuang

    rayhuang New Member

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    I like to toodle around for 5 minutes so I stop sweating (I pour sweat-especially right after stopping any exercise). This way I have air blowing over me-cooling me down before I get home. It helps a bit.
     
  12. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    I agree, I have never done any stretching before a ride, never "warmed up"
    (animals don't warm up before there "athletic events" right?) and never warmed down without any injuries (that includes weight training as well...)

    in fact, I read that there is NO evidence whatsoever that stretching before an
    athletic event will prevent an injury...
     
  13. Luke Schierts

    Luke Schierts New Member

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    Stretching before a ride (muscels cold) is a bad idea, and more likely to cause an injury than prevent one. If you arre going to streatch always warm your muscles up first.

    As for a cooldown, I never do one. I stretch after a ride to feel looser, and cool down before I hop in the shower. I also have a little one at home and limited time for riding.
     
  14. cycling_jedi

    cycling_jedi New Member

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    I dont specifically warm up or cool down either... I just hop on my bike and go.

    BUT when I ride I take the first 1/2 mile or so and the last 1/2 mile or so real easy just to get my body "ready" for the change. The first 1/2 mile seems more important though as to gradually get the blood flowing and the lungs pumping.
     
  15. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I find one victory lap is sufficient warm down in most cases, two just seems like overkill.
     
  16. HowardSteele

    HowardSteele New Member

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    Jeez you guys now i'm more confused than ever,i dont stech before or after,although it seems streching after is more beneficial.What the heck is warm up ?A cup of coffee usualy is good enough for me:rolleyes:
    We usually cycle the first 5ks to the mountain chatting and joking i suppose its a warm up,then we climb.
    When were done the last couple of ks home again are relaxed and slow i take it this is a cool down?
    SHOULD I THEN STRECH AND WHAT STRECHES SHOULD I DO?:confused:
     
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