What's the point of Recovery Rides and Warm-ups?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Shibumi, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Now don't get me wrong, I do them both, but only because the books/others/experts etc tell me to, but without explaining why. Can someone explain the physiological processes please? I'm on the turbo now as I type doing a recovery ride, certain (?) in the knowledge that it is meant to help my muscles recover quicker, but why? I thought it was to get rid of lactic acid, but now I'm not so sure.

    As for warm ups, I join the others before a time trial, whirring away on my turbo. But 2 weeks ago I turned up late for a race, no time for a warm up, and posted a PB. Why? Too much time on a turbo depletes muscle glycogen doesn't it? Mabe getting warmed up stops you straining a muscle, but I 've never done that, and if thats the case I could also just sit in the car with the heater on. Maybe it's just to burn nervous energy. Alternatively, it could be to get your heart rate elevated, but, again, why?

    I'd appreciate some knowledge transfer please!
     
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  2. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Shibumi:

    Don't blow these off, there are good reasons for both. And don't forget the cool down, often referred to as the "warm" down also.

    Warmups increase muscle temperature and enzymatic activity which leads to increased metabolic performance within the muscle cells. Good warmups also increase time to exhaustion and VO2 max, and reduce lactic acid levels.

    Cool downs/warm downs are very important also. They help the body to return to a state of homeostasis, the "even keel" the body tries to maintain at all times. Riding easy after a hard ride will help to remove accumulated lactate as well, making your recovery that much faster. It will make your knees and organs much happier if you chill out for 15-30 minutes after a hard ride or race.

    Recovery rides help remove the cellular debris from damaged muscle cells and flushes the tired/damaged cells with oxygen and nutrient rich blood. Studies have shown that recovery rides promote faster recovery. All of the lactate generated on a hard ride is completely gone in about 1.5-2.0 hours after stopping, so it's not for lactate removal.

    You should not burn much glycogen on a trainer warming up for a race or TT. You should do some moderately hard efforts, but remain mostly aerobic burning fat. It's a matter of preference. Some like to do only 20 minutes of warmup and others 1+ hours.

    P.B.'s are often achieved under less than ideal conditions. It wouldn't surprise me to hear you had your fastest ride ever with no warmup, no sleep, and a bad hangover!!!

    Later!!!
     
  3. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Simply and in agreement with J-Mat (just with less words), a warm up takes you from a resting to exercising state and cool down from an exercising to resting state.
     
  4. drewjc

    drewjc New Member

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    I am with Shibumi on this one. I understand that this is what a warm-up and cool-down do, but why is it so vital? If you aren't surprised (J-MAT) that a PB may come under the conditions you mention, then why not just use that as your warm-up each week? I personally dont warm-up to any great extent as i believe it is a mental thing. If you warm-up you believe in yourself that you are ready for competition. I would rather save my energy and preserve my cooler body temperature for the real race. There has also been studies that promote pre-cooling to increase time to exhaustion, so i think it must be predominately mental conditioning.
    Warm/cool-down on the other hand i believe does help in clearing lactate and i will genearally ride home from a race (15km) but only if this is convenient. It is not a priority of mine, i do it more as a training practice than to specifically warm-down. The continued activity at a moderate to low intensity does circulate blood without producing more lactate, which in turn will clear the lactate faster than would be possible without a warm-down (and increased circulation). If i don't warm-down i sometimes find that i have stiff and/or sore legs the next day, and this is what i put it down to.
     
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs Guest

    Warm-up increases blood supply to the "exercised" tissuesand stretches them although not excessively. All this warm-up activity reduces the liklihood of sprain/strain injury. In a similar fashion, think what would happen if a car were driven without a warm up.
     
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