Why Do Cyclists Bike In Place Before Time Trials?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by JamesAA, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. JamesAA

    JamesAA New Member

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    I have always wondered why the pro cyclists pedal so hard (in place) shortly before their time trials. They really work up a heck of a sweat too and it doesn't appear that they are just pedaling at an easy pace.

    What's the logic behind it? I'm so curious.

    P.S. Is there such a thing as "warming up" your respiratory system and if so how "hard" should you go before entering competition...even say a tennis match? For whatever reason I always feel freshest/most fit right after starting an athletic event (I'm talking very little warm up if any needed). After 60 min of whatever (tennis, biking, etc), the event becomes so much harder for me.
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    To get their heart rate and respiration up and also to loosen up the muscles. They have to go to redline status immediately unlike a recreactional cyclist who can make thier own pace.
     
  3. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    The shorter the event, the more important the warmup. No one really warms up for a 100 mile road race, but they'll spend 30-45 minutes warming up for a 2 or 3 mile time trial.

    The warmup may consist of slowly bringing the heart rate up over 20 or 30 minutes with a couple minutes at high intensity to open up the pipes.

    To risk an analogy... cycling is a primarily a cardio sport with anaerobic moments. Heart rate goes up and down like a tachometer relative to intensity. Ever floor a carburateur engine before it's warm? It often sputters and doesn't respond well to input, Imagine the same thing happening in a 1k TT which only lasts a few seconds over a minute? Not good.
     
  4. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by JamesAA .
    I have always wondered why the pro cyclists pedal so hard (in place) shortly before their time trials. They really work up a heck of a sweat too and it doesn't appear that they are just pedaling at an easy pace.

    What's the logic behind it? I'm so curious.



    Pro cycllists are a superstitious lot. If one sees another cycle in place and another does well in their event, one cycles in place. There is no need for logic.

    Pro cyclists have different health and recovery issues than you do.

    Pro cyslists train different than you do.

    Pro cyclists have different goals in their events than you do.

    ---

    Find what works for you and do it.

    Short time trials are mental rather than physical. You will do better if you believe you did the right preparation.

    On the other hand there are stories about people who show up a bit late and miss their prerace routine and do well.
     
  5. JamesAA

    JamesAA New Member

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    Why is it important to warm up prior to an event in which you go to red line status immediately?
    In other words what's wrong with going from a restful heart rate to red line status? Like what, physically makes that seem hard? I do notice that if I am resting then go to red line quickly it feels awful...but I don't really know why.
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    The human body is just not designed to go to 8000 rpms on 3 seconds.
     
  7. cyclightning

    cyclightning New Member

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    If you're looking for a real physiological answer to your question then perhaps it's that the muscles are more efficient when warmed up. As a track athlete we were also advised to do a 20-25 minute jog at a slow pace to warm up for a 400 meter dash.
    I think if you're wondering why the cyclists warm up on stationary bikes instead of actually cycling on real bikes out on the road - then it may be because they just want to avoid crashing as you can't ride on the TT bars and hit the brakes quickly.
     
  8. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by cyclightning .
    If you're looking for a real physiological answer to your question then perhaps it's that the muscles are more efficient when warmed up. As a track athlete we were also advised to do a 20-25 minute jog at a slow pace to warm up for a 400 meter dash.
    I think if you're wondering why the cyclists warm up on stationary bikes instead of actually cycling on real bikes out on the road - then it may be because they just want to avoid crashing as you can't ride on the TT bars and hit the brakes quickly.


    While I agree that some warm up is important. There is agreat deal of difference between your warm up and what is "recommended" for bicyclists.

    You did an easy 20-25 minutes preparing for a 1 minute effort(200%FTP). That is much different than 30-40 minutes including some surges up to max heart rate for a 4-10 minute effort (105-125%FTP).

    I would expect that the warm up for a 1 minute effort would require higher intensity/longer duration than for a 4-10 minute effort.

    I am not being critical of anyone's warmup. I am simply indicating that different people need different warmups.
     
  9. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    during the unforgettable 1989 tour de france one of the favourites got lost warming up for the prologue stage and lost more than 2minutes before even starting the race, a famous anecdote,
     
  10. Bigpikle

    Bigpikle New Member

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    its already been said that in order to perform at an optimum level the body needs to be warmed up. Google it and you'll find loads written about warming up for shorter TT races and generally the shorter the race the harder the warm up routine. There was an excellent video made recently by one of the Team Sky trainers who spoke in great detail about the physiology of it, and I'm sure you'll find it easily.

    One key element was that the system that deals with lactic acid build up needs to be 'activated' by efforts that create a build up of lactic acid. Once 'activated' it works very effectively and allows riders to work harder. Once activated it stays awake for about 20 mins of rest before switching off again, so one key part of the warm up needs to be efforts hard enough to switch on the body's systems like this one so that riders can perform more effectively as soon as the race starts.

    Most recommendations for short TT warm ups actually last longer than a 10 mile TT.
     
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  11. cyclightning

    cyclightning New Member

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    AOG, well ok, but I haven't run a 400 m dash in over 14 years.
     
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