A good warm up can make or break a race and help you avoid injuries and the rehab that comes with it. Take the extra time to get to the start line in time for a proper full body warm up.
Pre race stretching:
Gently stretching before you get on your bike.
- Don't stretch too much or “Over stretch” the lower body (quads, hamstrings, calfs and gluts) as this actually takes away some of the potential energy muscle.
- Hold your lower stretch for no longer than 15 to 20 secs.
- Don't bounce in your stretches, this can lead to muscles tear and injuries in cold muscles.
- Stretch the upper body muscles like your back, abs, neck, shoulders, chest, arms and forearms, these are going to take a beating if the race is longer than 2hr.
- You can hold these stretches longer 20 to 30 secs
Range of Motion
Take both the upper and lower body through a full range of motion, this will lubricate the joints and warm up the muscles body up.
- Full slow circles with the arms (both forwards and backwards), wrists and elbows
- Slow circles with the hips and the knees in both directions
- Swing 1 leg both side to side and back and forth, please make sure you are holding onto something for support when you are doing this :)
On The Bike
Start out pedalling a slower cadence in a lower gear then increase your cadence and bring it up into a mid range gear. Find some smaller hills and some easier trails to take the bike over. Most important thing is not to over do it, get yourself warm, and ready to race, not to leave the best of your race in the “warm up”.
- Constant mid range cadence on flat terrain (if available) in for 4 to 5 min
- 30sec high to mid range cadence, mid range gear. 30sec slower cadence in same gear x 4min. 1 min recovery.
- 30sec high cadence mid range gear, 20sec high to mid cadence low range gear, 10 sec recovery. Repeat 3 to 4 times.
- Mid range gear, mid range cadence for 10 to 20 mins 5 to 10 mins before race start.
The most important thing about racing is to HAVE FUN! Race should be as much about achievement as it is about enjoyment. Smile for the cameras, enjoy the claps and cheers from the crowd and thank the marshals and race day volunteers who make so many great events possible.