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Next weekend I'll participate in a relay triathlon (1100 mts. swim, 7 kms. run and 13 kms. MTB). I'll be doing the bike section, which is the last. Bike needs to be at the boxes area an hour before the start of the race. I guess I'll start riding about 40 minutes from the start of the race. That's around 100+ minutes since I leave the bike at the box. What can I do to warm up during this time or to start at full power without needing to warm up? I thought about riding a few kms. before parking the bike at the boxes, would it be effective after such a long break?

Thanks in advance!

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

If possible, borrow a second bike, and perhaps a trainer. There is very little that you can do to effectively warm up in a cycling effective way, other than ride. A light jog, and some stretching is the second best option.

It is a short enough ride for that to suffice, if it is your best available option.

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Thanks, I think I'll have to make it with the 2nd option. And maybe also riding a little bit before "locking" the bike. – Narcís Calvet Jun 28 '11 at 16:31
Did a test on the circuit today with very little leg stretching before starting and result was pretty decent. Not very good feelings as I had a too heavy meal for lunch though. – Narcís Calvet Jun 30 '11 at 20:58

Its only 13K, so you do not need to much of a warm up.

However, the purpose of a warm up is two fold. One get your aerobic system going, and second to get exercise specific muscles warmed up.

For the first, you can go for a light jog (not in your bike shoes please!) and for the second, it is best to ride to match the muscles, and running muscles are sufficiently different, that I would focus on a light jog, not too long (10-15 minutes) and not much more.

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Thanks. Yes, it's a short ride but I think I get the best of me after a few kilometers on my legs. Yesterday I did 2 laps at the circuit and I felt I could handle more power on the second one when I has already "warm". – Narcís Calvet Jun 28 '11 at 16:33
Moreover, the uphill parts are on the first half of the circuit, the second half is mostly flat. – Narcís Calvet Jun 28 '11 at 16:38

I did a MTB relay last year, and got 30 minutes riding followed by 2 hours of downtime. You need to warm up for 10 to 15 minutes before your turn. Some time on a training bike is good, even doing short 400m circuit laps off the official track, or on a spare bike on rollers.

Jogging and stretching is a poor second to a bike warmup, but its better than sitting in a deck chair with a hot cuppa.

HOWEVER don't be caught still on the trainer/rollers when your teammate arrives - have a spotter out and use radios or something to warn the next rider. Be on the bike ready to go as soon as the transponder gets to you. Use off-cycle teammates, one to grab and support the incoming rider, and another on teh other side to move the ankle transponder to the fresh rider. Then go-go-go! Get a seat push-off from the person moving the transponder to get up to speed.

Or relax and enjoy the social side - don't let the racing bit spoil a nice team event..... says no rider ever!

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