trainSharp Tips – the Warm Up

It’s getting colder and racing continues for many so here’s a few tips from trainSharp on warming up for a race or training session

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trainSharp Tips – the Warm Up

Whether you are at an early morning time trial or a at the local cross race on a winter’s morning. We also see ‘warm up’s’ placed in training sessions. But what do we know about them? Do they help us maximise our performance? Or are we simply wasting energy?

When exploring warm-ups, you may hear analogies such as, a racing car driver will never go full throttle without letting the engine warm up. So why are we doing a warm-up, what is the purpose?

Warming up the muscles/lungs/body is critical to ensuring you optimise your performance, whether you are a local club rider or a world tour cyclist, a warm-up will be beneficial to all. There are a variety of physiological responses that we are looking to induce. One of those being a change in your VO2 kinetics, a term you may not have come across before which is the term we use to measure how quickly your body reacts with a change it its breathing rate in response to the onset of exercise.

One of the benefits of an effective warm-up, is that it up can speed up your VO2 kinetics so you can meet the oxygen demands at a much greater rate, simply meaning your breathing response rate will be much quicker, which means your body won’t have to play catch up if you decided not to warm-up.

Warming up will literally help warm you up, specifically your muscles, which will help your muscles to contract and ultimately produce power. It is known that warm muscles will help improve your peak power capabilities. In fact, for the 2012 London Olympics, Loughborough University in partnership with British Cycling developed ‘Hot Pants’. These were bespoke designed for each rider with a zip up tights that had a heating element which allows them to maintain a particular temperature in-between their events, they were fast and easy to take off. We took home 12 medals that year in cycling events…

So, as you warm-up, your muscles will also produce heat, this increase in muscle temperature helps create an environment in which the metabolic enzymes work optimally. So if you were not to warm up, you would be playing catch up, which if you are looking to perform, you want to be ready from the word go.

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