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Warming up

The aim of a warmup is to get ready, not to get tired

As with many things in life, there is no one right answer and the following is merely examples and some suggestions, as sprinters gain experience they will tailor their warmups to suit themselves.  Warmups are highly individual and one size does not fit all.

The key thing to remember about a warmup is that the intention is to get ready to race, not to get tired.  Sprinters need to be as fresh as possible, but also need to be hot, energised and mentally aroused.  Different events require different warmups, the lead rider in a team sprint will warm up quite differently to a rider preparing for a keirin or a kilo. We're offering a few samples here and encourage you to fine tune these to suit yourself. These programs have been used by medalists in national and international competition, while they may be unexpected, they work.

500m ITT (time trial) for a junior on restricted gearing :

45 mins before start time, rollers or an ergo, on a light gear, 15 minutes of a gradual increase in tempo with a final high cadence low resistance spin out for 5-10 seconds.  Then an activation on the track or on an ergo on either the rider's race gear or bigger.  This is a low speed or standing start effort for 5-8 seconds or 30-40 metres if on the track.  Get off the bike, sit down and rest.  Maintain body temperature if you get too cold by doing very light rolling on an ergo or rollers.  During the 15 minutes before the race all equipment is prepared, booties on, skinsuit done up, helmet on so that on the line, everything is prepared and ready.

Sean Eadie has a general template for warmups that is as follows :

  1. 20 minutes light rolling on rollers or the track on a low 80" gear, gradual increase in tempo.
  2. 5 minutes of riding with no hands around the apron (relaxed!)
  3. Ride an entry line on the light gear, at full cadence, ride an entry plus 50 metres
  4. Get off the track rest for 15 minutes, put on race gear, race wheels.
  5. If the race involves a standing start (kilo, 500m ITT, team sprint) do a rolling acceleration from around 5km/h for 30-40 metres, if the race is a sprint or a keirin, do the rolling acceleration from 40-45km/h, again for around 30-40 metres.  If track time isn't available, do this on an ergo with a heavy flywheel or do some plyometric jumps.
  6. Sit down for 15-20 minutes, maintain body temperature on rollers if needed, then race!