Warm Up and Cool Downs

Levon Kalemkiarian provides some insight into his pre and post race routine at the North Star Grand Prix this year.

Depending on the event the warm-up will change slightly. 

TT and Crit warm up: 15 - 20 minutes. Start in at the low end aerobic zone and work up to the high end in 2 minute increments. Pedal easy for 2-3 minutes and then do some 30 – 60 second accelerations (2 – 3 times with 1 – 2 minute rest).

The warm up for the TT is completed within 10 minutes of the start time. I got into the TT “starting house” within 5 minutes of my start. Time trialing has always been a weakness of mine so it is something I will continue to work on. After finishing I go straight into a cool down (15 – 20 min at a low end aerobic zone).  After the cool down, I try and get out of my cycling clothing as quick as possible and start the recovery process (compression socks, shorts, DL Target Tee and shoes).  For food, I drank some chocolate milk and sipped on some Skratch.

The process for the criteriums at NSGP are tough because you warm-up and WAIT (unless you get a call up)! My warm-up is the same as the TT warm-up except I get down about 30 – 45 minutes before the race actually begins. Why? Because we need to stage about 30 – 45 minutes before the race actually starts to get a good position.  During the NSGP crits, there are 100+ guys that are trying to get to the front of the race. A good starting position can help you save some energy and stay out of trouble.

This year we had two criteriums, Wednesday night and Friday night. Wednesday we did the TT in the morning, so we really do not need to ride much more in the morning.  On Friday we race late (7:55pm) and need to ride a bit in the morning.  I did a fairly easy ride Friday morning with a couple 60 second openers. The reason for the morning ride is to keep the body awake and active. Once the body starts settling into a sedentary state it can be hard to wake it up.

After each race it’s a really good idea to cool-down.  The reason for the cool down is to bring down your heart rate and settle down the body.  This seems to be even more important after the nighttime crits. The cool down is pretty basic. Get on the trainer or roll around for about 10 – 20 minutes at a low end aerobic zone.