40 minutes into the workout feeling/getting stronger


I’m now using trainerroad for some time and finally found the setup which suits me best (rollers with TR on my garmin). I’m seeing improvements when I’m at it and vice versa :grin:

But what really is puzzling me is that round about 35 to 45min into a workout I feel and acually get stronger! I can see this by power numbers (which climb) and heart rate (which doesn’t climb). This has happend now on diffrent occasions and diffrent times of years. Of course I need to be not fatigued going into the workout.

Does that mean I should warmup a bit longer (maybe 30 min instead of 10 min) just to get the body in full training mode or is this more of a normal peak during a training and will not last to long. With TR I’m usually using 60 to 90min Workouts should I go for longer Base trainings?

I’m a triathlet (olympic, 51 y) and I’m switching over to cycling. Goal is cyclocross season in 2021 (if it happens)


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I find that I always need to extend the first warmup part for at least ten min. It is annoying at times when workouts are 2 hours to start with but getting 3 min at 50% then 3 min at 65% and then like 2 min at 98% as an opener…ugh I’m not feeling good at that point. I feel much better when I get that extra time to spin at the beginning.
I remember when there wasn’t an extended warmup or cool down button. That was rough!


Could it be the effect of nutrition if you’re taking it onboard early in the workout/just before?


I have something similar, though in my case it’s more that RPE gradually improves through the first 30 minutes or so, there’s nothing that significant in the numbers. My power is whatever it’s supposed to be (erg mode), my HR tends to stabilise in the first interval and then cardiac drift means it typically creeps up a little through the rest of the workout.

Are you struggling to get through the first interval? If not then I certainly wouldn’t extend your warmup, that just means less time for productive training (if you have time to spend an extra 20 minutes on the bike each day then you’d be better off doing a higher volume plan). Something to bear in mind for races though, especially switching from triathlon where you get a nice swim to warm up to cyclocross where you need to be ready to go hard from the gun.

As to the physiological reasons, don’t really know but does seem like the older I get the more time it takes for me to really settle into a ride/workout! Seems to be worse when the weather is cold and/or when I’m in a big training block and carrying quite a bit of fatigue.


I’m not struggling with the first intervall bust mostly with the second :slight_smile: with the third and the rest than being normal/good again. Which brings me to the above mentioned 35 min.

Could be the nutrition. I usually take some “sugar water”, which is normal water mixed with apple juice or similar. But on outside rides I do not feel the effect of this nutrion this early into the ride. This normally comes into effect way past one hour of the ride


Similar here. I’ve experimented with trying to find how long by doing continuous low-intensity (65% FTP) work from the beginning. At a constant power, my HR rises slowly and flattens after 20-30 minutes. When doing an outside workout it takes almost 20 minutes to get outside the city, and that longer warmup definitely helps versus the shorter default warmup in many TR workouts.

You should try extending the warmup, if you have time in your schedule, and see if that helps.


Same here, personally I always add 10min extra warm up to every workout.

I’m usually the same way, on the run especially. Yesterday as example I was doing a planned 1:30 treadmill run and was having thoughts of shutting it down early through around 45-50 mins in then by the end I was thinking of keeping going longer without issue, which I did for another 12 mins. Sometimes the warm up for the body and the mind just takes awhile I guess. :grinning:

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I have observed similar things with increased volume. 20-30 minutes of warmup gives the best results. After that everything stabilizes. With lower intensity, like Z2, after 40 min my HR usualy drops and everything is working as it should. With threshold, after 15 min warmup, the first interval is definitely the hardest.

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Same here. I have had to learn not to panic when the first warmup section at sweetspot has me genuinely working! What seems typical is let’s say something like Kaweah (5x10 min at 96-99%). Interval 1 is usually pretty awful, 2 & 3 are noticeably easier (though reasonably hard), then 4 is harder again and I’m hanging on by the last one.


Sometimes its an hour in and finally I feel good. This is especially with solid intervals like z2,z3 or even 60 min z4. I feel much better at the end than the start

For those that find the first interval hard, interested to hear what your pre-ride nutrition looks like.

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In my case most workouts are c.7pm, about an hour-90 minutes after I get home from work. Lunch is typically c.1.30pm, and I’ll have a light snack (mainly carbs - something like a decent portion of dates, or a banana, sometimes a cereal bar) a few minutes after I arrive home. Maybe there’s a case for a bigger snack?? Given I’m struggling to hold weight, that might be a good shout actually.

I generally find the high end of the warm up and the first interval really hard. As in, ‘not sure I have this in my today’ type hard. I typically try and eat a moderate carb, 500 calorie snack 90 minutes beforehand.

Usually I start feeling ok around the 30 minute mark.

Sounds totally normal. This is just about always the case for me. Now that I have learned how to utilize this, I also have been improving towards the middle and end of group rides which is an awesome feeling.

I experience similar too. For races, I usually have a 28min warm up on the trainer anyway. That long of a warm up for training is hard to justify (efficient use of time) and so I just know I’ll get better as the workout goes. No issues.

I usually plan a 10min warmup for a Tempo (or harder) workout and a 3min warm up for an Endurance workout. Try customising the warm up length to the type of workout you’re doing.

I can’t say I always feel stronger getting into a workout, for sure I often feel terrible in the beginning of many workouts and then they go ok, fine or great. This morning when I started, my legs felt terrible and heavy. After the first of three longer intervals, I felt fine, at the end, I felt great. I wish it were like this every time. :slight_smile:

I don’t think a longer warm-up would help me, it feels more like a mental obstacle I need to overcome again and again. Distinguishing discomfort that you need to push past from bad form is sometimes tricky, but in my experience I should try at least one set. In any case, my initial impressions are usually not a very good indicator of how the workout is going to go.

You should try to make changes that make workouts easier for you. As for you, I think you need to play a little: if you have the time, do an easy spin before. I don’t think this would work for me, but perhaps it is what you need. Also try to just push past as you are doing now. Change your nutrition. Try coffee before the workout. Treat yourself to a snack after each set.

But honestly, if you know that 40 minutes into the workout you will feel better, you could also just bank on that: train yourself to expect to feel better, so you can push past the 39 minutes before that with (more) ease.

So this effect seems to be normal. I havn’t tried to prolong the warmup but will do so the next time. It could also be a mental thing since every time I start a workout I’m unsure if I can actually get the numbers done.

Thanks for all the replies


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Do you do your workouts early in the morning? During the week I hop on the trainer almost straight from bed and I feel my body and mind would need more time to wake up. The difference in RPE comparing to working out in the evening is huge, at least during the first half of a 1h workout. Just wondering if this could be your case too.

I bet if I start to bank on this effect it will fail me :smile:

My nutrion during workouts is very reduced. Before workout I eat a banana but I would suffocate trying to eat anything during a vo2 session, that’s why I stick with energy drinks only. But I could increase the sugar level.

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