5 minutes warm up for 1 hour TT

Hi everyone,

what could be the downside of warming up for only 5 minutes at an easy pace, plus a few more short sprints, before a 55 minutes time trial?

I don’t like to do long warm ups and I feel fine by starting hard quite soon, but I wonder if I’m leaving few watts on the plate in this way.

What warm up would you use before such event?

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One factor, that is regularly overlooked in a warm up protocol, is that it helps if you literally warm up. Getting blood and warmth in your muscles is a relevant factor, that every warm up protocol should achieve.
How much a short warm up hinders performance is clearly individual.
This is not science, so if you want to learn what is really going on, I recommend this:

For me, someone who doesn’t like warm ups, a longer warm up has actually helped me. Especially, since legs can feel great or horrible during a warm up, and if you only have 5 minutes, you really have no time to get that sorted.
The harder the effort (not the longer, but the more intense), the more time I need to warm up. I usually ride very easy for 10 minutes, depending on feel. This is the time for my legs, however they feel, to just spin and warm up. Then I do 2*4 minute ramps, the first one easy, the second one up to threshold, and that’s that.


It depends on your individual system and even that can change. When I was younger I seemed to get the best result with a short warm up but now I am a little older I seem to get the best performance after a longer warm up and I perhaps should warm up longer still going on my results. My performances for a short 25min TT are eclipsed by my performances for an hour long TT which usually finish (relatively stronger) after my body has perhaps warmed up some more.
Contrast that to some National Champ I was listening to about 10 years ago he would just turn up and race.

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Thanks, for your tips. I live in the southern Italy, and here the weather is quite warm. Anyway, I’m gonna try to gradually increase the warm up and to find the optimal warm up method for such event with a trial end error process too, for what is worth… I mean, since I’m not able to test different warm up protocols before a 55’ TT in the same conditions of fitness, rest etc…

I tend to use the British Cycling warm up - as linked to below:

I just make sure I have enough time to warm up thoroughly (my main sport is XC MTB) and if I don’t I always struggle until half way through the race.


I use a SKY version of this I think but the SKY one concentrates on power zones and this one more on cadence. Having watched the previous video I think I’ll give it a go, cheers :+1:

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If racing regularly I would suggest playing around with warmups to see what feels good. Then I think following the same warmup is a good idea as it helps you mentally get ready for the race knowing your warmup is taken care of

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Yes, this is what I’m going to do. But I’m not racing yet. I’ve just replaced the ramp test with a 55’ TT. I think it’s more reliable and I’m getting higher results with it than the ramp test. My best guess is that I get overheated when I’m on my trainer, even though I’ve a big fan, but I don’t really know why

In general a fan can only do so much and will pretty much never be able to cool as if you are riding outside. If you want to do more on the trainer there are quite a few threads on here discussing cooling. I’ll specifically mention the Lakso (sp?) fan, as it is very highly rated on this forum although I don’t know one.

Heat is a big limiter indoors and contributes quite significantly to the RPE.

In hotter temperatures during summer races, it is important to keep your core temp as low as possible for as long as possible. Long warm ups are likely to be counterproductive.

Having tried different warmups over many years, and working with a top coach who had advantage of testing a bunch of decent masters amateurs, what seemed to be best for me and many others, is a short 15-20 minute “priming” warm-up. The “world tour” warm-up routines are too much and just spinning for 10, 15, or 20 min is not enough.

The trick is to “prime” your body for the effort to come by eliciting a high heart rate for a short period. You aren’t doing a work-out or inducing fatigue, you are simply opening up and getting ready for the hard effort (race).

To do this, just do a quick ramp. Here is my basic warm-up protocol:

(1) 5-10 min easy spinning. This just gets the legs moving and also lets you shift the bike and make sure everything is working with the bike, your power meter and HR strap.

Start very easy and every few minutes ramp up a gear. My target wattage for a 40km event is 235-240w so will start around 125-130w and end the easy warmup segment around 185-200 watts.

(2) 1-2 min spinning. Have a drink. Check your start time and go through your final mental checklist.

(3) Priming step. Short ramp of 3-4 min duration. Start around 150 watts and shift up every 20-30 seconds. 150-180-210-230-250-275-300w progression. For me that gets my HR within 5-10 BPM of HR max. That’s what you are looking for. Adjust as needed for your FTP and HRmax.

(4) 3-5 min easy spin. Another drink. Slam final nutrition if that’s your thing. Hop Off the bike. Final nature break if needed on way to start. Get to the start line.

(5) Race

(6) Cool down. I always spin 20-30-40 min after a short race. After a 40km, am generally shattered and just roll around for 10-15 then pack up. Drink and eat. Especially hydrate in hot summer races.

The longer the event and the hotter the temperature, the shorter the warm-up.

Good luck and if folks try the above report back how it worked for you.



Or it could be that you have a very good aerobic system relative to your anaerobic system. If you want time for warm-up but still want to keep it to ~ an hour - have a look at the 40min TT protocol - mean power *0.975 (https://www.polar.com/sites/default/files/static/science/white-papers/polar-cycling-performance-test-white-paper.pdf).

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