[FAQ] Openers & Priming Workouts, Prior to Race Day

To be honest if you’re fit enough to race a long TT on Sunday, you should be able to handle half an hour easy with efforts the day before. Maybe just do 15 minutes and see how you feel. If you feel like you’re only getting more tired, or you’re creating too much stress, just stop.

Alternatively, go with the ‘don’t experiment on race day’ mantra and don’t do an opener. Maybe that’s better left for your next hard training ride.

Copy that. Thanks for input. I’ll line up Truuli -2 for Friday with that mentality. It’ll be good to learn a little bit about how my body reacts. I know the ‘stale’ feeling however, I’m usually so jacked on adrenaline from the event I don’t even notice. =P

However, that’d be neat to see how adrenaline plays a factor in all this.

I had my eye on a 10mile PB at a TT last Saturday, and had geared my training towards it, even managing to convince She Who Must Be Obeyed to let me out for a few days of training on a Family Holiday to Lanzarote.

Unfortunately, the bib shorts I took with me literally ripped me in half, and meant I couldn’t even think about getting on the bike for a good 10days prior to the event.

On the Saturday morning I set tip the TT Bike on the Turbo, loaded Truuli-2, and did the 2x FTP Efforts to see if I could hold a position, and also to give my legs a bit of a wake up.

Bearing in mind, I hadn’t ‘trained’ for at least 10 days prior, and had spent 7 of those days sat on a sun bed drinking beer, to only be 30s down on my time from last year was pretty decent I reckon :laughing:

Openers, as above, are very subjective. Sometimes they’ll work, sometimes, they won’t.

So follow up, this worked well for me. I only did the 30 minute effort and when I stepped to the line the following morning there was no heavy legs feeling or omg mental despair. I like it. I personally don’t know if anything greater would’ve helped but hey, it’s an experience :grin: definitely worth a try for those considering it.


I have a hill climb tomorrow - 0.5mile - av 12% with max of 20% or so. It’ll take about 90 seconds. Just wondered what sort of opener someone might recommend? I did some intensity on Monday (90 mins), tempo Tuesday (75 mins), zone 2 Weds (45mins) and rest day yesterday, so very light week so far. I’m kind of torn as to whether to do some simple threshold stuff with a couple of short sprints, or 2 similar hill climb efforts for 30 seconds each at anticipated wattage (around 600) but am worried that the second suggestion may erode my freshness and power for tomorrow.
I was also planning to do a ramp test to a few watts above threshold tomorrow as a warm up about 30 mins before event. Any thoughts much appreciated. Thanks

Fellow Hill Climber here.

For me, day before race is Truuli and warm up is Pahrah 40 min before HC.

Which climb is it you’re doing?

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Thanks D, may just try that :+1:t3: - no issues damaging your power in the event by doing those peaks at the end of Pahrah? (I’m paranoid about fatigue and burning out my top end)
I’m doing Urban Hill Climb, Swain’s Lane, London - my local - love it :blush:

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Good luck! And no, providing your Q/R is firmly locked in place, absolutely no worries with the 8 sec efforts towards the end (not had a problem in 10 years of turboing on carbon framed bikes).

Thanks, ha, I actually meant my fatigue and top end - as in using up too much power before the effort!

Aha - I’ve never found it to be an issue. By the time you’ve unhooked the bike, put turbo in car and rolled to the line, you’ll be back up to full capacity (with the added advantage of having primed the systems).

Nice one, cheers for taking the time to reply man :fist_right:

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What workouts are good for leg openers?

What are leg openers and why do people do them? (Or am I being REALLY stupid here?)…

Probably hip opening?

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The ones that jump to mind are ‘Scott Peak’

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To me they are short workouts done the day before a race (After a taper) to prep your legs for racing


I’m not a bike racer (not even close), but have done quite a lot of running races. Classical warmup for that is very easy jog, then some accelerations (what Daniels calls “strides”), then some more very easy jog. Scott Peak does just that.

Notwithstanding that it’s the only workout that comes out if you search for “race opener” in TR.

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To the recent posts that I merged from the other thread, see the OP at the top for some info and several workouts.

I snagged this podcast that should include some discussion of openers as well.

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I use openers as a way to make sure everything on the bike, and myself, are in good working order the day before a race. They’re used to engage the energy and muscle systems that you’re going to use in your event.

They exert a little fatigue, but never enough that you’ll be feeling it the next day in your event. It can be a bad habit, but I’ll often use how my legs feel during openers to determine how I’m going to feel the next day.

This is what my current openers have looked like for the past few years:

  • 20min WU
  • 1min @ Threshold, 4min rest x3
  • 30sec high cadence 130+rpm, 1:30 rest x5
  • 20min CD
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Great - thanks for the info :+1:t2::+1:t2: