[FAQ] Pre-Race Warm Up Workouts (Warm-Up, Warmup)

In general, these are meant to be ridden and completed a short time before your official start.
Something around 5 to 30 minutes if possible.

These can be done on a trainer or rollers at the event pits.
Or you can approximate them by pre-riding the course if possible.

Cajon = 30 minutes:

  • Use before Long, Sustained Efforts BELOW FTP.

Laurel = 30 minutes:

  • Use before Sustained Efforts AROUND FTP.

Pahrah = 30 minutes:

  • Use before Short, Intense & Repetitive Efforts ABOVE FTP.

Rodgers = 20 minutes:

  • Use before Sustained Efforts AROUND FTP.

Ramp Test = Time Varies:

  • Ride long enough to get Over Threshold, but DO NOT go to failure.
  • Per Nate: Ride 1 minute through your current FTP, then easy spin for 10 minutes.
  • Finish with a few 30 second hard intervals.

See the following thread for Openers (Primers) for the day before the actual race day:


For race day I’ve experimented with doing the ramp test up to 1 min through current FTP, then easy spin for 10 min, then a few 30 second hard intervals. I’ve liked that and it’s similar to Team Sky’s workouts.


When you do these before a race do you do that at home/ your hotel before you go out or do you take your trainer to the side of the road where the race is?

I have experimented with the following for a pre-race warmup / openers.

Davis - 20 minutes. 3 min @ 90-95% FTP and 1 minute @ 130-140% x2.
Dorr - 30 minutes. 3x30-second hard starts at 180% FTP followed by 1 minute of Threshold work at 96% FTP.
Scott Peak- 30 minutes. Scott Peak -1 is 30 minutes of easy, aerobic riding with 4x45-second race openers between 135-150% FTP somewhere near the middle of the workout.
Truuli -2 30 minutes. This version includes 2x3-minute steady-state efforts right at FTP followed by 2x60-second efforts between 120-125% FTP.


I use a ‘dumb trainer’ and just do it next to my car in the parking lot. I use a rubber band to secure my phone to my garmin while i do the TR workout. Hope that helps!

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In general, these are meant to be done and completed a short time before your official start. Something from 5 to 30 minutes, AFAIK.

That may not always be possible and is not set in stone. But the idea is to open the bodies channels and get ready for the effort to come.

As always, experiment with the specific efforts and timing to suit your body and particular needs. In fact, not everyone likes or does warmups. So it is good to test when possible before major “A” events.

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Side of the road for sure. I use the Feedback Sports Omnium Trainer for travel.

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Are there any direct drive trainers that (a) are not a huge pain to tote around, and (b) do not require a power outlet? Or, are there any rollers that are a bit more forgiving (less likely to go shooting off) than the normal Kreitlers, etc and provide enough resistance that these warmups are possible?

No small or light DD trainers.

Any chance we can get this made into a workout? I’d love to do the nate sky pre race warmup. I’m just crappy with the workout creator.

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I just literally do the ramp test :smiley:. When it asks you to accept your FTP say “no”. Then extend the workout a few minutes and do the rest.

Nates ramp workout sounds good. I’ve been doing Goddard -4 for my triathlon taper week (last ride) before a race. Works well for me, you get a bit of everything.

A bunch of us locally are into time trials and are masters athletes. Read that as old guys 50-70 years of age.

The warmup that works well for everyone that has tried it is:

10-15 min w/u 50-70% FTP

3:00 ramp working from about 70% FTP to 120% FTP in 30 sec steps

3:00 recovery

3:00 repeat ramp as above

3:00 - 5:00 and get to the start line

20-25 min total is plenty. You want to get warm and open and hit a reasonably high HR but not do a workout before the race.

If it’s 40k you can do just the first ramp but for shorter events the second ramp seems to help get the brain in the right place for the hurt that’s coming.

I warm up on rollers to avoid messing with the wheels. Particularly if using holt on skewers just hopping off the rollers and heading to the start is nice.


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Question for you guys. Have any of you taken the ramp test a day prior to a C class event.

Has it:
Weakened or wrecked your performance
Had no impact
Improved your performance

Yes I have, and although the next day I felt good, not to long into my session, I was done. I believe that a good test should drain you completely, kind of like a time trial. End of a TT I am blown as I cross the line. Next day I’m cooked.

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Thanks mate, even though it’s a C race I still want to hit it as hard as I can. I’ll reserve the Ramp Test for the following week as it’s the start of new phase - “sustained power” which happens to coincide with a race event

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That’s my next phase as well, Sustained Power" gotta get through this last week first!

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Nice topic.
Having no powermeter on race bike doesn’t let me use this but copying the general idea to perform a better warm up on the track just before the races will help for sure.

Just like the outside workouts, you can try to do it by RPE.

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Truuli -2 is another excellent pre-race workout.