Higher CTL = more warmup needed - Have you experienced this?

I was reminded of a feeling today that I don’t normally get until late July or August. While doing Giger +2 I felt horrible and thought the workout was going to be very painful for the first two intervals. Then, at around the 45min mark, my legs began to feel “normal” and I was able to complete the workout and tack on an extra 30min of Z2. Usually, as the season goes on and I gain more fitness I find that warm-ups take longer and longer. I am currently carrying the same CTL that I peaked at last season.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what accommodations have you made to nail your workouts as CTL rises? (or just HTFU?)

I do find the more fatigued I am the longer warmup I need. Not sure if it’s mental or physiological but I typically just increase the warmup by 10 mins on those days.

Definitely the case for me, though I don’t have an explanation. As a solution I just do longer warmups and/or throw in a few small efforts (like high cadence stuff, 2x1’ FTP etc).

At any rate, it’s more about “mental readiness” for me. Before a big race, when I’m nervous, I need far less warmup to get going.

Yes - my utilization of the extend warm-up feature in the app tracks pretty tightly to how deep into a training block I am. The higher my fatigue the more time it takes for my legs to feel fresh

I’ve never had anything as extreme as your 45 minute example, but rides like Carpathian Peak +1 which have short warm-ups (9 minutes in that example) get an extra 10 or 15 minutes tacked on and it really helps me hit that first interval. Hasn’t totally solved the problem, but I used to think the hardest two intervals were the first one and the second to last one - I no longer fear the first interval


Unfortunately for me I don’t think it’s so mental, it can happen no matter how motivated or excited I am. I can remember rolling up late to many a crit In the mid-late season and jumping in at the last minute, very little or no warmup. Even under race conditions I would still feel like trash, on the verge of getting dropped, then around the 25-35 min mark something would click and I could race comfortably (as comfortable as a race can be). By the end, I would have the energy to contest the sprint or try to bridge to the break.

I’ve experienced something similar during VT1 workouts.

“if I just set power to 55% of MAP & start pedalling HR will peak in 30 to 40 minutes and then trend down over the next 45 minutes to an hour.”

I think you raise a good observation. There have been periods when I’ve needed a longer warm-up and yes, in hindsight, maybe its correlated to CTL. I have a similar observation - when I’m riding really fit with a high CTL then stop for lunch or fix a puncture, and the get going again after a lunch stop, at the top of a climb waiting for friends, or after someone punctures, I seem to take a long time to get going properly again.

It can be really annoying too. I can be riding with friends with whom I can out-climb on short or long climbs when I’m in good condition. But if we get going after a lunch stop and have to do a decent climb soon after I’m struggling to keep up. It’s like my legs are encased in concrete. Dang!