Short Break Between Crits, what to do?


I have a question for the crit racers who race multiple categories in the same day. The last two races I have done have had 2 different races separated by 1 race. So, race for 40-45 minutes break for 40-45 minutes and then back out again. I change kits, do the nutrition, but would you do another warm up on the trainer or just spin around the circuit?


I know the guys talked quite in depth in this with Amber a couple of episodes ago. For that short of a turn-around, would would YOUR legs require?

Yes, they talked about what to do (or rather not to do), but they didnt cover re-warming up again that I recall. The take away from @ambermalika that I remember was do anything that allows you to rest and not think about the next race.

Hopefully that copied at the right point. Otherwise Johnathan asks the question at about 32:35. He’s talking about a 2.5 hour break, but still helpful.

10 min cool down, 20 min sitting down and listening to some music, 10-15 min warm up on circuit (so not rushing to pack trainer away ahead of race). Works for me, but may not work for you.

I honestly don’t know. I might try and throwing my bike back on the trainer for a 20 minute thing to keep moving. I listened to the pod with Amber, and I dont think its really a long enough time period to really tune out the next race.

Ill give that a try thanks!

Hey thanks all for referencing the podcast in which we discussed this. Sorry I’m late to the game here, but if others have similar situations, here’s my take.

It’s easy to overcomplicate a warm-up; physiologically what constitutes being “warmed up” is vasodilation - that is, that your blood vessels open up as your core temperature and heart rate also increase. This depends on several factors including body temperature. If you’re racing in 80-100F heat, you don’t need to do much on the trainer to be vasodilated and warmed up; in fact, most people do their usual warm up even on hot days, which ends up being way too much in heat. On the other hand, if it’s freezing outside, you might have better luck staying loose and vasodilated by sitting in a warm van, rather than pedaling hard on the rollers trying to stave off the cold.

The other component is doing “openers” that remind you of how it feels to do those crit accelerations. When you’re racing twice in one day, the first race is your openers. Boom. Done.

So for the second race, you want to a) recover as much as possible from the first race, and b) ensure you’re vasodilated as you line up for your second start.

For a):

  • take in as much carbohydrate as you can (a recovery shake is good for this, but you can focus mostly on CHO, less on protein)
  • spin down for 5-10 minutes after the first race
  • put on new kit (HUGE for mental rejuvenation)
  • rest, legs up, whatever you works for you to feel relaxed

For b);

  • STAY WARM if it’s cold outside; whether this means layering up or staying in a warm car
  • Spin around long enough before the second race to get your heart rate into a low aerobic zone until your legs/muscles feel warm and loose (that’s the feeling of vasodilation)
  • If its really cold, you might be better off staying in the car until the last minute and letting the first laps of the second race to get you legs back into the groove (if you did a spin down after the first race, this should be plenty)
  • If it’s hot outside, you want to keep your core temp down to recover between races; and then you’ll only need a few minutes spinning around before the second race for your legs to vasodilate.

Hope that helps. For what it’s worth, another layer of this is the power of routine to inspire confidence and to reduce cognitive load on race day. I’d suggest you make a plan ahead of time so you don’t spend mental energy on race day trying decide what to do. After a few double days like this, you’ll have a good routine down that will also boost your confidence. Win win!


just spin the circuit with a couple kicks; save the watts.
what are you doing for nutrition? I wouldn’t eat solids, just stick to sports drink type fuel or gels

I’ve had a similar situation doing 2 CX races in a day: race, hour off, race again. I eat something and rest for 15min or so and then cruise around the venue and kinda do what my legs tell me, that may be some sprints, just real easy pedaling, short threshold intervals (like 1-2 minutes). It’s all a feel thing