A proper warm up is an important part of an athlete’s race day. A warm up functions as a time for an athletes to get into a competitive state of mind, go through race tactics, and focus on the tasks a head. A warmup increases blood flow, physically raises the temperature of the muscles thereby speeding up chemical/metabolic processes required for exercise and competition, and begins the hormonal response that helps you perform. In general, the shorter your event, the more important, and the more intense the warm up. A rider beginning a double century, or a 24 hour mountain bike race requires very little warm up. But an athlete about to start a 60 minute criterium, a track race, or a 20K time trial had better be warmed up, or he is likely to produce a poor performance be in for some extra suffering.
Below I have posted some warmups for road races, criteriums, cyclocross races, mountain bike races, and time trials. These Warmups are given in Power, as a percent of functional threshold power, Heart rate as a percentage of Threshold power heart rate, and RPE for those of you that train without any training devices. Note that heart rate and power levels given may not match up perfectly for many reasons. If you train with power and don’t know your threshold power, you can use 95% of your best ever 20 minute effort. If you use heart rate, you can use your average HR for a 20K time trial ( or similar effort) and RPE is the Borg Rate of Percieved Exertion 10 point scale. This scale is a self reported measure of overall exertion level.