Coach Burke's Criterium Warmup

A good warmup can  be an integral part of  your race.  Typically the harder the race will start, the more important the warm up.   So while a warmup may not be so important for a long road race, it can be very important for races such as crits, time trials,  track races, or cross races.      The purpose of the warmup is to prepare the athlete physically as well as mentally.  To get the mind in race mode, to warm up the muscles, and to prepare the hormonal mileu that helps  get you going.  This warm up should be  done on a trainer or rollers, and should start about 35 minutes before you plan to head for the start line, not 30 minutes before your race.  The warmup may be altered depending on environmental conditions ( ie: heat), or for individual athletes.  The warmup can be based on heart rate, power, or simply 1-10  RPE. I will use the RPE scale here, because it is essentially universal and different riders and coaches may use differen terms to describe power and hear rate zones. Feel free to print this out and take it to your next race:

Coach Burke's Crit Warmup.  All efforts done at a comfortable high  legspeed.  Roll into all efforts, don't jump into them.


1-10: Start  VERY easy and slowly built to a 6 or 7 on the RPE scale.

10-12: easy easy pedaling

12-14: RPE 4-5  ( moderate effort, below race pace)

14-16: RPE  7 ( race pace)

16-17: easy easy pedaling

17-19: RPE 4-5  ( moderate effort, below race pace)

19-21: RPE  7 ( race pace)

21-22: Easy easy

22-24: RPE 4-5  ( moderate effort, below race pace)

24-25:  RPE  7 ( race pace)

25-26: RPE 8 ( HARD race Pace)

26-30: Easy pedaling, may extend longer