Sometimes the intensity of a race can start out extremely high. I find this sudden fast pace particularly difficult as I get older. Crits and time trials can be the most painful. A good warm-up before the race is essential. It’ll get the leg muscles full of blood, get the body warm, and make the start of the race much more tolerable. You can change your position from being in the hurt-box to putting everyone else in the hurt-box.
Here’s the warm-up routine that I’ve been using for years. It’s best done on a trainer so you can achieve the proper intensity and times. My max heart rate is 189bpm so I’ve used the percentages in the 3rd column to calculate my HR zones.
Don’t worry about tiring yourself out with this before the race. This isn’t long enough or intense enough to do much damage to your muscles. Just make sure you eat and drink the appropriate amounts and you’ll be fired up and ready to go!