The Fundamentals of A Road Racing Fitness Program

athletics fitness motorsports road racing Oct 07, 2021
This is for all my Motorcycle Road Racers on my feed... I've noticed a shortage of high-quality information available in terms of how a Road Racer should train to best prepare themselves (physically) for the insanely high physical demands of the sport. Through coaching riders for a few years now & studying the sport on a daily basis I'm pretty confident in the programming I use with my race athletes (these are the same fundamentals that will be on display in my Online Road Racing Program that opens up to our first group this weekend).
The fundamentals of training for any sport are all rooted in the same science. Identify the key performance variables (what are the most important physical demands) & find a balance between training specifically for those demands and training for long-term athletic development.
So what does that look like for a rider (professional or not)?
1) Aerobic endurance AKA Cardiovascular endurance is a necessity. Your average race lasts between 30 - 60 minutes. A well-trained racer will still see their heart rate (HR) peak towards 85% or higher of their maximum heart rate with the average HR sitting around 70%. In order to stay sharp through the whole race, it is crucial to be able to sustain this level of effort for race length or longer (think about multi-race weeks or endurance races).
2) Muscular Endurance. While a base level of strength is necessary to handle a motorcycle, we are much more concerned about maintaining a high level of endurance in the most used muscle groups. Not only are you making very physical transitions side to side based on the turns of the track, but you also have to account for the forces you resist when braking and accelerating. This puts a heavy wear on major muscle groups, especially noticeable in the form of arm pump, lower body fatigue (especially in the hip muscles), and core muscle fatigue (abs and lower back). A lack of endurance in any of these areas (of course there are more minor ones that are important) can severely impact your riding performance.
3) Mobilty + Agility- The ability to move freely through a massive range of motion in all joints is critical to proper body position while on the bike. To get the absolute most out of your machine, you need to have an incredible level of bodily control, awareness, and mobility alike. This is also important for injury avoidance... of course, racing is a crazy sport where some injuries are unavoidable but being limber, mobile, and well-trained will absolutely help decrease how often you suffer from preventable injuries.
4) Skill- This includes reaction time, hand-eye coordination, and eye-tracking. Not only are these obviously very important for race starts, but elite riders need to be able to respond to external stimuli in a split second and make fast, pin-point accurate adjustments throughout the whole race. These performance variables are all VERY trainable and something I work with my athletes on religiously.
I know... that was a lot of dense information, but whether you are preparing on your own for the upcoming season or with a coach (I'm currently taking on new clients 😉) there is no reason to be working on the wrong things. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It is my sincere goal to make high-level performance coaching much more accessible to Motorsports athletes whether or not I am directly coaching you!
With that said, my Road Racing Performance Accelerator goes live for the first group this weekend and there are still some spots available! I also still have a couple spots open in my 1 on 1 coaching, so if you are looking to make this off-season the most productive one yet be sure to reach out! You can reach me either via social media DM's or by shooting me an email- [email protected], or you can click the "Online Academy" button on the header to learn more about the program!

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