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How to Dominate this Weekend!

Robb Beams

This week, I want to provide you some insight on how to properly prepare on race day regarding what to eat, how to warm up properly and how to recover from Saturday to Sunday’s race.

Race Day Nutrition

The first rule of race day nutrition is to eat exactly what you do during the week. Please keep in mind that your body doesn’t know if it is Tuesday or Saturday morning. It just understands that you want to race your motorcycle and it needs gas (i.e. food) to get you across the finish line as quickly as possible. Just like your motorcycle, if it doesn’t have fuel in the tank, you aren’t going anywhere.

One of the typical responses I receive from racers is that they can’t eat on race morning because their stomachs won’t allow them. This is usually a result of two issues: fear of failure and simple sugar.


When you are “nervous” about a race, your mental focus has shifted to failure instead of how you plan on winning the race. Think about this, you never see RV or RD worried about their results, but rather, you see them implement a specific strategy every weekend. The outward appearance is confidence, but in reality it is a result of being mentally focused. For this weekend, visualize and create a strategy for getting the hole shot and checking out – you will surprise yourself!

Simple Sugar

Excessive simple sugar will cause diarrhea and nausea. The challenge is finding food items that are not loaded in sugar – either directly or indirectly. For example, most people believe that a bowl of cereal is a healthy start to the day (thanks to the power of advertising!). Think about the typical bowl of “healthy” cereal: it has corn, wheat, bran, raisins, cranberries, etc. and then you cover it in skim milk. Every one of these items is a form of sugar; to make matters worse when you use skim milk, you are literally drinking sugar water (because the fat has been removed – remember, fat & protein are the only macro nutrients that satisfy appetite).

Sample Race Day Menu

Weigh yourself before breakfast (this will help you determine your sweat rate)

Breakfast (2 hours before your practice or race – wake up, eat and go back to bed if necessary) 3-4 eggs 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread with real butter and jelly 1-2 pieces of fruit (of any kind) 10-12 ounces of cold filtered water

Snack #1: 2 hours after breakfast (or 30 minutes before your moto) Banana and almond butter 6-8 ounces of water

Lunch: 2 hours after Snack #1 3-4 ounces of easily digestible vegetables 1-2 bowls of fresh fruit (the higher the water content the better) Palm sized protein source – chicken, beef or fish 6-8 ounces of water

Snack #2: 2 Hours after lunch Handful of mixed nuts & a piece of fruit 6-8 ounces of water

Weight after your day of racing:

Dinner: 2 Hours after Snack #2 Large power salad (spinach base plus any kind of vegetable you like) Palm sized portion of protein on top Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar 6-8 ounces of water

Snack #3: 30 minutes before bedtime 1 large bowl of full fat ice cream (any flavor) 6-8 ounces of water

The first response that may come to your mind after reading this is “that is a lot of food”; you are correct! The concept to remember is that the average racer only stores about 60-90 minutes of energy within the body’s muscles and liver for mental and physical activity. When you consider that you as a racer are beginning your day as early as 6:00 am and racing until 4:00pm (or later), this ten (10) hours of being on your feet, practicing and racing. Your body needs consistent sources of calories, fluids and electrolytes. If you have a specific item or meal that you would like me to evaluate regarding your race day eating,, please email me. I will let you know if it is helping or hurting your racing efforts on the track.

Race Day Warm Up

Allowing a slow transition from idle to active will provide friction within your muscles (as they move) which will in turn dilate (open) up the blood vessels. When this happens, the muscles receive incrementally more fresh blood that is loaded with oxygen. The longer your warm up, the greater the temperature and the greater amount of load levels (i.e. speed) your body can withstand.

Another physiological benefit to a sufficient warm up is your muscles ability to “tolerate” lactic acid (a byproduct of burning stored sugar). The official term is called the lactic acid shuffle; the more gradual the presence of lactic acid, the less of a shock to your muscles and the longer you will be able to go at high speeds before becoming fatigued. This is why the typical racer feels better the last two laps of a five lap race, the first 3 laps where actually a warm up for the body! Here is an outline of getting your body ready for practicing and racing.

Prior to heading out for practice, complete one of the following for your warm up:

Bicycle - Warm up: 20 Minutes Stage 1: 14 Minutes: Gearing: small chain ring up front, middle rear gearing Cadence: 80-85 (no higher/lower) Misc: stretch and hydrate before moving into your main set

Stage 2: 6 minutes: 1 Minute at 80-85% effort (you should not be gasping for air here!); mentally focus on diaphragmic breathing 1 Minute at 60-70% effort (very relaxed; stretch as necessary)

Concept 2 Rower: 20 Minutes Stage 1: 14 Minutes: Even tempo – smooth pulls, initiated with your legs and gluts; if you feel any muscle group(s) tighten up, stop and stretch by isolating both the front and back of the overly tight muscle(s).

Stage 2: 6 minutes: 1 Minute strong and smooth (not a sprint); mentally focus on diaphragmic breathing 1 Minute; very easy/low pull rate/active recovery

After 20 minutes, stretch all of your large muscle groups and top off on your glycogen reserves by consuming Energy Fuel (this will top off the glycogen levels within the muscles and the liver needed for high intensity riding.

Recovery from Saturday night to Sunday Morning

As soon as you finish your last race of the day on Saturday, your focus needs to be on recovering as quickly as possible and have your body ready to race first thing Sunday morning.

Reducing your core body temperature

Step 1: Immediately following your race, get out of your gear and sit in front of a fan and put cool (not ice cold) towels around your neck and wrists.

Step 2: Consume 6-8 ounces of ice cold Energy Fuel over the course of ten minutes while you stretch passively.

Step 3: Consume a complete meal within 30 minutes of your race to begin the replenishment of your glycogen reserves. Continue to milk a bottle of Energy Fuel throughout the evening to help re-hydrate your sugar and electrolytes.


Considering you have been racing all day long, your body is looking for high quality protein to rebuild torn down muscle, fluids to replenish lost water & electrolytes lost in your sweat. Additionally, your body is looking for high quality food items to act as an anti-inflammatory against your heavily worked body. You can accomplish this by eating a balanced meal (see sample day menu above) of fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources. Do not eat anything that comes out of a can, bag or has a UPC bar code on it – this means eating only real, raw food items you can find around the perimeter of your grocery store.

Avoid Getting Sick

Have you have noticed that you become sick after a big race week or weekend? This is because you have pushed your body - physically and mentally to maximum extremes. As a result, your immune system is suppressed, so you need to take every precaution to avoid viruses.

4 Simple Steps to Avoid Getting Sick

Step 1: replenish depleted fluid losses Step 2: eat high quality fruits & vegetables to provide your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight viruses naturally Step 3: wash your hands constantly and use anti-bacteria gel on a regular basis Step 4: sleep 8-10 hours a day; the sleep will provide your body the opportunity to recover from the inside out by releasing human growth hormone HGH) naturally.

Recovery from Saturday night to Sunday Morning

Once the weekend of racing is over, you need to allow your body a chance to recover: mentally and physically. With this in mind, avoid any high intensity/high volume workloads (on or off the track) the week after a race. This means cross training for 30-60 minutes at a very low heart rate level (you should be able to talk to someone or sing to yourself without becoming winded) or play riding for 1 hour or less broken down into 15 minute riding sessions. Get away from the heavy structure of “training”, simply go ride your motorcycle or exercise because you want to. Think about why you got into this sport to begin with – because you enjoy riding your motorcycle!

Relax – you earned it. See you at the races!

Coach Robb has been working with riders & racers for the last 25 years and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program & Nutritionally Green Supplements based in Orlando Florida. He has contributed to publications such as Vurbmoto.com, Racer X, FLMX, FTR Magazine and is a regular contributor to RacerX online, RacerXVT, Vurbmoto and various racing websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness. coachrobb.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. The website outlines the training solutions used with great success by Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, Broc Tickle, Darryn Durham; Factory, Factory Honda’s Ashley Fiolek, Thor’s Jordan Bailey, Factory JGR/Yamaha’s Jon Jon Ames, Factory KTM Off Road Charlie Mullins & Yamaha’s Roman Brown. Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength nutrition, biomechanics, and stretching and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit coachrobb.com to subscribe to his newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb and on Facebook: Coach Robb.

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