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Strength Training And How To Apply For Faster Lap Times - Part 2


In the last article we discussed the benefits of strength training and how to apply into your weekly program based on where you are at within your racing schedule. If you haven’t had a chance to read that article, please take a moment and do so before reading any further to ensure that the below concepts are applicable.

Let’s take a look at how to incorporate strength training into your weekly training regimen. The first variable to look at is where you are at in your race season (NOTE: PERIODIZATION WAS DISCUSSED IN THE HOW TO CREATE CHAMPIONSHIP SPEED IN 2010 ARTICLE A FEW MONTHS BACK). If it is early in the season, your focus is to prepare your body for the upcoming demands of your pre-competitive season (low priority racing). During this time frame, you are also looking to enhance your aerobic function, so to keep the stress from becoming excessive, the amount of weight is kept to a moderate level and to three workout sessions a week. During the competitive racing season, the strength component of your program needs to be reduced to two sessions (along with a reduction in the amount of weight by 10-20%) during the week to allow for ample rest for high intensity training on the motorcycle and weekend competition.

It is important to take the time and evaluate the weaknesses of your current fitness through regular field testing. As racers, we tend to work on the elements that we like to do and usually are very good at. However, to complete yourself as a top racer, you have to identify your weaknesses and address these variables specifically. With our racers, we have pre-determined field testing dates (ideally 6 weeks apart) to evaluate if the training programs we are implementing on a weekly basis are addressing the identified weaknesses of the racers. So if your field testing results show that you are not lacking in the area of strength, your workout program in the gym will be different than a racer who lacks overall physical strength.

ASSESSMENT

The subject of strength assessment has had a lot of varying opinions on what is the correct format to assess strength as it relates to racing. At Motoendurance.net, we incorporate two elements into the assessment equation: track specific and gym specific load levels (which will be discussed in the next issue). Please keep in mind that the implementations of testing protocols are established based on the individual racer and his or her backgrounds, age and racing capabilities. The following outline is merely an example of what can be used for assessment purposes. Feel free to contact Robb (407.701.7586) to discuss the appropriate assessment model for you and your program.

Track Assessment

Warm up on the motorcycle by free riding for 15 to 20 minutes – very low intensity Stretch passively for 10 – 15 minutes from head to toe Ride the motorcycle for another 10 minutes – free ride / low intensity Complete the following testing protocol: Complete with a start from the starting gate, complete two laps (based on two minute lap times – adjust your lap count to complete a 4 to 5 minute interval) around the track taking the non-smooth lines of the track. Strive to hit the same non-smooth lines of the track each lap. Capture your lap time for both laps and then take the average of the two laps. Rest for 3 Minutes REPEAT THE SAME PROTOCOL UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED SIX (6) WORK/REST CYCLES AND HAVE CAPTURED THE AVERAGE LAP TIME FOR EACH INTERVAL Ride the motorcycle for another 10 minutes – free ride / low intensity Stretch passively for 10 – 15 minutes from head to toe

Interpreting the track results

Compare the average times from the two lap intervals and subtract the slowest from the fastest to determine the time deviation. If the racer was consistent and took the non-smooth line throughout the track, then the testing data is going to provide a solid picture of strength.

As a general rule of evaluation:

5 seconds or more deviation – strength needs to be a high focus in the gym 3-4 second deviation – strength is a weakness in the racers program 1-2 second deviation – strength levels are strong and need to be maintained

The key point of evaluation is that it takes muscular strength to put the bike where it is not optimal (i.e. the fastest line) and where momentum is not doing most of the work for the racer. Think about your effort level when you don’t get the holeshot and you are taking non ideal lines to move up through the field. Your heart rate is high and the demands on the muscles are at the highest point. Remember, our goal with strength training is to enhance your overall strength levels and then be able to maintain that output of power for longer periods of time.

Remember, all physical training is a supplement to riding your motorcycle-nothing replaces seat time. The concept behind off the motorcycle cross training is to prepare your body to perform at a higher level for longer periods of time while reducing fatigue and potential injury. In the next issue, we will outline how to address your identified weaknesses from this assessment and how to eliminate them with cross training off of the track.

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