Fact or Fiction about Professional Racing
We have all heard and seen the luxuries of being on top of the motocross & supercross world; however, how accurate are the assumptions of being a professional racer? Let’s take a look at a few misconceptions of racing at the professional level.
Myth #1: The pro’s edge comes from having all day to ride and cross train.
It is true that pros train more than most amateurs, but the real advantage comes from the time they have available to sleep, eat, stretch and work on the mental skills associated with being a champion. The typical amateur must squeeze riding and cross training around family & work while still having time to sleep and eat. Though this may sound odd, you can’t manage time – only yourself. With this in mind, I spend a tremendous amount of time with riders helping them develop a daily schedule that creates the time necessary to live like a pro. If you would like a copy of our time management blueprint, please email me directly.
Myth #2: Pros don’t make rookie mistakes.
Have you ever arrived at the track without one glove or boot? Forget your helmet on race day? We have all been there, and even the pros aren’t immune to making simple mistakes. The key is to create a mental mindset that it isn’t what happens to you, but rather how you handle it. I say this often while working with riders at the track, because wasting time moaning and groaning isn’t going to change the situation or circumstances. How many times have you seen a rider hosting a temper tantrum after washing out the front end in a corner? Washing out the front end happens sometimes (usually associated with basic fundamentals), get up quickly and get back to racing. Again, it isn’t what happens to you but how you handle it that gets results.
Myth #3: Pros never take an unscheduled rest day.
Pros are living the dream, so surely they are jumping out of bed every morning every day excited to ride and cross train – right? Nope. They are tired from testing, traveling, riding, cross training and fulfilling sponsorship obligations. While it is rare for amateur riders to take an unscheduled rest day, the pros listen to their bodies and will use the rest day to rebuild themselves – physically and/or mentally. While working with all of our amateur riders, I share with them what we have our pros do on a daily basis to determine if they should workout or not – measure their resting heart rate. If the morning heart rate is up 6 or more beats over last week’s average, they eat and go back to bed. If the resting heart rate is 3-4 beats within last week’s average, then the rider completes a 1 hour cross training workout within heart rate range 2 or less. If you would like a copy of the form that we use to track resting heart rate, please email me directly.
Myth #4: Pros are super fit year round.
Even pros give in to the temptations of seasonal splurges. In fact, almost every pro puts on an extra pound or two in the off season. There is a saying in the human performance world that every athlete should allow themselves to “get out of shape” during the off season. When this happens there is a sense of accomplishment when peak fitness is achieved. Another benefit of “getting out of shape” is that it removes the structure and discipline out of the daily routine allowing the rider to enjoy play riding without any guilt. With our riders, we incorporate play riding of 60-90 minutes broken down into 15 minute segments each day the week after a big race. The key to achieving peak fitness is having your entire race season broken down into Pre-Season, Pre-Competitive, Competitive and Off Season. If you would like a template to help break down your season into these four seasons, please email me directly.
Myth #5: Pros handle bad days with more grace and ease.
Racers are highly competitive, motivated & dedicated to their success. When racers lose momentum on the track, they are hard on themselves. It is exactly the same for the pros. To help our riders “learn” from their experiences – good or bad, we implement a step of our Mental Blueprint of Success formula to help them identify what they can do within their weekly training schedules to be prepared for anything and surprised by nothing. If you haven’t requested our weekly training samples (for both on and off of the track), please email me directly and I will be happy to send them to you. With these samples, you can learn how to address any physical limiters and turn them into strengths on the track.
Myth #6: Pros go hard all the time.
Yes, pros are fast because they train hard & can execute riding skills better most of us. However, this doesn’t mean that they train at 100% effort every day. Similar to Myth #3 & #4, understanding how hard (i.e. intensity), how long and how often to ride, strength train, cross train (i.e. Concept 2 rowing, mountain or road bike, swimming, etc.) is the key to creating real speed & endurance. As Myth #7 below states, there are no short cuts to developing muscular strength & endurance – just the correct application of physiological principles. Take advantage of the template offered in Myth #4 to help you prioritize your 2013 race season, then apply some of the training samples outlined in Myth #5 to help you direct your riding & cross training efforts. If you are interested in a customized nutrition and training program, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you our MotoE New Racer Profile. Once I receive and review your profile, my staff will call you to set up a free 20 minute consultation with me to discuss your profile and help you establish a weekly training program to maximize your training effort. Please note, to ensure that we can get back to all requests, there are only a total of 50 consultations available, so email me ASAP!
Myth #7: Pros know the secret formula.
It is more fun to believe that pros have cracked the motocross code to training and racing success, but in reality the secret is just plain hard work along with avoiding injuries and illness. I realize that this is a short answer to a big myth, but it is the truth. Learn the facts about nutrition, strength, endurance, flexibility and sports psychology and enjoy the fruits of your labor – just like the pros!