For the first article of training to race/ride your motorcycle, I'm going to talk about cross training. Not every one has the privilege to ride their MX bike everyday nor would you want to. Most weekend racers or people that just like to ride on the weekends would like to ride more than 2 laps at the local track. So many wonder what they can do to make the most out of their week and use the spare hour they have after school or work when they can't ride. Well, there is more than one way to go about it. One of my favorite is to hop on my mountain bike and charge some trails. There are not too many ways to exercise in a way that's so close to riding your MX bike then getting on a bicycle with knobby tires. So many elements are the same and compliment riding a motorcycle. Balance, handling, focus, cardio and all around strength are some of the similarities.
One of the biggest advantages of shredding a MTB is the high intensity that it forces you to experience when climbing to that next downhill. When your breathing and heart rate are too high to hold a conversation you are most likely past your Lactate Threshold or in the Anaerobic heart rate zone. While your Anaerobic conditioning is the most important part of your fitness for racing a motorcycle you also need to have a strong base fitness before entering these pain cave workouts. Anaerobic is when you are above your threshold and your blood has ran out of oxygen making it hard for your muscles to function effectively. So past all the big words when you have run out of oxygen to your brain, lungs, muscles that you loose focus and can only be in this heart rate zone for so long before your body can't take it anymore and shuts down. So, training this HR zone is crucial because while riding your MX bike you are flirting in this zone most of your moto session and loosing focus can become disastrous.
The best way to make the most out of your hour is to use the hills as intervals pushing to the top of these climbs. Warming up for 10-15 minutes, than hitting it hard, using the downhill sections to recover and pin it up the next hill, than continue until you have about 10-15 minutes to get home. Use this time to cool down and spin out the legs getting rid of any lactate build up you may have caused while pedaling above your threshold. This is a very non-structured but fun way to get the most out of your time during the week. Make sure to follow this day up by an easy day for recovery and let your body fully build itself back up before repeating another hard day. Note: this is only one way and one part to achieve an overall fitness level that you need to be a top level MX racer but it will sure help send you on your way!
Stay tuned to get more ideas and techniques to add into your weekdays that will make your weeekend moto days more succesful.
Certified Trainer - Ryan Fedorow