7 Simple Tips to Find More Speed

 1: Practice Specific Race Scenarios

Set up your practice sessions to simulate a true race scenario (duration, track conditions and intensity levels). Skills associated with racing require that you are able to manage yourself and an environment around others with the ability to adapt to changes of pace, positioning and where decisions have to be made quickly. You have to learn how to get the most out of your performance environments by setting up the closest scenario possible so that you can adapt and improve both physically and mentally as a racer.

 2: Warm Up 

We all have experienced the fact that our lap times get faster as the race transpires. This is because the body is warmed up and the muscles are performing at an optimal level. The trouble is we allow the first two laps of the race to warm up our bodies which results in slower lap times early in the moto.

 3: Eat a High Quality Snack

To top off your blood sugar levels, in your muscles for movement and in your liver to feed your brain for processing, eat an easily digestible snack 10 minutes before your practice or race.  Through our research, we have determined that when a rider struggles to get up to and maintain potential speed it is directly related to food (quality & quantity).

 4: Practice Your Speed Work Early in Your Riding Session

Now that you have topped off your blood sugar levels with an easily digestible snack and jump started your metabolic engine by warming up (ideally for 20 minutes), you can now handle higher intensity levels.  The key to breaking into faster lap times is to implement your speed intervals early in the workout so that you develop both the mental and physical skills necessary to create consistent speed and eliminate late moto fatigue.

 5: Break Speed Ruts

Capture your lap times for 10 lap moto as well as a 20 lap moto. What you will find is that there is not much difference in your speed no matter how long the moto lasts. This is a perfect example of a speed rut.  In the world of human performance, the body should always be able to perform at a higher rate of speed for a shorter period of time; we refer to this as the inverse relationship between volume and intensity.

 6: Implement Fundamentals

Instead of focusing on throwing more effort into going fast, slow down and apply the appropriate skill set to maintain speed and momentum throughout every lap. The most inefficient racer is the one that bounces off the face of everything and blows through every corner – losing momentum which results in lower lap times. If you want to improve not only your overall speed but also your endurance, focus on applying the skills developed through your riding coach that include the utilization of your break, clutch, throttle and body position.

 7: Film

Every factory team films, why aren’t you?  If there is a section that you can’t figure out, film the riders that did.  This is helpful prior to heading out for your first practice – what is the fastest approach to a section, body position, etc.. Duplicate what others are doing to get through the section fast on your first lap verses taking four laps to get up to full speed.  Most everyone has a smart phone these days with a pretty good camera, so use it! Keep in mind that the brain learns in many ways, watching and implementing are two of the most powerful to increasing your speed!

Six Healthy Habits of Fast Racers

Over the last 33 years of working with elite racers, I have noticed there are six specific habits that run consistently through all of these riders.  Not only do these habits create both speed and endurance on the track, they are easy for any rider or racer to implement on a regular basis.

Manage Your Schedule

You can’t manage time, only yourself.  Time keeps ticking no matter what you choose to do with the 24 hours that are in a day.  To get the most out of a day, avoid being rushed.  If you are short on time getting to the track, unloading, getting geared up and then trying to ride, you will inevitably skip your warm up because you are short on time.  If you cut your warm up short, the quality of your riding session will be negatively affected (notice how you feel better at the end of a moto than in the beginning?  This is because you are finally warmed up).  If you are tight on time, you will skip (or at least delay) eating after your session which results in a delay in your recovery process (leaving you sore and tired). You can see how this daily problem becomes a bigger ripple as the week transpires resulting in less than optimum results.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep allows the body the opportunity to “absorb” the workloads completed on a daily basis.  If you don’t fully recover from each workout, you drive yourself into a mode of overtraining with negative performance results.  Strive to get 8 – 9 hours of sleep a day.  If you are getting less than this, look at your overall weekly schedule and make it a priority to sleep – you will be amazed at what happens to your performance results.

Don’t Over Train

Many riders believe that the professionals train all day every day when in fact the opposite is true; ironically, many amateur racers ride and cross train more hours per week than the professionals!  It has been my experience that the most successful riders train for 60-90 minutes in the morning (2 hours after breakfast) and then again in the afternoon for 45-60 minutes after a 2-3 hour nap and high quality snack or smoothie.  The reason for this pattern is to allow the body to absorb and recover from each workout.  Keep in mind that a rider doesn’t become faster by riding and cross training, but rather from eating and sleeping (see above).

Eat Every Two Hours

To help keep our rider’s body fat levels low and their strength to weight ratios high, I have my riders eat one piece of fruit, a sliced vegetable (the darker green the better) and a lean source of protein (2-4 ounces) every two hours.  By eating every two hours, the rider’s blood sugar levels remain constant which helps manage hunger levels.  Low hunger levels result in less food being consumed before the feeling of being full is achieved.  Two additional benefits to eating every two hours with fresh fruits and vegetables are that the rider becomes pre-hydrated with water and they receive a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the production of energy.

Eat Plenty of Fat and Protein

Fat and protein are the ONLY food items that actually satisfy your hunger.  Healthy fat (avocadoes, salmon, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil) is necessary for optimal health and performance.  Protein (specifically amino acids) is necessary to rebuild your muscles after you tear them down during your riding and cross training sessions.  The body that you have today is a result of what you have consumed over the last six months because it takes this long to completely rebuild your body; if you want to have less body fat and more muscle in six months, start today

Receive Massage & Stretch Regularly

Simply put, as muscles are used for physical movement, they become progressively tighter.  As the muscles tighten, they shorten which puts strain on the attachments at each end of the muscle (origin and insertion).  If the muscles become too tight, they develop a condition referred to as a trigger point.  To illustrate what a trigger point is, put your finger tips into the muscles in your shoulders (between the base of your neck and the end of your shoulder).  Push each finger tip down into the muscles and act as if you are playing the piano.  You will inevitably find a couple of “hot spots”, this is a trigger point.  To help get the trigger point to release and decrease the tension on the muscle’s attachment, keep direct pressure on the center of the trigger point and breathe deep; within 5-10 seconds you will notice the level of tension becoming less.  By receiving a massage on a regular basis (as often as once a week) keeps the muscles from becoming overly tight.  As the tension in the muscle is reduced, the range of motion of the muscles (primary and secondary) improves which results in higher levels of strength and endurance.  In addition to massage, top riders know how to properly isolate and stretch muscles.  For optimum stretching results, stretch muscles ONLY after they have been warmed up with low intensity movement (ideally sport specific) for 10-15 minutes.  The low intensity movement allows the blood to be diverted from the spine, organs and glands and into the various muscles in the arms and legs.  Once the temperature within the muscle reaches an optimum level (as evident by sweat on your arms and face), stop and stretch (refrain from bouncing) the isolated target muscle; hold the stretch for 4-6 seconds while focusing on your breathing.  For some riding specific stretches to reduce improve your range of motion and reduce your risk of injury, please visit my Youtube Channel.