With seven months of racing already complete and a full half of Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross still to go, it’s safe to say a lot of riders are headed to “overitville” when it comes to training, riding, traveling and racing. How do they keep it fresh? Our own David Pingree explains.
Seventeen rounds of supercross are in the books and we are now halfway into the 12-round national motocross championships. Its hot and humid, the motos are long, your body is tired and likely ailing from some type of injury. And so, not surprisingly, it's at about this time that a lot of guys start getting burned out. How do I know? Well, let's just say I have some experience in this realm.
Photos: Simon Cudby
The riders fighting for race wins and championships don't suffer from this quite as badly. As you can imagine, it is easier to put the work in and grind through the pain and the monotony of 40-minute motos during the week when you are seeing results on the weekends. But the guys finishing outside the top ten, or finishing short of their personal goals, start to lose motivation and begin counting down the days and hours until the final moto at Pala Raceway in September.
How can these guys stay motivated for the rest of the summer even though they are having their asses handed to them every Saturday?
The first thing they need to do is set some realistic goals for the remaining rounds. If you were hoping for a podium going into Hangtown but you haven't been inside the top five in a moto yet you might need to rethink your goals. Maybe it's a top-ten finish or a fifth in a moto. Or maybe you just want to qualify for the motos. Set up a graduating set of goals to give you something to focus on and achieve.
It also helps to mix up your training. Try changing up the way you do your motos during the week. Instead of two 40-minute motos try doing three 20-minute motos to keep your intensity level up. Work on sprint laps another day and do motos with a friend who is similar in speed on another day.
The way you train can also help. If you usually run several times a week try doing something else like swimming laps or hopping on a road bike or a mountain bike. One of the best ways to keep it interesting is to find a trainer that mixes up his routine. Charles Dao of Icon Sports Performance is notorious for changing up his exercises and keeping things interesting for his athletes.
"I know it can be a grind for these guys with the travel and pounding motos out in the heat," Charles explains. "I try to mix up our program to keep these guys focused and looking forward to putting in the work. At the same time I can continually keep their bodies guessing and get the most from our workouts. Because we have a weekend off coming up I’ve actually told my riders to take this week and go have some fun. If they can do some surfing or play some tennis or do something active that they really enjoy it will give them a break and make it easier for them to hit it hard again next week."
The final thing that may help from losing another rider to a supercross-only contract, or a job at Taco Bell, is to get some rest. Riding, training and traveling takes its toll on your body and with a weekend off coming up it might be a good idea to just sleep in. Hold your couch down. Watch Jersey Shore reruns. And then, just when you can't stand to see a bunch of over-tanned, steroid-filled idiots fighting and drinking any more, it will be time to get off the couch and get back to work. Fist pumps!