7 Tips for Successful Training
by Racer X Virtual Trainer
If you are starting a new training program or revamping an old one, then listen up, because Virtual Trainer has 7 tips that will not only get you out of the gate with the holeshot, but will send you well on your way to a podium finish.
Choosing the right line on the race track is critical to success. So is choosing the right training plan.
Tip #1: Evaluate Your Program
If your goal is to train harder or smarter or even to just start training, the first thing you need to do is to evaluate your current program. If you currently have a training program in place, the litmus test for your program is how you feel on the bike and after a moto. If you feel fine and are ready for your next moto, then don't fix what ain't broke. If, on the other hand, you are winded on lap three or get arm pump toward the end of your moto, then you need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and adjust your program accordingly. If you don't train at all and want to start, you need to ask yourself why you have never trained before and why you suddenly want to start now. Everyone will have different answers to these questions, and the answers are very important to laying out a program to ensure success. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just starting new, the premium training programs on Virtual Trainer (designed by Coach Seiji, Andrew Short's trainer) are a great way to ensure your program is dialed in.
Tip #2: Partner Up
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to partner up with someone who has similar goals. Obviously, people you ride and race with would make great training partners. Even if your skills on the track are vastly different, your training goals should be very similar. Training with someone - a co worker, classmate, family member, or just a friend - will help you stick to a structured plan. When choosing a partner make sure you choose someone who is motivated and wants to train. Choosing a partner that shows up late (or never at all) or doesn't have the same desire as you will lead to missed workouts and wasted time. Choose wisely!
Tip #3: Touch Your Toes
I believe stretching is one of the most overlooked aspects of training. Research suggests that increased flexibility can help reduce the risk of serious injury, and research suggests that stretching after a workout can help relieve muscle soreness. Lately, there has been a lot of talk in fitness circles that stretching before exercise can actually lead to an increase in injury. I'm a numbers kind of guy and I believe in the research, so as of about 5-years ago I stopped all static stretching with all of my athletes before an activity. We still warm-up which I think it is an integral part of top performance, we just do not do any long static stretch holds. Cardio and dynamic stretching should be a part of your program.
Stretching after an activity, whether it's riding or training is still recommended. And the older I get it seams the more time I spend stretching/cooling down. If you are short on time, incorporating stretching by shortening your 60-minute workout to 50 and using the last 10-minutes to stretch. Also, stretching can be done any time, not just before and after a workout. A good time to stretch is while on the phone or in front of the TV.
Cross training with sports you enjoy keeps training fun and fresh. Choosing a training partner with similar goals is also key.
Tip #4: Variety is the Spice of Life
The more variety you add to your training, the more likely you'll be to stick with it. Try mixing things up each week by doing exercises that you truly enjoy. Road cycling, snow skiing, wakeboarding, basketball, rock climbing - anything that breaks up the routine and keeps your mind fresh and focused on training. Remember; doing something is always better than doing nothing. In addition, you don't necessarily have to kill yourself each time you work out. Make some workouts tough while keeping others light and easy.
Tip #5: Pick a Goal
Focus on something that is important to you and make it your goal. You can have a lofty goal like a podium finish at a SX or something simple like going 10 laps without getting tired. Whatever your goal is, write it down and post it on your fridge, bathroom mirror, or drawer at work. Whenever you see the piece of paper, it will help you refocus and keep you on track to accomplishing your goals.
Tip #6: Take a Closer Look at Your Diet
For me, diet has never been a hard puzzle to solve. It's quite simple, actually. Imagine putting a 50/50 mix of water and gas in your bike. The results would be very predictable. Well, your body is the same way. The best diet (in my opinion) includes a variety of healthy foods and incorporates the KISS technique (Keep it Simple, Stupid). Five or six years ago Coach Seiji turned me on to the Paleo diet and it turns out its pretty much the diet I grew up on and have followed to this day (minus the legumes). Paleo is definitely KISS and can be summed up as "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar." To learn more about the Paleo diet click here. I also believe in the occasional splurge. To keep your diet from becoming a hassle and another restriction in your life, indulge yourself occasionally with a Blizzard or Biggie fries. Just don't substitute that in place of a nutritious meal.
Tip #7: When the Going Gets Tough....
It's usually easy to get through a workout when you are feeling good. However, on those days when you aren't feeling your best, or after a few bumps and bruises from Sunday's race, you really need to focus and put your head down. Listen to your body and adjust your workout. Don't push yourself too hard and risk injury, but at the same time, dig down deep and reach for something you may not know you even had. You may find that you come out of a bad day stronger than when you started it. The tough days are when champions are born.
If you follow these 7 simple steps and incorporate them into your routine, I am sure you will have more success than before. For the newbies out there who are just starting to train and have decided that this is going to be the year, pay close attention and treat the 7 tips like a recipe. Don't skip any steps and like any good cook, you have to follow the directions and know when to add extra spices and when to cut back.
That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.