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Heat-Beating Strategies for Motocross

by Racer X Virtual Trainer

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At Virtual Trainer, we are constantly in contact with some of the top trainers and fitness experts in the motocross field. With the big summer races upon us, we reached out to some of those trainers and experts --- Aldon Baker, Charles Dao, Robb Beams, Eddie Casillas, Coach Seiji, John Wakefield and more -- to help us compile a list of heat-beating strategies to help you stay safely hydrated for even the hottest motos.

Important Parental Tip: Monitor the fluids your young riders and race fans are drinking and make sure they are drinking enough, as hydration is vital.

  • Drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water each day. In other words, 150 lbs = 75 ounces (approximately 10 cups)
  • Weigh yourself before and after motos, then drink 2 cups of water for every pound of body weight lost.
  • Weigh yourself in the morning and then once again in the evening. Are the numbers close? If not, you need to drink more.
  • If you are not racing you should be resting in a cool place. Stay out of the heat until one hour prior to you moto.
  • Check your resting heart rate (RHR) when you wake up. If RHR is elevated by more than 10 beats for two consecutive days, your body is not fully recovered.
  • Try to eliminate all cotton from your riding gear, and that includes socks and underwear. Try mountain-bike socks, thin, full-length tights, and dry gear for every moto.
  • Wash all of your "new gear" two to three times to break in the materials. Though they may feel fresh and new, they don't breathe as well and will increase your temperature.
  • Cut liners out of pants, cuffs off of pants, cuffs off of jerseys, slice vents in your jerseys, etc., to allow air movement for cooling via convection, evaporation
  • Keep ice wrapped in a towel to put on your neck and face before motos while in staging or use a cooling vest with Renewable Phase Change Material. We highly recommend the products from Coolvest.com.
  • Do not wet your race jersey or gear before the race. The humidity is too high for evaporative cooling to be effective. Keep your gear as dry as possible.
  • Wear as little gear as possible while in staging.
  • A drink containing electrolytes is recommended for racers after motos: Gatorade G series, Pedialyte, or Skratch Labs (highly recommended by Coach Seiji) are good choices.
  • After your race, remove all your gear immediately and cool off. Enjoy an ice bath, cool water, sit in front of a fan, place an ice to the back of the neck, armpits, and groin, all of which are effective at returning your core temperature to normal. Get out of the heat and sit in that creek!
  • Ice bath after motos when heat is extreme is recommended to quickly lower core temp and stop the sweating process. Recommended time is 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Pay attention to the color of your urine. If you are hydrated it should be clear to light yellow. Note: some medications and vitamins can change the color.
  • For adequate recovery, consume a drink with a 4:1 Carbohydrate-to-Protein mix (four grams of carbohydrate for every one gram of protein) within 30-minutes of your moto and a full meal within 2 hours. Coach Seiji's favorite smoothie. Printer friendly.

A quick check of the weather at Loretta's next week shows that it is not going to be too hot. But be very careful. Sometimes when it's hot but not extremely hot, riders let their guard down and forget about hydration. With temperatures in the mid 80's (almost cold by Loretta Lynn standards) the risk of heat stroke my be lower but the risk of dehydration may actually be higher. Keep on top of your hydration even in "cooler" weather.

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. VT Signature

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