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How to Manage Illness

by Robb Beams


The body provides you many indicators that it is fatigued and susceptible to illness: elevated heart rate, high body temperature, suppressed appetite, declines in athletic performance, poor sleeping patterns and more.  Though these indicators may seem obvious as you read them, most racers will not acknowledge that if the body doesn’t get the elements necessary to recover and overcome fatigue, sleep & food, it is inevitable that an illness is right around the corner.

Here are 7 Rules for a speedy recovery from an illness:

Rule #1: Listen to your body.
The body is an efficient machine, a fever or elevated heart rate are clear signs that you should back off on both your intensity and duration of riding and cross training.  Please email me if you would like a free copy of the MotoE Body Analysis Spreadsheet to easily track this data on a weekly basis.

Rule #2: Get more rest.
Resting does not mean going for a one hour riding session or a two-hour spin on your bike hoping it’ll make you feel better – it will only make you more fatigued. Your goal is to get 8-10 hours of deep, high quality sleep each day.

Rule #3: Pay attention to diet and proper hydration.
Make it easy on your body to go about its job of fighting off the infection or virus.  Regarding hydration, every day consume half of your body weight in ounces of water (160 pounds/2=80 ounces of water per day).  Proper nutrition would involve eating every two hours and eating fruits, vegetables and lean protein at every meal or snack. Please email me if you would like a free copy of the MotoE Body Analysis Spreadsheet to easily track this data on a weekly basis.

Rule #4: Return to training gently.
As you start to feel a little better, resist the urge to jump back into training full-throttle. As a general rule of thumb, if your resting heart rate is up by more than 5 beats over your weekly average, then don’t train at all for that day.  If your heart rate is within 3 beats of your weekly average, then exercise at a very easy effort level for 45 minutes or less.

Rule #5: Don’t ignore the obvious signs from your body.
If your heart rate spikes straight up getting out of your car, then following your training program does not make sense.  This physical experience will correlate with your resting heart rate (see #4 above).

Rule #6: Don’t expect someone else to be able to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do.
Unfortunately you’re training partner, riding coach, family doesn’t actually know how you are feeling, so it’s up to you to make that judgment in the end.

Rule #7: Don’t become an internet doctor.
Google can be a wonderful tool, but even the most rational among us can turn into raging hypochondriacs if let loose on the Internet when feeling unwell. Before you know it, your bout of strep throat has escalated to some rare form of infectious disease. So make an appointment with a legit medical doctor.

About the Author: is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. The website outlines the MotoE Performance Training programs available to racers for 2010 - such as those used with great success by X-Games and 2 time WMA Champion Ashley Fiolek, Mini O's 2009 Champion Ian Trettel & Loretta Lynn National Champion Adam Cianciarulo and numerous off road racers.

Additional resources available include the MotoE Performance Training Facility in Haines City, Florida, eBooks on various human performance elements and online instructional videos. To discuss your current program or have a new one developed for you; feel free to contact Robb Beams at or 407.701.7586 directly.

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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  1. Gravatar
    Gary Randall December 09, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Would you please email a free copy of the MotoE Body Analysis Spreadsheet . Thank you very much. gary

  2. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer December 10, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Sorry, I forgot to make the email links hot when I posted the article. Please reach out to Robb directly at

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