ALLI Sports Racer X Online MX Sports GNCC Racing Racer Productions The Racing Paper Racer X Brand

In-Season Training: Race and Train

by Racer X Virtual Trainer

Advertisement
This photo just makes me want to go ride...

Spring time is here and so is the start of a new race season. I love this time of year as we all get to put the winter blues behind us and look forward to the long race season ahead. How you did last year is in the past and how you perform this year will largely be determined by what you do off the track. If you followed the off-season and pre-season training plans offered here on Virtual Trainer then you should be more than ready to tackle the new season. Even though pre-season workouts closely resemble in-season routines, the major difference will be in the timing and intensity of the workouts. During the pre-season, if you are unable to ride due to the weather, then intense workouts throughout the week are needed to mimic the intensity required to race. Sometimes two-a-days are even needed. During this period we concentrate on moving out of the less intense off-season period where we concentrate on aerobic base training and into the more sport specific, high intensity interval training zone. Although we weren't worried about peaking or tapering the volume and intensity towards the end of the week, that is what the in-season program is all about. If you haven't made the transition, now is the perfect time.

The in-season routine is a maintenance workout that will help you maintain your fitness level throughout the season. This workout relies on the assumption that most of your conditioning will come from riding throughout the week and that you did your homework over the winter. If you don’t get to ride 4 to 5 times a week then you will still need to supplement your training with sport specific exercises used in the pre-season workouts. The goal of the in-season training program is to develop the highest level of racing skills while maintaining physical condition. To avoid overtraining during the in-season program, training sessions will have the highest volume early in the week (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.) with Thursday and Friday reserved for tapering with workouts devoted to riding practice or lower volume cardio activities. Saturday is for rest and hydrating the body before race day. To be successful as a weekend warrior, you have to train hard but you also have to train smart.

The following routines contain the exercises and schedules that I currently use with a client of mine (The next female ATV Champion!). She has to pay but you get the workouts for free (shhhh, don't tell anyone!) The programs are set up with three groups of people in mind. The lucky few who have access to a practice track and can ride all week, the people that get to ride 1 to 2 times per week and the rest of us who only see the inside of a race track on Sundays.

The schedule that you end up with will of course depend on how much time you can devote to training. The less you get to ride during the week the more time you'll need to spend at the gym, on your road bike, or on the rowing machine.

Monday - Always reserved as a recovery day. Recovery days are not intended to sit around and do nothing unless you suffered an injury on Sunday. A good recovery day would be a 1 hour "light" bike ride, 45 minute run, or 45 minute row. You want to use this day to let your body recover by doing some type of light exercise. Heart rates should be no higher than 60-70% max heart rate or a high 2 on a scale of 1 to 4 (1 being the easiest and 4 being 100% max'ed out effort).

Tuesday - Tuesday and Wednesday are the two hardest days with the most volume and moderate intensity. If you can ride, spend at least one to two hours on the bike followed by an hour and a half at the gym (follow Workout # 1 below). If you cannot ride and have the time, substitute a 1.5 hour road ride,1 hour row, or other cardio in place of riding followed by the gym. If you only have time for one or the other it's your pick depending on what you feel you need more of.

Wednesday - Repeat Tuesday's workout except follow Workout # 2 below.

Thursday - Ride if you can followed by a light road ride or similar. Intensity on the road ride should be slightly higher than Monday's ride (70-80% max heart rate).

Friday - Ride if you can followed by a light road ride or similar. Intensity on the road ride should be slightly higher than Monday's ride. If you are feeling tired, take Friday off! You can also do a high intensity interval type workout (depending on how you feel) that is very short in duration; maybe 30 minutes max.

Saturday - Use this day to rest and hydrate. If you skipped Friday because you were feeling tired, consider a light run (like Monday's recovery run).

Sunday - Race and finish on the podium!

Workout #1 (High Intensity Interval Workout)

Start out with a 10-minute warmup on stationary bike or Concept2 rower.

When performing the strength training exercises, use enough weight to be completely exhausted at the end of 45 seconds. This is usually 17 to 20 repetitions. If you can do more than 20 reps, add weight. 100% max effort is required for all weighted exercises. Perform 3 sets of each circuit before moving on to the next circuit.

Circuit 1
3-minute (or 700 meter) row at 70-80% max heart rate (Effort of 3 on a scale of 1 to 4)
Rest 2-minutes
Repeat 3 times

Circuit 2
3-minute (or 700 meter) row at 70-80% max heart rate (Effort of 3 on a scale of 1 to 4)
Rest 2-minutes
Repeat 3 times

Circuit 3
3-minute (or 700 meter) row at 70-80% max heart rate (Effort of 3 on a scale of 1 to 4)
Rest 2-minutes
Repeat 3 times

2000 meter interval row. Row 500 meters at normal pace, 500 meters at an all out pace, etc.

Cool down and stretch.


Workout #2 (High Intensity Interval Workout)

Start out with a 10-minute warmup on stationary bike or Concept2 rower.

When performing the strength training exercises, use enough weight to be completely exhausted at the end of 45 seconds. This is usually 17 to 20 repetitions. If you can do more than 20 reps, add weight. 100% max effort is required for all weighted exercises. Perform 3 sets of each circuit before moving on to the next circuit.

Circuit 1
3-minute (or 700 meter) row at 70-80% max heart rate (Effort of 3 on a scale of 1 to 4)
Rest 2-minutes
Repeat 3 times

Circuit 2
Hammer Throws (or Kettle Bell Throws) You can also use dumbells for this exercise.
Ladders (Push-ups and Pull-ups combined)
3-minute (or 700 meter) row at 70-80% max heart rate (Effort of 3 on a scale of 1 to 4)
Rest 2-minutes
Repeat 3 times

Circuit 3
3-minute (or 700 meter) row at 70-80% max heart rate (Effort of 3 on a scale of 1 to 4)
Rest 2-minutes
Repeat 3 times

2000 meter interval row. Row 500 meters at normal pace, 500 meters at an all out pace, etc.

Cool down and stretch.


Follow these routines and schedule and you will certainly have more fun this spring and summer at the races. Getting your tongue caught in the chain is never any fun.å≈

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

Share on:

Discussion

  1. Gravatar
    joseph April 08, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Nice workouts but you do not mention how long to rest for in between circuits.

  2. Gravatar
    N45ON April 08, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    i have a pic of that exact shot.. its just a few seconds before when the gate initially drops. its my sun visor.. i put in on my windshield everyday. its awesome and i get a lot of compliments

  3. Gravatar
    John April 09, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Is this geared just for weekend warrioer or is it suitable for a young pro going to nationals for first time?

  4. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer April 09, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Joseph - Good catch. I usually rest for no longer than 2-minutes after I row. I actually switched the order of the workouts from the original post. I always start with the weighted exercises and row after the three sets. At the end of the third weighted exercise you should be pretty close to Max'ed out effort-wise. The 700-meter row should be done at a pace that starts the recovery process. You are not going all out on the rowing effort. A 2-minute break after rowing should be plenty of time to get ready for the next circuit.

    John - This workout is perfect for both the Weekend Warrior and the Pro. The great thing about this workout is that it can be as hard as you want it to be depending on your intensity.

  5. Gravatar
    Joe April 09, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Damn, these workouts are LONG!

    Is "max effort" defined as going until failure or do you want max reps in 45 sec? If it is "failure," how do you define failure on the swings, thrusters, ladders, etc? Is it when I have to put the bar down or when continuous reps stop?

    I'll tweak them slightly (ie; sub sumo high pull for squat and row) and give them a shot. Got a sub for swiss leg curl? Can you score these workouts? If so, lemme know what Hammond did so I can beat it :)

  6. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer April 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Joe - The workouts don't have to be long. Just depends on how long your breaks are and how many sets you do. I can usually do two sets of both circuits plus the row at the end in 1 hour. If you really crank up the intensity by not resting as much on the 700 meter rows, you can stop at the 45 minute mark.

    What I want is failure at the end of 45 seconds. Generally, if you are using a weight that is so heavy that you can only do, say 10 reps, then the weight is too heavy. If you can bust through the 45 seconds and the weight is so low you could keep going for another 45 seconds, then the weight is too light. Find a weight (you might have to experiment at first) that you can do around 20 reps in 45 seconds and you say to yourself, "Wow, that was tough and I couldn't do any more...NOT ONE MORE REP" That is failure.

    To answer your question specifically, I don't really care about max reps in a certain time period. That does nothing to guarantee failure. For instance, I could do simple arm curls with a 5 lb weight for 45 seconds as fast as I can, but never reach muscular failure. But if I start to add weight, I begin to fatigue the muscle and eventually reach failure within the 45 to a minute time range.

    In addition, the rep count doesn't have to be EXACTLY 20. Sometimes I'll make the rep count around 30 (or even more). Higher rep counts require more muscular endurance but I still fail at the end of the set (lighter weight, but the pace of each rep is higher of course). I prefer the 20 rep range because it requires a slightly higher weight and the reps are more controlled. I find that if I tell a client to to 30 in 45 seconds to a minute their form gets way out of control.

    Swiss leg curl sub - Depends on the equipment you have. You could certainly do these with a TRX. This is basically working the Hamstring area, so anything for the hamstring is a good sub. I like the Swiss Leg Curl b/c it works the glutes, core and lower back as well as the hamstrings.

    Not sure about a score....I know where you are coming from (Crossfit I assume). I guess you could score them based on how many reps you can do in a certain time with a specific weight.

  7. Gravatar
    John April 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Tim,
    so for an up and commer preparing for the pro nationals am I right that I should do 11/2 hr recovery ride mon, tue ride mx do workout 1 then do 11/2 hr on bike 75%-80% mhr, wen ride mx do workout 2 then do workout 2hrs on bike 75%-85% mhr, thur ride mx then ride bike 11/2 hr at 70%-80% mhr, fri if feeling exhausted rest if not ride mx, sat rest hydrate, sun race and win! is this to much?
    John

  8. Gravatar
    JJ April 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Tim, is ones goal on the jump pullups to be 300 per circuit? = 100 per set. or as many one can do in 45 sec.

  9. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer April 21, 2010 at 9:55 am

    John - Put this question on the forum so we can talk about it there.

    JJ - As many as you can do in 45 seconds. I love Jump Pull-ups. They are tough for sure!

  10. Gravatar
    Andrew April 29, 2010 at 7:46 am

    For a young beginner for this workout, what if I am too sore to workout the next day? What should I do?

  11. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer April 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

    If you are too sore, take a day off. Soreness should only result if you are new to these exercises. If you are new to working out in general, I highly recommend a 3 to 4 week base training phase where you do lower intensity workouts to slowly let your body adjust or become conditioned to these high intensity workouts.

  12. Gravatar
    Justin April 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

    why dont you space the two work out days one day aprt for recovery time?

  13. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer April 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    The only reason I have the two workouts back-to-back is to allow for plenty of recovery time before the weekend. Those are extremely high intensity workouts that require plenty of recovery if you are racing on Sunday.

  14. Gravatar
    Marcos August 12, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Is there any exercise thar you can do rigth before Sundays`s race, to warmup and prepare your body for race??............. in race I normally grab the handlebar to tight (nervios perhaps) and i get my hands and arms stiff in four laps, so maybe there is an exercise to do before race that will help on that.

  15. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer August 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Marcos - It's all about a proper warm-up, so yes there are things you can do. This article by Coach Seiji explains it all.

    http://www.racerxvt.com/article/race-weeks-and-warm-ups

  16. Gravatar
    bob September 03, 2010 at 5:08 am

    i love motorcycles and i race a 1996 yamaha xt 400 and i came first at the nationals in 2009 junior honda nationals go me lol i love meme

  17. Gravatar
    David September 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

    tim,
    i think i met you down at Loretta's this year, i was the runner up for heavy weight row contest, i would really like to get one for myself, do you have the guys information that was down there representing concept2?

  18. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer September 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Yep, I sure do. His name is Greg Hammond. Call and ask for Greg 802-888-7971

  19. Gravatar
    Greg Hammond September 15, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Anyone looking for info on the rowers feel free to call or email me anytime gregh@concept2.com

  20. Gravatar
    Josh Moisoff October 06, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Ay I am a highly motivated rider and i've been looking at a lot of different riding routines and workouts. I am a 17 year old kid that is in descent riding shape but i need a lot of work to get where I want, but the good thing is that I usually improve faster than everyone else in everything i do. So, basically im a really fast learner and im more than highlycompetetive. I was wondering if you can tell me which workouts I should do to improve my riding levels to the podium of the pros as fast and strong as i can? I want to be the best that I can be as soon as i can be, so please right back as soon as possible.

  21. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer October 07, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Josh -
    In a few weeks you can visit the site each day and get a workout designed by Coach Seiji. We are going to do a 26 week off-season training program online....for FREE!!! So follow along with that if you like.

    If you are as motivated as you say you are, then read every article on this site. Study them and use them to develop a training program. It is all on the site, all you have to do is be willing to study and learn. I just re-organized the workouts so they will be easier to follow. Check out the "Workouts" menu above. Thanks for reading and good luck!

  22. Gravatar
    Kurt Pennington December 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you racerxvt you have had a huge impact on my success

  23. Gravatar
    kurt July 28, 2013 at 1:06 am

    ive been doing this training since feb my question is how long should you do this training for because my in season starts from feb to dec

  24. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer July 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Kurt, there are three general phases to training: the off-season, pre-season, and in-season. Search the site for "in-season", "pre-season" and "off-season" training. Workouts are even categorized in the "Workout" menu. It's all there for you to read and learn.

    If you really want to get serious about your training and take out all the guess work, buy the premium training. It's only 19.95 per month (that's a steal!!) and the first month is free. So give it a try, you have nothing to lose. If you try it for three months aren't 100% satisfied, I'll refund all you money. I guarantee it will be the best 19 bucks you ever spent.

  25. Gravatar
    Ben Dover March 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    What would be the ideal length of training for friday if your race is sunday? For offroad there is no practice, the only available chance to see the track is to walk or mtn. bike it saturday. With that in consideration, what would be the best way to handle a "race weekend"?

Leave a reply