Tips for Success at Lorettas
by Racer X Virtual Trainer
So you're fast and think a championship at Loretta's is in the books. That may in fact be true but being fast doesn't always lead to success at the worlds most prestigious amateur championship. So many factors are involved on and off the bike to be successful that often times the "fastest" guy doesn't always win. Sure, speed is the primary element for success, but without proper preparation and time management once at the ranch, you could find yourself scratching your head as to why you don't have that coveted #1 plate resting on your mantel. I've compiled 5 simple tips that if you follow will greatly improve your chances for success at Loretta's!
1. Hydration - One of the most important keys to surviving the Tennessee heat is proper hydration. This means drinking water or your favorite sports drink all day, every day. If you wait until you are thirsty, it’s too late. One good way to check your hydration level is in the bathroom. Next time you’re in one of those wonderful port-a-potties, take a look down and check out the color of your urine. It should be nice and clear or pale yellow. If it’s dark yellow then you are dehydrated! If you’re serious about your riding performance, you should never be without a jug of water. Personally, I believe there is nothing better for you than good old water but if the added flavor of a sports drink keeps you drinking, then all the better. Drink early and drink often. When planning for Loretta’s, stock up on plenty of water and leave the sodas and other caffeinated drinks at home. Parents, remember that kids have a very short attention span so do NOT make it their responsibility to drink. All day long you should be putting a bottle of water in your rider's hand. Check out this article on "Water vs. Sports Drink" and this one on Hydration "Racing in the Heat: Proper Hydration".
2. Maintain Your Diet - Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you have to eat the junk food offered at the track. I know the fries, elephant ears, and fried Twinkies are tempting but just keep walking and leave the fast food to those who aren’t racing. Assuming nutrition is part of your training regiment at home, try and maintain the same diet at the track. Get all of your food at your local grocery store before leaving for the track. If you shop at home you are more likely to get the types of food you are used to eating. Why is food so important? Food that you are not used to eating (i.e., track food) can leave you feeling weak and lethargic. Not to mention wreaking havoc on your stomach, sending you on your way to a 500 degree port-a-potty. No one wants to spend any more time than needed in those things. Maintaining a consistent diet will keep you strong (and regular) all week long. Check out this great article on making "Smart Food Choices When Dining Out".
|Check out the Nutrition and Hydration section for more info on food and drink.|
3. Sleep - I know its tempting to stay up and hang out with friends but sleep is a very important key to maintaining your strength. Try and keep the same sleep schedule that you are used to at home. Being in a strange bed or sleeping bag can make it difficult to get a good nights rest. I have found that the best way for me to get a good night sleep while on the road is to bring my own pillow. I never leave home without it. Figure out what makes you sleep well at night and take it along with you. Plan your sleeping arrangements carefully. If noise keeps you up at night (like someone snoring), make different arrangements. Lack of sleep can definitely reverse all the hard work and sweat you put into getting ready for Loretta’s. "Sleep Matters".
4. Stay Cool - Maybe the most challenging thing to do while at the National is to stay cool. Do whatever you have to, to stay cool. Remove your race clothes and boots between motos. I know it looks cool and you want everyone at the track to know that you race but what is more important; off the track image or on the track results? You would be surprised at how much you sweat you lose just sitting in race boots and pants. This is especially true for you parents with youngsters at the races. Get them out of those hot clothes when they are not riding. All riders should limit their activity between motos and stay out of the sun. Air conditioning is good if you can find it but be careful not to overdue it with the air. You want your body to get acclimated to the heat. Do this by seeking out shade or a cool spot near the creek. And of course wear light colors, a ball cap, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Want more? Here is some advice from a few professional trainers in the industry on how to stay cool.
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5. Take Care of Your Body - One of the more controllable factors to having a successful week at Loretta’s is maintaining your body. You want to remain as strong at the end of the week as you are at the beginning. While hydration, diet, sleep and staying cool are all part of this, there are several other things that you can do to keep your body in tip-top shape. Stretching and warming-up should already be part of your pre-race routine, so continue this while at Loretta’s. Follow this link for advice on "How to Warm up in Hot Weather". Seek medical attention early even if you think an injury is minor. The EMS track crew can advise on which medications (if any) to take and how to treat a pulled, stretched or strained muscle. Bring along a first aid kit to treat blisters, sunburns, and minor aches and pains. This is also a great time to convince your wife or girlfriend that a massage is just what the Doctor ordered. If you can afford it, seek out a professional massage. Professional athletes from all genres of sport utilize the therapeutic healing of massage. A Foam Roller is a great substitute for massage.
5 Easy Things to Help at Lorettas - Long time riding coach, Gary Bailey offers his advice on things you can do on the bike to prepare for Lorettas.
If you are going to Loretta Lynne’s to race, congratulations. Just by qualifying for the most prestigious amateur MX event in the world, you have proven that you know what it takes to compete at the highest level. Though these five tips alone will not win you a championship they may just come in handy when it comes time to dig a little deeper on that last lap in the Tennessee heat!
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.