Even though you need to be working with the bike instead of fighting it, you still need to be quite fit before you go on a track day. You’ll have to work on specific muscles in your body like your legs, back, wrists and core so you don’t get too tired halfway through and also to protect yourself from injuries.
In this short article, we discuss whether you should be fit before going to a track day, and if so, how you can prepare yourself.
We will look into the following:
- Do I need to be fit for a track day?
- Why are track days different although I ride every single day?
- What should I concentrate on the most throughout my training?
Do I need to be fit for a track day?
If you are serious about your lap times, yes you need to be fit and train before going. On a motorcycle, you don’t always realise how tense your body gets as you concentrate on the corners. Besides being tense, you move around on the bike quite a lot.
You should try to remind yourself to relax your muscles and move with the bike (if that makes any sense). What I mean is, instead of pushing and pulling, try to let steer the bike so that it flicks you into the position you want to be and then just hang on.
But this isn’t easy. Even MotoGP riders complain that they get too tense even when they are training on a bike. It’s a natural instinct we have that needs to be corrected by our own minds. So you are definitely going to get worn out on the track at some point and it would be good to be physically fit to keep the pace up.
Why are track days different although I ride every single day?
You are basically using your whole body to manoeuvre yourself on the bike when you are on a track. You have to resist the forces of moving forward when braking and lean when you go through a turn. You not just going faster and with more force but you have to do it much more regularly than you would on a public road.
Only some parts of a “normal” track are straights. Most of the time, you are going through turns, one after the other. It’s a lot of fun. It’s so much fun, in fact, you don’t realise how tired you are. The only way you know you are tired is when you see your lap times becoming worse.
So it is different from riding on the roads and I didn’t even mention all the rules and regulations you need to adhere to. But we are discussing fitness so I think it would be irrelevant to have a discussion about it and besides, different tracks have different rules even in the same country or state.
What should I concentrate on the most throughout my training?
This is entirely my own opinion. I think the most important part you need to focus on is your core and stamina. But there are a few other things I think you need to work on:
- Lower back
My pro tip: Don’t skip leg day.
You might be surprised that I mentioned hands as most of us rarely use the clutch on the track and even everyday riding. But, not everyone can shift well without using the clutch or they don’t feel comfortable shifting in this manner. It would be good to learn how to do this because you are going to kill your hands pulling that lever all the time.
Besides working on strengthening these muscles in your body, you should do some running or jogging to help build stamina. If you don’t like running or jogging, like myself, grab a bicycle and ride up a mountain. Electric bicycles are great for when you get tired but that’s cheating. Take the old one that runs on pedal power.
My guess is you probably haven’t been on a track day before. So my advice would be to just have fun on your first day and don’t pay too much attention to your lap times. If you like it, you can decide if you want to be more serious about the pace or just keep on having fun.
Featured image by mrs_cbr on Instagram
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