Sep 30 2009

Blisters: A Racer’s Worst Enemy

Gloves are the best prevention for blisters.  Make sure they are in good condition.Everyone gets blisters. If you ride, then you get blisters, it’s that simple. Most of the time, if you haven’t ridded in a while, you are more susceptible to get them. However, the cause is pretty simple. Not only can you apply this to your hands/gloves, but you can use this for new boots as well.

The two main causes for blisters are friction and pressure. When there is enough force, the topmost layer of your skin is separated. This forms that little bubble and water gets into the separated area. Eventually, when you ride long enough, the skin will harden and become thicker in response to the constant friction and pressure. This is when you get your calluses.

Another factor is getting blisters is moisture. In the summer time, I sweat like crazy when I ride. As a result, my gloves would get a little wet. When your gloves are damp, the moisture from the material makes your hands softer, making your hands a prime target for blisters. Even if you have just grabbed a cold drink, the condensation can collect on your hand and make your hands softer as well. This is not to say you shouldn’t hold a cold drink, but just set it down so your hands stay dry.

From what I have read, there’s not a specific way to prevent blisters. Mike Alessi has been seen wrapping his hands in the boxers’ tape. The tape would cover the spots right below your fingers and around the thumb. You can use athletic tape or even duct tape if you are blistering bad enough. Again, make sure you are dry and your gloves are dry too. Same with your boots, moist socks can cause painful blisters on your feet. Also, Band Aid makes blister blocks, so that might be something to look into.

Some say you should pop your blister, but it is okay to do so. Just make sure you clean it thoroughly to prevent any infections. Eventually, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about blisters, as calluses should form. Just try to take some precautions and try to ride through it!!!


Sep 29 2009

Circuit Training for MX

Your circuit doesn't need to look like this, but quickly getting from each station is important.Most of the articles I have posted have been either for strength or cardio training.  However, there are ways to combine both and still hit each one effectively.  A good way to do this is circuit training.  If you haven’t heard about circuit training, it’s pretty simple.  Basically, you do a bunch of strength exercises quickly (BUT, with good form to prevent injury) about 2 or 3 times.  It’s usually lower weight with high reps so you don’t just go for bulk and you keep a fast pace between each exercise to raise the heart rate.

A good rule of thumb is to do 30% – 40% of maximum weight.  So, if I squat 200 lbs, I would do 80 lbs. in the circuit.  Also, you can do about 30 – 60 seconds at each station.  Since, we aren’t concentrating on just strength; time is used because we are looking for cardio as well.  It is almost like interval training with weights.

So here is what circuit might look like.  It hits your chest, back and legs:

Bench Press

Pull ups

Squats

Decline Push ups

Chin ups

Lunges

Dumbbell Flys

Bent over Rows

Wall Squats (lean against a wall in a seated position.  Thighs parallel to the ground.)

Each muscle has time to rest, but you are constantly going, so you heart rate is up and stays up.  Take about a couple minutes rest after you have completed the circuit and do it 2 more times.  Again, you don’t need a set amount of reps, just about 30 – 60 seconds (depending on your fitness).  Make sure you give your muscles 48 hours of rest before you hit them again.  Keep a fast pace through this and it’ll pay off for sure.

MotoSport, Inc.


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Sep 28 2009

Keeping Rhythm in Rhythm Sections

Keeping your drive and looking ahead can keep you off the ground.With the end of the Motocross season, teams start looking forward to the upcoming year.  And with the New Year comes Supercross.  The technical, indoor sister to Motocross features some interesting obstacles that amateurs see sometimes.  One of these obstacles is rhythm sections.  Some tracks will have them in the middle of course, forcing you to go from wide open mx style to a more calculated approach needed for this section.  With a little practice, these can be the easiest part on the track.

As with any section, your entrance is key to going fast.  The part of the track before the rhythm section needs to be navigated cleanly.  If there is a corner before, you will need to have a smooth drive through the corner and come out straight.  This ensures that you will be driving straight and have plenty of momentum.  Have a look at my corner article to brush up.

When you get past the corner or previous section, a good idea is to keep your head up.  Vision is very important in rhythm sections because everything happens quickly.  You want to choose a line well before you are on the face of the first jump.  Popular lines will get rutted up quick and the down sides will be chewed up.  Finding an alternative line is essential later in the day.

Make sure you can clear the jump.  I know this sounds stupid, but it is critical.  If you come up short on the first jump, you will mess up the rest of the section.  And that results in slower lap times.  Once you are confident with the first jump, the rest will be easier.  You will have lots of momentum from the first jump and you just need to make sure you keep a steady throttle to maintain your drive.

This is also a great time to relax in the air and breath.  If you grip with your knees and look ahead to the coming jumps, you can get through the string of jumps easily.  When this is a simple section for you, you can take a quick break and prepare yourself for the rest of the track.  As I said before, once you pick a clean line for the first jump and clear it, the rest is just as simple.


Sep 27 2009

Mind Over Arm Pump

Surgery is an option for arm pump, but try to get through the mental part first.Arm pump is something that every rider has dealt with before.  The reason for arm pump can be from the lactic acid build up or from mental errors.  The mental side can be easier to deal with than you think.  I had this problem in big in races; I could do laps all day on practice days, but come race time, my fore arms would be like bricks.

The best way to get around the fore arm pump is to get into a race routine.  When you are out of rhythm on race day like running late or have mechanical issues, this will cause unneeded stress.  And this stress will get you tensed up, resulting in pumped arms.  If you are worry about other things other than concentrating on the track, you’re going to make mistakes and the mistakes will cause arm pump as well.

In addition to having a good routine, it also helps to clear your head and relax.  Enjoy the atmosphere and remember this is the easiest day of week.  You have trained hard all week and now you only have to ride a few times.  That’s how you have to look at it.  Every time you hit the gym and beat yourself up, you make things easier on race day.  If you have that confidence, you will just relax and go on auto pilot.

Another thing to remember is to have fun!  You are there because you want to be there (hopefully!).  The excitement of the race day should put you in a good mood and be ready win!  However, this atmosphere can sometimes lead to a nervous feeling.  This would be my biggest down fall and after my moto, my hulks sized fore arms were hard as rocks.

So, the point is to calm down and just have a solid, reliable routine on race day to ease the stress.  You have worked hard all week and you don’t need to worry about your fitness, so enjoy the day and have fun!  The mental part of arm pump is a simple remedy and don’t think you are the only one who has, every gets it!


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Sep 26 2009

It is 7am on a Saturday…

Courtsey of Transworld Motcross: Steel City in the morning.…and when I get up this early, it used to mean I was going riding.  However, this is not the case.  I am going to work and to top it off, I will probably miss the USF and FSU game.  Make sure you ride extra hard for me today, as this is going to be a long day.


Sep 25 2009

Muscle Milk Experiment Week 2

Running it through the wringer!
Week 2 of this experiment and it’s going pretty good.  I feel stronger and can spend more time in the gym.  But there are a few drawbacks.  It says to take a scoop an hour before your workout.  Now, this is protein powder, not an some energy powder or stimulant like that.  So, I have been following the directions on the label and took a scoop an hour before running stairs.  I really wouldn’t recommend doing this because an hour does not give your body enough time to digest things in your stomach.

So, I ran the stairs and had a pretty good session.  However, about half way through, I started to feel a little sick because of that chocolate flavor.  I would just do 2 scoops after your workout if your doing cardio.  The flavor is too rich and powdery to do cardio an hour after consuming the drink.  However, the benefits of the powder outweigh the cons.

If you are doing cadio, then wait until you are done with your workout to take the powder, but if you are strength training, it is not so bad.  I’ll let you know how next week goes in the 3rd week.  So far, the powder has been working pretty good.  It’s all trial and error when finding the best supplements.

MotoSport, Inc.


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