Archive for November, 2009:
Supercross testing is well under way. Teams are getting solidified and riders are testing out the new bikes. The wide open pace of the Outdoors is behind us and a smoother, more technical riding style is needed for the SX tracks. One thing that you see some riders doing, is taking the inside on turns. Sometimes track builders incorporate a little “hump” in the turn to ensure riders don’t just take the inside.
These types of obstacles are not meant to be jumped. Instead, you want to use your suspension to soak up the hump. You want to approach the obstacle in the attack position and eyes ahead. When you feel your front wheel touch the face, you want to apply the back brake and begin to sit down. As your front wheel comes to the peak of the hump, your rear brake should be completely locked up. This requires timing and lots of practice.
At this time you want to be leaning over and sitting down on the seat. When you lock the back brake up, you unload the rear shock and there isn’t as much rebound. When you have less rebound, the rear won’t kick as hard/high whenever you ride over it. Sliding the rear out slightly acts much like scrubbing over a jump; you force the remaining rebound out to the side, instead of it vertically pushing you up. You want to be in a neutral position so you can keep a good control of the amount of sliding and traction.
As you feel the rear wheel come over the peak of the hump, you can start to get on the gas. Most of the time you will still be leaned over, so you want to keep the outside elbow up and applying lots of pressure to the outside foot peg. Like I said before, this takes practice and you won’t get it your first time, but keep with it and it will save you plenty of time from the outside. If this hump gets too many braking bumps and a crater behind it, try the outside or even standing through this process. Experiment a little and remember not to follow!
Here’s little glimpse:
At 37 seconds you can see Broc Hepler, Josh Hill and James Stewart go through it. Stewart opts to stand so he can be ready for the whoops.
I ate way too much food this Thanksgiving. As I rolled out of my food induced coma the day after, I met some friends for a game of football. After watching the Packers wreck the Lions, I had to vent some frustration because I am a Lions fan. Even though we did not play tackle, I am still sore and I can barely move! But, I figured out why.
First of all, I should have been wearing shoes, but it was nice out and I forgot to bring my shoes home from college…plus the football field was like new carpet; it just felt good on the feet. However, that is not the point. I totally forgot to stretch after and do a cool down. I did some light stretches before the game started and took it easy the first few plays.
With no support from shoes, my ankles to my hips were starting to hurt and that was the beginning. The next day, I could hardly move! It was like an intense leg workout with no shoes. The reason you get sore is because you tear the muscles somewhat when you exercise. This is why you shouldn’t work the same muscle group or do cardio 2 consecutive days in a row. The best way to ensure you don’t get sore or as sore is to stretch before and AFTER your workout.
When you do your cool down and stretch after, you help prevent the muscles from cramping and they are still warm, so they are easy to stretch out. This ensures more blood flow to the muscles and the blood supplies the nutrients needed to help with the stiff muscles. You can do the exact same stretching routine you do for your warm up as your cool down stretching. This also helps a little bit with flexibility, which is very important for injury prevention and strength. If you feel sore after a workout, try to stretch a little bit longer and see how it works. This way, you won’t feel so stiff and you can train with the same intensity.
2 days from now is one of my favorite days of the whole year. I’m talking about thanksgiving. I was born on this day and I love to eat…what more could you ask for!?!? However, this is the time when many people try to get through the day with only one plate with a spoonful of stuffing, one slice of turkey and no gravy. Trying to do this is like going to a buffet with an anorexic person, it just can’t be done.
However, if you are eating good and putting in the hours in the gym, you are more than likely in better shape than the average American. Now, I am a believer in moderation. The idea of moderation is key for your diet, but on Thanksgiving, this idea can go out the window. You can load up on as much turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and gravy as you like. Let yourself go even. You deserve it. But, like I said, moderation is crucial. You don’t want to keep eating like that for the rest of the weekend. You can easily spend two weeks trying to get back to where you were before Thanksgiving. One day is not going to be devastating, just don’t keep eating like that.
There are a few old fashion ways to keep your holiday diet under controlled:
Turkey sandwiches – An awesome way to keep that turkey from going bad. You can grab some lettuce, tomatoes and instead of mayo, use mustard. There is less fat and it will taste just as good.
Turkey and Brown Rice – The rice is a great complex carb and you can throw some broccoli or other vegetable.
Turkey Broth – Save the bones and make a broth. You can throw on some carrots, onions, celery, rice, and even cabbage. It is great for those cold days when you’re watching football.
Remember, one day of stuffing your face is not going to hurt. Just remember moderation and don’t keep eating like that. This is a time to get together with family and eat some good food. Make the most of it!
Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have parents that support me in whatever I do. When I got my first bike, I was hooked instantly. My dad and I went to the track on the weekends and got into racing. Riding casually on the weekends is manageable by yourself, but when you start racing, you need a support system. I am not talking about getting sponsors; I am talking about getting people around you that are supportive and push you in the right direction.
In the “Great Outdoors: Another Perfect Season”, Ricky Carmichael contributes his success to the people that supported him throughout his career. He says that he tried to surround himself with good people and he got good results. He had his mother and father helping, guiding him throughout his career and it paid off. Obviously, not everyone’s parents are going to approve and support you like RC’s parents did, but the point is to find a core group of people that you can rely on through the thick and thin.
How does is this even related to training at all? If you are doing your racing alone, you are truly missing out. You have no one push you in the gym, push you at the track, motivate you and help pick yourself up when you need it the most. You need the support to push you in the right direction when you don’t feel like training or not riding today. Having some kind of support helps keep your eyes on the prize; like Alpinestars says, “One goal. One Vision.”
Most importantly, the support you get helps keep things fun. That’s why we are here in the first place. We love riding dirt bikes and racing them. Finding the right people and having them around you is a great way to have good results. You can train like a mad man and have a group of stupid friends and/or a crazy “Mini Dad”, and still get bad results. The support emotionally and mentally is enough to carry you through even the worse races. Find some solid, down to Earth friends and family and you will have a winning combination with the right training.
I really love this video of Josh Grant. RacerX had Simon Cudby film this at Grant Langston’s house. Sure it is from a few years back, but this just shows how gnarly Grant is…and the guy still stays smooth as butter.
Okay, if you read yesterday’s post, you know that seeing yourself winning, getting a holeshot, or anything helps give you confidence. You can imagine yourself doing it, now you just need to put it into action. Something that also goes along the lines of confidence is concentration – being focused for the task at hand and getting into that “zone.”
You what I am talking about…the kind of zone you get into when you ride and you just throw do some flawless, fast laps. You hit every line perfect, no bobbles and you just flow. That is concentrating and just doing what you love: riding. It’s easy to train the body for strength and cardio endurance, but how you train for more concentration? I came across this little method a few years ago when I was going to a chiropractor. He was more than just a normal chiropractor; he was more of a whole body and mind guru. I had some problems with concentrating in school and riding…and it showed. I couldn’t step on the track without falling or breaking something. So, he suggested this little trick.
Do this each night, before bed for a week. Grab a candle, light it and turn off everything in your room. No music, TV, lights or computer. You need silence and complete darkness. Believe me, I know this sounds like a Steven King movie, but it works! Okay, now stare at the candle and think about the track you are going to be racing on. See yourself putting on your gloves, slipping your right one on, then your left. Visualize everything. See the 30 second card go up, then sideways. Think about making smooth laps and having good form. Visualize everything from start to finish.
Usually it takes about 30 minutes. If you can sit down and think about executing a perfect race and winning for 30 minutes in the dark, you already won. When you are sitting at the gate waiting for it to drop, you have already rehearsed this scenario. You know you are getting to get the holeshot and run away with the win. You are training your mind to get into that “zone” where you throw down your best laps. Some have said Tiger Woods does this and was once quoted to say “I didn’t know what to say at the podium because I didn’t rehearse this part!” All he had to do was show up, play his game of golf and win. You can do this just as easily. If you can see yourself winning, then you just need to put it into motion.