Finding Some Extra Speed: Sprints

The KingFirst of all, sorry I have not been writing much.  Thanksgiving threw me off and now I’ve got exams coming up, so it’s been pretty hectic.  Anyway, I was watching a few videos on RacerX and they are all Supercross testing.  A1 is coming up quickly and teams are trying to get things together for the West Coast.  The riders, however, have been training more on the bike, trying to get ready for the heats, possibly the LCQ and the main.  This got me thinking about that set up and how to prepare for that.

Unlike professional Outdoor races, amateur races are usually pretty short; maybe half the time of pro races.  The short races require you to get a good start and throw down quick, consistent laps.  Think about it.  A 450 heat race is 8 laps and you have 20 people on the gate and they only take the top 9.  With lap times under a minute, you are only on the track for less than 10 minutes.  Those laps need to count!

Starts help tremendously.  However, you need to practice the length of your race and race the clock.  Davi Millsaps, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart all race the clock.  Mrs. Carmichael is stopwatch “Nazi”.  Racing against time also helps get you into that “race mode” and find some extra speed.  Speed isn’t everything though.  You need to stay consistent at your fastest.  Making small mistakes add up a lot more over a shorter race and when you have someone right behind you, that mistake is amplified.  Having a friend or parent take down your lap times can also show how consistent you really are.

This idea of doing sprints does not mean for you to ride over your head.  You have to remember your braking points and try to hold the gas a little longer or find a new line.  Be creative.  In short races, you need to be able to get out of the gate and ride your fastest.  Chad Reed broke down Jeremy McGrath’s reason for dominance and said that “McGrath would sprint out of the gate and ride as fast as he could.  By the half way point, even if he was a little tired, he was so far ahead it didn’t matter.”

One way to look at it is to run away and hide.

Tired of Being Tired?

Posted on Dec 07 2009, under Riding Techniques, Training | No Comments »

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