Here is the second addition letter from Robb Beams who trains riders through his website Motoendurance.net
If you need your cardio worked on...go see Robb, he can whoop you in shape in no time!
OFFICIAL PERFORMANCE NEWS LETTER
Welcome to the second edition of the MotoE newsletter series! It is my goal to provide you with training information that will immediately increase your speed and endurance on the track through sensible and simple workouts (both on an off the motorcycle). This issue is going to expose your body to the feeling of pushing your body to the next level of effort (and resulting speed). Please keep in mind that if you don't have a solid aerobic base, you will find your body feeling the effects of lactic acid rather quickly. If this happens, just take a mental note of how soon this transpires within each workout and strive to push this threshold within the next six weeks using aerobic enhancement workouts like you found in MotoE Issue #1. Your goal is to increase your aerobic fitness to a higher level which will in turn teach your body to provide the necessary oxygen to the working muscles as well as effectively transport the lactic acid out of the muscles and into the blood stream (an in turn be utilized as fuel). Remember, if you don't last long while implementing these protocols, then you know you need to be spending more time enhancing your aerobic base.
Main article - Energy Systems
In this issue, we will be discussing the behind the scenes of how to produce faster lap times by understanding that there are five main energy sources that are responsible for delivering the energy necessary to race your motorcycle optimally. The biggest mistake that riders make is training at an intensity level that is below where they attempt to race on the weekend. This provides a level of pain because the body has not had the opportunity to adapt to the higher level of effort and the resulting physiological effects (i.e. the production of lactic acid). Over the next couple of issues, you will see examples of workouts that address each of the energy systems discussed in this article so that you can feel how it relates to your speed on the motorcycle.
Key Motocross Specific MX Workout - Speed Pyramid
The workout for this issue is a fragmented speed pyramid that will allow your muscles and heart feel the effects of high intensity laps. This workout will teach your body how to break out of a speed plateau by holding you accountable to your lap times. Your goal is to internalize what it feels like to run lap times that keep you on the edge and optimize every second of the entire lap. This skill is as much a mind set as it is a physical challenge. You will find that you are mentally fatigued when you are finished with this workout due to your mind processing all of the activity at a faster speed than you are accustomed to. Also attached is an Motoendurance.net Data Collection sheet, review this form when you are finished to see how consistent you were throughout the workout.
Key Cross Training Workout - Rowing Wattage Pyramid
For this issue, our workout using the Concept 2/Man and Machine Performance System is the wattage pyramid challenge. This workout will teach your muscles and cardiovascular system what it is like to work at a consistent power output for a specific duration. Though this sounds odd, the muscles have to be taught what it feels like to maintain a consistent output throughout the entire moto. When you learn how to do this, you will see consistently fast lap times.
Have fun elevating your speed due to stronger muscles and an increased cardiovascular system. As a popular motocross professional once said, "All the hard work during the week makes the weekend more enjoyable".
Remember, TRAIN SMART - NOT HARD!
Yours in sport,
UNDERSTANDING ENERGY SYSTEMS AS IT RELATES TO FASTER LAP TIMES AND INCREASED ENDURANCE
There are many different ways to train, depending on who you listen to. Though each approach is designed to improve a distinct function, there is always some overlap. The two ends of the spectrum are aerobic to anaerobic and here we will discuss the five elements that fill up the middle of this spectrum. The key to ultimate success in racing is to combine all of the following elements into your training so that you will be able to compete closer to your anaerobic threshold for a longer period of time without fading. As we discuss the following energy systems, keep in mind that the various types of training are defined as a percentage of your current field testing and maximum HR (specific to the discipline you are using for training - road cycling, mountain biking, running, swimming, rowing, etc.). If you haven't completed a Time Trial/Max HR test, please contact me directly and I will provide you with the testing protocols to identify and enhance the five energy systems we are going to discuss: Explosive Speed, Sprint Speed, VO2, Anaerobic Threshold and Endurance.
This high energy training is to work above your maximal time trial effort in order to develop power and the ability to throw in bursts of speed when necessary (i.e. to bridge to a rider in front of you or after you go down and need to restart your bike) and to finish a race strong. The duration of these intervals is usually between 15 and 30 seconds and can be completed 4 to 8 times while maintaining high output levels. You will be enhancing your fast twitch fibers A (slightly oxidative) and fast twitch B (anaerobic). Adjust your recovery time to allow for full recovery - don't begin your next interval until your HR is around 20 beats above your resting HR. The fatigue levels associated with this type of training is high and should not be performed within more than twice a week with a minimum of 2 days of recovery in between.
This type of training helps you adapt to high levels of lactic acid and oxygen debt. The major benefit to this type of training is that it teaches you how to very your speed within a race without depleting your glycogen storages (i.e. bonking). The duration of these intervals is usually between 30 seconds and 2 minutes and can be completed 4 to 6 times while maintaining high output levels. You will be enhancing your fast twitch fibers A and B as well as your slow twitch fibers. Each interval needs to be started fully rested. If you allow for this to happen, you will split your energy sources evenly between anaerobic and aerobic. In my opinion, this type of training is the most productive for high level racing, yet is the most overlooked within a racers program. High level racing requires that you get up to a fast pace quickly and then maintain it for the entire duration. During the first lap, your respirations will increase, lactic acid will accumulate and your effort level will be very high. If your muscles are trained to cope with the lactic acid level and oxygen debt of the initial sprint, your body will not be as "shocked" as a body that has not familiarized itself with this glycogen burning byproduct (i.e. lactic acid). Due to the higher levels of lactate, you will experience significant muscle soreness and stiffness so keep the frequency of these workouts to two times per week (with a minimum of three days of rest for optimum performance).
This type of training gets a lot of publicity and is tossed around by many performance coaches as the key indicator of ability. There is credibility to this mind set due to the fact that a racer that has a greater oxygen uptake number should also indicate a greater aerobic capacity and hence the fastest racer - it is not that simple. In a race, physical capacities as racers come down to combinations of all the other elements in one's performance: anaerobic thresholds, technique and efficiency while fatigued and desire.
The benefit associated with this type of training is that your heart pumps a lot of blood per beat and your stroke volume is elevated during the recovery phase, which allows more blood to be pumped during the next working phase. More blood means more oxygen. By elevating your VO2 max, will allow you to perform closer to your aerobic capacity. The duration of these intervals is usually between 2 and 10 minutes and are progressive (you will elevate your HR to a high output level within the first two minutes and then maintain for the duration of the interval). Your interval count should be no more than 4 times in order to maintain workout quality. You will be enhancing your fast twitch fibers A as well as your slow twitch fibers. Your rest interval will be half of your work duration. One interesting side note, since your VO2 Max is a numerical value determined in relation to body weight, the leaner you are the higher your VO2 maximum due to the increased mitochondria and capillaries (in relation to body fat) present to deliver oxygen. These types of workouts can be completed three to four times a week with adequate hours of quality sleep and consistent food intake to enhance the recovery opportunity.
At your anaerobic threshold, lactic acid begins to diffuse back into the bloodstream for use as a fuel. If you slow down, you will activate your aerobic system; if you speed up, you will produce lactic acid at a faster rate than you can diffuse it. Anaerobic Threshold training teaches your body to perform at the highest point possible without exceeding your anaerobic threshold. The duration of these intervals is usually between 1 and 3 minutes. Your interval count can be as minimal as 10 and as many as 50 (depending on the interval duration) and still maintain overall quality. You will also be enhancing your fast twitch fibers A as well as your slow twitch fibers. The rest intervals are short - between 20 and 60 seconds. It is the enhancement of your Anaerobic Threshold in conjunction with your VO2 Max that makes the ideal racer. The combination of these two performance elements allows the racer to perform at a higher level of output and for the entire duration of the race! Anaerobic threshold training is not as demanding as VO2 max training; your day to day recovery will be quick. By keeping your workout recovery times to a minimum, you are stimulating your aerobic metabolism more than you're anaerobic. Your lactate levels are not nearly as high (resulting in less residual soreness). Additionally, you are breaking the effort into shorter segments than in distance training which allows you to perform at a higher intensity level developing your aerobic energy stem to burn more fatty acids in proportion to glycogen. This side benefit leads to a leaner body which in turn drives up your VO2 Max - see how this disciplined form of training has all kinds of fringe benefits? Most importantly, working at this level of intensity simulates race pace and all of the physiological changes that occur within a race. As the body becomes more familiar with this effort, the easier the racing becomes.
Aerobic Training teaches your body to conserve glycogen and burn fatty acids as a primary fuel source. Benefits to enhancing your aerobic engine: you will engage the fat burning process within the first 10 to 15 minutes of aerobic exercise; expedites the delivery of oxygen to working muscles; increase your stroke volume within the heart; increases the capillary density within the muscles; increases the mass and number of mitochondria and helps release ATP aerobically. The ironic element of Aerobic Training is that it is the discipline of training that gets pushed aside first, yet has substantial benefits. Because we are so acclimated to the "No Pain, No Gain" mentality, we have tendency to think that the easy, long workouts are not productive. If you want to get fast - go long and at measured aerobic enhancement intensity! The duration of Aerobic Training intervals are usually between 15 minutes and 3 hours. Due to the continuous nature of Aerobic Training, there isn't any actual interval count. You will be enhancing your slow twitch fibers with this type of training. A couple words of caution with this type of training. First, don't check out mentally and go too easy. You need to be at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate to reap the physiological benefits we are looking for during these types of workouts. Secondly, though the intensity is low, don't jeopardize your mechanics of whatever type of training you are doing (i.e. pedal mechanics, swim stroke, etc.) to avoid any unnecessary injuries. These types of workouts are ideal for working on mental rehearsal and breathing focus (more on these elements in future articles).
As you can see each of the energy systems provide important physiological benefits to a racers performance program. When you incorporate the proper workouts into a week of training (based entirely on your race Periodization - Pre Season, Pre competitive, Competitive) you are building a human body that is as capable as any motor that a mechanic can build for you. It just takes a little bit of research and field testing on behalf of the racer to determine how to put all of the elements together at the right time and at the correct intensity levels for optimum performance.
KEY MX WORKOUT: SPEED PYRAMID
Learn how to process what it feels like to ride faster than you ever have - both mentally and physically. This workout will make your normal lap times feel slow!
This workout is designed to "teach" your body how to adjust your speed as needed. The quickest way to get stuck in a speed rut is to only ride at one pace on the same lines over and over. Just like the overload principle with strength training, you have to turn on the neuromuscular light bulbs by going faster than comfortable for short durations of time. By doing so, your body becomes familiar and doesn't fatigue as quickly - especially mentally.
Warm up for 15 minutes - Turning Track Drills (both to right and left)
With your focus being on getting blood into the extremities, ease into this drill and feel your rhythm coming into sync as transition into and out of the corner. Ironically, the more relaxed you are the easier it is for you to set the bike up for the turn. Use your outer knee and stomach muscles to push the bike over into the corner; keep the inner knee pinned up against the shrouds to create both stability and keep your foot from dabbing. Once you are sweating, move onto your main set (hydrate and stretch if necessary).
Block #1 - 10 Lap Pace Set
Complete a 10 lap moto capturing your lap times for all 10 laps - using the Motoendurance.net Data Input Sheet (see bottom of newsletter). The goal is to maintain consistent lap times for the entire 10 laps. Focus on your breathing, maintain your momentum in the corners and use your core and leg muscles to control the bike. If your pace falls off by more than 2 seconds (and you didn't fall), stop the interval and start the set over.
Rest for 10 Minutes - stretch and hydrate as necessary and get mentally prepared for the next speed block.
Block #2 - 5 Lap Pace Set
Complete a 5 Lap Moto one second faster per lap than during Block #1. Keep in mind that when the volume is down, the intensity goes up. Physically, you can handle the speed for shorter durations, the key benefit to this 5 lap moto is to teach your eyes and head to digest the new level of speed and the associated movements. NOTE: WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR AN EFFORT THAT IS MORE THAN 1 SECOND FASTTER THAN SET #1. IF YOU ARE PUTTING OUT TIMES THAT ARE MORE THAN 1 SECOND FASTER, YOU NEED TO EVALUATE YOUR 10 LAP PACE - YOU MAY BE HOLDING BACK YOUR TRUE POTENTIAL.
Rest for 10 Minutes - stretch and hydrate as necessary
Block #3 - 10 Lap Pace Set
Now that your body has felt what it is like to be slightly faster, this 10 lap pace set should feel very relaxed because you have taught yourself to process a faster pace. Your accountability factor comes into play here if your lap times are comfortably faster than what you experienced during Block #1 - you have to maintain it for the entire duration. Again, if your pace falls off by more than two seconds, stop and restart the set. DON'T TEACH YOURSELF TO DEVIATE - HOLDING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE TO SPECIFIC LAP TIMES TEACHES YOUR BODY WHAT YOU WANT IT TO DO - THIS IS BEING PRO ACTIVE.
Block #4 - 5 Lap Pace Set
This fourth block needs to be a strong end to your workout. This is where you get to teach your body to maintain the output of energy and form necessary for consistent and slightly faster times than your Block #3 10 lap set. Be careful not to use Block #1 10 Lap pace.
Warm down for 10 minutes - Turning Track Drills (both to right and left)
Now that you are slightly fatigued from your four pacing blocks, go back to your turning area and repeat the turning drills that you performed during your warm up. You will have to stay mentally focused to nail your turns when you are slightly fatigued. If you find your timing is off, simply move the transitions up a little more than you think are necessary. Remember, your goal is to get the bike to sit into the corners, and you can only do this correctly if the position of both the rider and bike are into the apex of the turn at the right time. Though is sound elementary, it is why rider's high side or cross rut late in a moto.
Stretching: passively for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes; entire body
Immediate Glycogen replenishment: 6 to 8 ounces of cold isotonic/recovery fluid (for better absorption)
Within 20 minutes: a dense meal complete with Complex Carbohydrates, Protein and Unsatur ated Fats.
KEY CROSS TRAINING WORKOUT:
Strength and power is imperative for a rider to sustain fast lap times - especially late in a moto. As the primary muscles begin to fatigue, your body needs to solicit the help of the associated muscles found within each muscle group to sustain the high power output. This workout will force your primary movers to fatigue and begin the process of solicitation. Stay mentally focused during this workout, it will definitely take you out of your comfort zone!
Motoendurance.net Rowing Workout: Wattage Pyramid
Workout Overview: the ability to generate power for various intervals teaches your body to handle high load levels on demand. Though this sounds like no big deal, if you need to bridge the gap on someone in front of you, you have to become comfortable with the feeling of lactic acid flushing into the muscles and how to cope with it (through breathing). If you don't train it off of the bike, it makes it more difficult on the bike!
Warm up - 10 minutes
For the first 5 minutes, keep the intensity low and even; make sure that your form is smooth (you can identify this by the chain, there should be not slapping in the pull chain)
For the second 5 minutes, complete 30 seconds of slightly quicker pulling followed by 30 seconds easy pull (1 minute: 30" on/30" off)
10 Minute Pyramid Block #1: change the display to wattage
Notes: during your "on" period, you will pull through with a strong "power" pull - focus on pushing with your legs first then following through with your upper body until the Man and Machine bar is against your lower chest/abs. YOUR GOAL IS PULL EVEN WATTAGE NUMBERS FOR THE ENTIRE "ON" DURATION - STAY MENTALLY FOCUSED TO ENSURE THAT THIS HAPPENS
Your "off" period is very easy pulling with a straight up back and high elbows. Just watch your wattage screen and make sure that you are pulling lightly. Failure to pull down the intensity during your "off" period will jeopardize your "on" period because you will have not recovered sufficiently for optimum benefits.
30" on/30" off - 1 minute
40" on/20" off - 1 minute
60" on/60" off - 2 minutes
60" on/60" off - 2 minutes
60" on/60" off - 2 minutes
40" on/20" off - 1 minute
30" on/30" off - 1 minute
Recover by pulling for 5 minutes; use this time to re-hydrate or stretch as necessary to avoid pulling a muscle or allowing your blood sugar to drop. Remember, you are teaching your body to perform optimally, and it includes hydration, range of motion and breathing. All of these elements are what we need to have dialed while on the motorcycle.
10 Minute Pyramid Block #2: make sure the display is set to wattage
Notes: repeat Block #1 striving to maintain (or increase) your wattage output produced during Block #1. Please provide me this information so that I can update your Performance Report Card.
Warm down for 5 minutes
Keep the intensity low and even; make sure that your form is smooth even though you are winding down the workout. The goal is to move the blood out of the extremities and back into the center of your chest. If this happens properly, it will help with your post workout recovery process - much easier on the body.
QUESTIONS FROM THE RIDERS
From Jason S. out of Atlanta, Georgia via email: "Should I stretch prior to riding?"
Great question Jason, I am asked this quite frequently. The simple answer is no. When the muscles are not sufficiently warmed up, they can tear easily when they are pulled upon - in the form of stretching. To give you an example, imagine taking a rubber band and putting it in the freezer for 8 hours. Take the rubber band out and the attempt to stretch or bend it - it will snap. Your muscles are similar in that they contract when they are cold (or haven't been activated in some time - like while when you are asleep) and become less flexible.
To prepare muscles for optimum performance, you want to complete 10-15 minutes of low intensity/aerobic exercises (rowing, cycling, jumping rope, etc.). This activity will vasodilate the blood vessels and in turn increase the blood flow and temperature within all of the working muscles. Once the temperature inside the muscle increases (usually indicated by sweat), then stretching becomes beneficial and safe.
Think about warming up your muscles the same way that you do your motor, allow sufficient time to heat things up and then the motor will perform at its top level - your muscles will react the same way.
Tyler Livesay - Dade City Florida (Motoendurance.net rider for 1 year)
Dade City MX - Monster Energy Sponsors Cup
Oct. 11th - Round
2nd Place Overall
Currently sitting in 4th overall out of 50 entries for the year
2008 FL Gold Cup Series
1st overall for the series in 250 A and 250 Pro
Round 1 - Sept. 13th, 14th - Gatorback
2nd Place = 250 A
3rd Place = 250 Pro
Round 2 - Sept. 20th, 21st - Reddick
2nd Place = 250 A
3rd Place = Open Pro
1st Place = 250 Pro
Round 3 - Sept. 27th, 28th - Dade City MX
3rd Place = 250 A
5th Place = Open Pro
3rd Place = 250 Pro
Round 4 - Oct. 4th - Waldo Motorsports
1st Place = 250 Pro
1st Place = 250 A
Round 5 - Oct. 11th - Amp Xtreme
2nd Place = 250 Pro
2nd Place = 250 A
Round 6 - Oct. 18th - Gatorback
2nd Place = 250 Pro
2nd Place = 250 A
Thank you for taking the time to read this second issue of the MotoE's newsletter. I hope you found the information to be helpful and are able to immediately incorporate into your 2009 championship training program. Our next issue will come to you on November 25th; however, if I can be of assistance to you in any way before then, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.