Pax Trax Motocross Park

Florida's premier outdoor motocross facility offering racing and practice day and night under the lights.

MotoE Training

This section of the Pax Trax website will be devoted to monthly tips written by Robb Beams of MotoE MX Performance Training. Robb will be sharing some of the techniques and key principles he has used to develop his renowned MotoE Performance Training systems used by many of the elite amateur and pro riders in the sport today. We’re pumped to have Robb on-board. Be sure to check out Robb’s website at MotoEndurance.net.

MotoE MX Performance Guest Post

Posted by James On September - 19 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

MotoE

How Rest Improves Your Performance – Part 2 of 3

Exercise is a great habit to have within your daily life; however, when it becomes an obsession within your life it can actually become counter-productive to your overall health.  Excessive training (in the form of volume and/or intensity) without adequate rest causes the body to become “numb” to external indicators of over training. Some over-training indicators include…

  • Mood swings
  • Craving of simple sugar
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Loss of sexual drive
  • Loss of body weight
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Elevated resting heart rate

At this point in your training, your satisfaction associated with consistent activity becomes less rewarding and ultimately affects other elements in your life (relationships, work, etc.) along with having a negative effect on your performance (which ironically makes you think you need to do more or work harder!).

Dr. Ronald Sandler’s research indicates that after twelve weeks of consistent training, cytochrome C reaches a peak and then begins to decline.  [Note: Cytochrome C is a mitochondrial enzyme involved in the production of energy at a cellular level].  In addition to your Cytochrome C levels, so does your maximum oxygen uptake (also known as your VO2 Max.).  At this point, the body must be allowed to rest and re-group for continued progress.
Training creates adaptations within the body’s various systems (muscular, cardio-pulmonary, lymphatic, nervous and connective) and needs to be supported with rest and food for positive adaptations.  Inadequate amounts (and quality) of sleep and food set the body up for a physical break down which leads to negative effects on the body (i.e. suppressed immune system and muscles with less power and endurance).

In addition to adaptations within the body’s systems, training causes changes at a cellular level.  Dr. Sandler notes that cell mitochondria swell, metabolic wastes accumulate, essential nutrients (particularly electrolytes and stored glycogen) deplete, and muscle tissue is torn.  This tearing is known as microtrauma of the cells, and torn muscle tissue doesn’t work efficiently.  As popularly noted, it takes 48 hours for the body to recover from this micro-trauma and has to be supported with rest and food for proper recovery and improved overall health.

If your body doesn’t get the opportunity to rebuild from the “work phase” of training, overall health and associated performance begin to slow down (and in extreme circumstances, cease all together).

The concept of hard training days followed with easy-active recovery days incorporated into your weekly training schedule establishes the balance necessary for maximum improvements in your overall health and ultimately your performance.  Consistent training without physical or mental set backs provides the foundation for your body absorb your training volumes.  The larger the foundation (i.e. quality of overall health) the quicker you will recover from workouts and the quicker your body will progress to new levels of performance.

Think about it this way, if you are not fresh, you will not have the energy (or desire) to push to the next level of performance.  If you body doesn’t experience the next level you will begin to stagnate within your performance cycles.

In part 3, we will discuss how to create a Blueprint for Performance.

MotoE MX Performance Guest Post

Posted by James On September - 1 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

MotoE

How Rest Improves Your Performance – Part 1 of 3

When it comes to human performance, you the racer need to follow a program that adjusts your training
volume and intensity to avoid:

  • Physical injury
  • Developing a weak immune system
  • Mental burn out

By consistently adjusting your workouts, your body is on a schedule to “Peak” at exactly the right
time – also known as your race date or personal goal date (as established on your goal profile).

Let’s review some clinical data about rest:

  1. VO2 max, maximal heart rate, maximal speed and workload are maintained for 10 to 28 days with training reductions of 70-80%
  2. Muscular power is maintained or improved with a 60-90% reduction in training for 6-21 days. (Joseph Houmard, Ph.D., of Human Performance Laboratory at East Carolina University)
  3. Aerobic conditioning effects were not lost until 6-8 weeks of regular training ceased. (Ball State University)

Within our MotoE programs, we never go more than two (2) days without some level of activity
(verses complete inactivity); it is our goal to de-train your body through lower load and intensity levels
through active recovery days to allow your body the opportunity to absorb the higher workloads (volume &
intensity wise).

The key to overcoming your fear of taking time off is to understand how much it will help, rather than
hinder, your performance. Your training program should be created around these elements:

  1. What are normal cycles of blood chemistry?
  2. Why the cycles happen
  3. How rest enhances the body’s performance by following blood chemistry cycles
  4. By following a pre-determined work/rest cycle (based on your race date), you can hit your peak performances whenever you want.

Within the MotoE program we focus on leveraging the powerful potential of all your accumulated training
by pulling back your intensity and volume numbers at specific times to maximize your performance
potential. As mentioned earlier, rest allows your body to recover, rebuild and become stronger (from the
inside out).

Next time, we will discuss how training too long without rest results in chemical imbalances which exposes
itself to you in the form of hindered performance, illness and injury.

MotoE MX Performance Guest Post

Posted by James On May - 17 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

MotoE

SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENT OF AN ATHLETE-PART 2: Hormone Imbalances & Body Symptoms

Last month, we discussed the fact that sleep and food plays are the foundational elements to the development of your strength, endurance and overall speed. Remember, you don’t get strong and fast by riding and cross training, you get strong and fast when you provide your body the elements that it needs to adapt and absorb the workouts (on or off of the motorcycle) – food for repair and sleep to recover the fatigued and broken down muscles.

This month, we are going to discuss the long term effects of running short on sleep and food: Hormonal Imbalances. Please don’t see the word hormone and think that this article is talking about that excuse that females use for being mean to the male gender. Hormones effect (positive and negatively) both genders, but for the context of this article, let’s review the effects of hormones on your riding and racing performance.

The first step in overall health and athletic capabilities, is understanding what hormones are and how to effectively adjust them with the utilization of raw foods and supplementation into your daily diet. By becoming a student of hormones, you will learn how to properly restore your optimal health and performance (athletically, mentally and physically). Within this article, we will discuss symptoms associated with hormone imbalances. In my opinion, Dr. Phil Maffetone has done a great job breaking down complex physiological principles associated with hormones into understandable segments. The following highlights are out of his book: The ABC’s of Hormonal Stress, please don’t get bogged down with the terminology, but instead focus on the end results as it relates to you the individual and racer.

Five hormones that are frequently discussed in the media are cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (also known as DHEA), testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. Imbalances within these hormones can produce various signs and associated symptoms in your everyday life. Keep in mind that hormones are produced from your head down, mainly by glands throughout your body (there are a few produced in organs). The process begins in the hypothalamus of the brain, which is frequently associated with the nervous system. Additionally hormone production by specific glands comes and goes as needed by the body. Hormones are responsible for helping to regulate stress (in any form), body development, repair and growth. They are also instrumental in facilitating the utilization of sugar and fat for energy and regulating electrolytes and water during exercise.

As we review the various hormones and the affects on your body, the main hormone of review will be cortisol due to its presence associated with any stress (physical, chemical or mental) and how it influences numerous other hormones in your body. Clinical studies have illustrated that high levels of cortisol, the other hormones in your body become suppressed. As a result, a common situation (especially with athletes who train too hard and too long) of hormonal imbalance is high cortisol, accompanied with low DHEA, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen levels. When this imbalance presents itself, your body’s ability to repair and rebuild itself is adversely effected. In the world of physiology, we refer to your body’s conditioning in either an anabolic or catabolic state. When you are in an anabolic state, your body is rebuilding as an adaptation to training. It manifests itself in the way of stronger & leaner muscles, denser bones, increased blood vessels and enhanced immune system.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have what is referred to as catabolic physiological state. In a catabolic state, your body is breaking down at levels that are difficult to overcome due to high levels of stress and resulting hormone levels. When the body spends excessive amount of time in a catabolic state, injuries, illness and reduced performance levels are typical symptoms. If you were to have a blood sample drawn when these symptoms are present, you will find high cortisol and low DHEA along with low testosterone levels (in both men and women). In the world of athletic performance, when the athlete is in a catabolic state, the first noticeable characteristic is a reduction in performance. An additional characteristic is found within the mental performance realm in the form of poor memory, reduced concentration and even depression.

One little side note, most hormones within the body (with the exception of insulin) are manufactured from cholesterol. Many studies have illustrated that a low fat diet results in lower levels of some important hormones, with the exception of insulin which has been noted as increasing with a low fat diet.

Hormone imbalances result in a variety of symptoms, below are a few of the most common symptoms that Dr. Maffetone has experienced in his years of practice.

STRESS CYCLE: hormone imbalance is the result of and further provokes additional stress. Many healthy body functions, including brain function, begin to deteriorate.

REDUCED FAT BURNING / POOR WEIGHT REGULATIONS: the high cortisol and low DHEA levels imbalance causes your body to burn more sugar and less fat as a fuel, which in turn causes you to store more fat. Additionally, a low thyroid function is also common with this condition.

ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE: hormonal imbalances can push the body into a chronic catabolic state which will inhibit any physical recovery and ultimate improvement.

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS): thought to be associated with reduced progesterone, high cortisol, low DHEA and/or the combination of several hormone imbalances.

POOR RECOVERY: high cortisol and low DHEA levels (frequently low testosterone is present)

LOSS OF MUSCULAR STRENGTH AND BONE DENSITY: high cortisol and low DHEA levels along with low estrogen and progesterone in women/low testosterone in men.

AMENORRHEA: athletic women who lack a menstrual cycle, are seeing a direct sign from their body that they are under tremendous amounts of stress (of any kind – personal, professional or athletic).

REDUCED IMMUNITY: as the body attempts to adjust to hormonal imbalances, the body becomes fatigued and susceptible of to infections from bacteria, viruses and fungal infections. Normally these symptoms are treated with antibiotics rather than addressing the cause of the problem (i.e. hormonal imbalance) and external stressors (personal, professional and/or physical).

MISC: symptoms include insomnia, depression and eating disorders. Insomnia occurs when cortisol is too high during the night.

Motoendurance.net is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross, and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages.  The website outlines the MotoE Performance Training programs available to racers for 2010 –  such as those used with great success by X-Games and 2 time WMA Champion Ashley Fiolek, Mini O’s 2009 Champion Ian Trettel, Loretta Lynn National Champion Adam Cianciarulo and the #1 2009 GNCC/Top Amateur Chris Bach. These are now available to the public on a very limited basis.  Additional resources available include the MotoE Performance Training Facility, eBooks on various human performance elements and online instructional videos. For more information, contact Robb at robb3@earthlink.net or (407) 701-7586.

MotoE MX Performance Guest Post

Posted by James On April - 10 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

MotoE

SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENT OF A RACER – PART 1

Bodily growth and repair occur only during rest or sleep, never during training.  Successful development of an athlete is always a delicate balancing act between 3 variables:

  1. Progressive overload
  2. The correct raw materials (nutrients) to maintain and repair & build new tissue
  3. 3. Sufficient rest & sleep to permit the repair and new growth to take place

The main purpose/focus of training is to create a fitter, healthier athlete that consistently adapts to the stress of training workloads.  The combination of food (quantities and quality) along with hours of sleep are instrumental for you to reach your full potential as an athlete.

In fact, a study outlined in Dr. Colgan’s book: Optimum Sports Nutrition, discussed the evidence associated with athletes who don’t get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, were the first to succumb to symptoms associated with overtraining syndrome.

There is no way you can “push through” fatigue and the associated symptoms.  In fact, most athletes fall into the overtraining syndrome by trying to break a performance plateau and unfortunately set themselves back further from both a performance and overall health perspective.  Keep in mind, you can’t beat overtraining with more work due to the fact that by the time it becomes noticeable, your body is already under excessive levels of stress trying to adapt.

Additionally, studies have shown that the neuroendocrine system becomes exhausted, altering hormone levels so that obtaining optimal performance levels become impossible.  This performance limitation can manifest itself in the form of adrenal gland fatigue, suppressed immunity, tendon and muscle tears.

As you can see by several studies, attempting to ignore your body’s need for quality food and sleep is going to ultimately result in a body that is less than optimal and can even be considered “weak”.  As we have discuss numerous times, you are only as strong as your weakest link, so pay close attention to the details so that you not only feel better, but also perform better.

Next month, we will discuss how to recognize overtraining symptoms.

Motoendurance.net is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross, and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages.  The website outlines the MotoE Performance Training programs available to racers for 2010 –  such as those used with great success by X-Games and 2 time WMA Champion Ashley Fiolek, Mini O’s 2009 Champion Ian Trettel, Loretta Lynn National Champion Adam Cianciarulo and the #1 2009 GNCC/Top Amateur Chris Bach. These are now available to the public on a very limited basis.  Additional resources available include the MotoE Performance Training Facility, eBooks on various human performance elements and online instructional videos. For more information, contact Robb at robb3@earthlink.net or (407) 701-7586.

MotoE MX Performance Guest Post #2

Posted by James On March - 6 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

MotoE

5 CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHAMPION AND HOW THE WEEKEND WARRIOR CAN BECOME ONE!

For the weekend warrior who has limited time to train, here are 5 things you can implement tomorrow to improve your racing results.

Step 1: Establishing a Weekly Routine

Take your personal calendar and schedule the following elements for the next seven days (in this specific order):

  1. Hours of sleep you plan to get – daily!
  2. When you are going to eat your meals and snacks.
  3. Hours you will be working.
  4. Time you will be exercising (include intensity levels).
  5. When you will prep your motorcycle and your transportation.
  6. What days you will compete.

Your goal is to complete at least 75% to 80% of your scheduled elements on a weekly basis.  Don’t complicate things by trying to add a bunch of sophisticated elements to it.  Just keep it basic and easy to follow. By focusing on all of the small elements, they add up to a very solid program.  So, if you get your program moving to the next level immediately, establish a routine and stick to it!

Step 2: Establishing a Practice Routine

One of the most common mistakes we see is that riders will go to the track to practice and they just run laps without any evaluation of lap times.  To make the most of your time on the track, capturing lap times will determine your consistency, along with the deviation between your fastest and slowest laps.

Practicing starts and working sections of the track is imperative to finding new found speed; however, you need to put all of the elements together to emulate actual race conditions as often as possible.  As we have discussed in previous articles, what ends up happening on race day is that the body is exposed to high levels of speed and associated lactic acid that is produced as a by-product of burning glycogen. As the lactic acid accumulates within the blood, it begins to “burn” and mentally throws you off.

Depending on the nature of your track and its practice schedule, it is important to implement practice segments that include such physiological challenges such as negative split intervals, pacing intervals, pacing pyramids and sprint intervals.  These types of intervals will challenge all of the various energy systems necessary to perform optimally during the race weekend.  Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect, specific and perfect practice makes perfect. For examples of negative split, pacing, pyramids and sprint intervals please email Robb directly at robb3@earthlink.net.  You will be able to take these protocols to the track and implement immediately.

Step 3: Consuming sufficient calories for optimum performance and maintaining proper hydration.

The challenge that you have when the intensity goes up is that it drains the stored muscle and liver glycogen very quickly.  So what ends up happening is by the time you get to the end of the moto, your gas tank (of glycogen) is essentially on empty.  To give you a good analogy of that, it is kind of like building a very strong motor, and then just not putting sufficient gas in it to finish the moto.  If you think about all of the strength training and all of the cardiovascular cross-training that you do, if you don’t give your body enough fuel, it will not have the necessary amount of energy to finish the moto strong.  Many times we see late moto fatigue and heat related sickness, due to the lack of necessary calories.  For you, the racer, looking to get the most out of your body you need to approach food from a functional stand point.  Carbohydrates provide the necessary glycogen to your liver and muscles for exercise.  Protein provides the necessary building blocks to repair torn down muscle tissue and fat provides the macro nutrient necessary for proper neurological functions and bodily needs (i.e. oil for skin and hair quality).

The second component that you can address to improve your speed is to avoid coming to the starting gate under-hydrated.  Just as a rule of thumb, we are looking for around 40 to 50 ounces of water to be consumed on a daily basis – and that does not factor in the needs of what is lost in the form of sweat from exercise.  To help offset this situation, you need to make sure that you are starting your day with a good eight to sixteen ounces of clear water to jump start your hydration levels.  If you go to the starting line under-hydrated, let’s say by 2-3%, it won’t take long before the contractile strength of your muscle tissue is adversely affected (in some instances as much as 20-30%).  The key here is to determine how much weight you are losing during a race (or intense practice session) to determine what your perspiration rate is for the duration of your session.  Add in your total consumption of fluids consumed during the last hour before your moto or practice and you will get an accurate idea of how fast you lose fluids in a given environment of temperature, humidity and race intensity.  This information becomes priceless in regards to preparing your body to handle the demands of high intensity racing.

Step 4: Establishing a body that is resilient to stress through fresh fruits and vegetables along with sufficient amounts of quality rest.

Though this step appears to be similar to Step 3 in regards to food, it is different from the stand point that we are discussing the body’s ability to adapt to stress associated with training.  When it comes to establishing a body that is resilient to stress, the two things that you need to pay attention to are:

  1. Eating raw fresh fruits and vegetables.
  2. How much rest you are getting each evening.

In regards to your fruits and vegetables, if you can afford and can find organic, this is ideal.  However, at the very least, you want to lean towards raw and fresh food items whenever possible. Without getting into a dissertation about nutrition, you need to understand that there are three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fat.  You hear about them often and know what they are; however, the thing that makes them work at an optimum level is the integration of micronutrients (sourced from fresh fruits and vegetables). Whenever possible, you need be looking for a way to introduce raw and fresh fruits and vegetables (i.e. salad, vegetable & fruit salad or steamed vegetables).  The bottom line is to avoid anything that comes out of a can along with trying to get as many servings throughout the day that we can without causing any gastrointestinal issues.

In regards to your sleep, you need to be striving to get eight to nine hours per evening.  Please keep in mind that sleep is not how long you are lying in bed, but rather hours that you are in the state of sleep.  When you get into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Pattern Three, you are at a state of relaxation where your body releases hormones that are instrumental to getting stronger.

To help facilitate quality sleep try the following:

* Eat a small amount of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates 30 minutes before going to bed
* Drink 8 to 10 ounces of cold water
* Don’t watch any television in your bedroom
* Keep the room as dark as possible
* Set the room as cool as you are comfortable with

Remember, you don’t get stronger from your workouts, but from quality eating and sleeping!  If you don’t eat and rest, your body will never elevate itself to the next level of performance.

Step 5: Improve your speed by improving your range of motion through flexibility

Within your performance program, flexibility is probably one of the most boring yet most productive uses of your “extra” time. Most racers don’t like to stretch because they don’t see the direct benefits associated with it. Stretching is somewhat a nebulous concept.  What are the benefits of stretching as it relates to a racer?

First, by increasing your range of motion (i.e. working on your flexibility), you are working towards re-establishing your normal range of motion within each muscle group and associated joints.  Let’s take a look at the shoulder for example.  The shoulder is designed to have 360 degrees of range of motion.  There are muscles surrounding the entire head of the shoulder joint on the front, side and back.  As a racer, when you encounter a high speed get off, the impact on all of the supporting muscles is high.

As a racer, you need to be prepared for any contact with the ground (whether it’s a high speed get off or whether it’s a slow speed tip over), by having as close to 100% range of motion as possible. If the muscles that protect each joint are tight (hence limiting your range of motion) the impact of each fall has a much more negative effect (i.e. greater damage).

Let’s take another look at your shoulder. When you fall and put your arm out in front of you, the head shoulder gets jammed back into that capsule extremely quickly.  If the muscles are tight and the range of motion is limited, the net result is usually a torn muscle.  If this injury isn’t handled properly, scar tissue begins to form within the capsule of the injured shoulder joint and your range of motion is further limited due to the inelasticity of scar tissue.

Though scar tissue doesn’t sound like a big deal, as a racer it is very detrimental to your positioning on the bike due to the limited range of motion and the compromising you do with your body on the motorcycle.  For example, if you’ve had a lower back injury, which has resulted in limited range of motion, you wont be able to keep the bike stable going through the whoop section because you’re having difficulty getting into the proper attack position and the bike will swap all over the place.  Another example is getting your elbows up into a corner.  You may not be able to accomplish this important skill because you’ve got restrictions in your muscles surrounding your shoulder joint.  It isn’t a lack of desire or discipline, it is a physical limitor!

By focusing on your flexibility, you will be able to get into the proper position on the bike without self induced restrictions.  The better your range of motion, the better your position on the motorcycle the faster your lap times will become.

Motoendurance.net is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross, and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages.  The website outlines the MotoE Performance Training programs available to racers for 2010 –  such as those used with great success by X-Games and 2 time WMA Champion Ashley Fiolek, Mini O’s 2009 Champion Ian Trettel, Loretta Lynn National Champion Adam Cianciarulo and the #1 2009 GNCC/Top Amateur Chris Bach. These are now available to the public on a very limited basis.  Additional resources available include the MotoE Performance Training Facility, eBooks on various human performance elements and online instructional videos. For more information, contact Robb at robb3@earthlink.net or (407) 701-7586.

MotoE MX Performance Guest Post #1

Posted by James On February - 21 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

MotoE

THE ENERGY SYSTEMS OF MOTOCROSS

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 refer to the initial testing that is necessary to identify and enhance the five energy systems we are going to discuss: Explosive Speed, Sprint Speed, VO2, Anaerobic Threshold and Endurance.

Explosive Speed

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.

Sprint Speed

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).

VO2 Max

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.

Anaerobic Threshold

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

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.

If you have any questions about this article of the above mentioned energy systems, please feel free to contact me directly at robb3@earthlink.net or on my cell directly at 407.701.7586.  I hope you found this article both insightful and helpful. Next article will discuss the benefits of strength training as it relates to efficient riding and racing.

Motoendurance.net is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross, and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages.  The website outlines the MotoE Performance Training programs available to racers for 2010 –  such as those used with great success by X-Games and 2 time WMA Champion Ashley Fiolek, Mini O’s 2009 Champion Ian Trettel, Loretta Lynn National Champion Adam Cianciarulo and the #1 2009 GNCC/Top Amateur Chris Bach. These are now available to the public on a very limited basis.  Additional resources available include the MotoE Performance Training Facility, eBooks on various human performance elements and online instructional videos. For more information, contact Robb at robb3@earthlink.net or 407.701.7586.