We all know that MotoGP is one of the toughest races in the world that demands more from the man as well as the machine. In the case of the machine we will be aware of the technologies involved in shaping the machine for the circuit and the amount of hard work put in to make the machine a winning history. But are we aware of the process that the riders are being put through before the racing season?
Now, please don’t think that the riders are celebrities and they come only a day before the season to tune their bikes according to their needs and then start practicing and then qualifying and finally race. There are much more than that, all riders have to undergo some of the toughest physical training and tests to take part in a race and this training depends on the climatic conditions, track conditions, the stress level exhibited in the race and much more. Let’s take a sneak peek into the training process.
The Annual Planning consisting of the physical training and development for a rider is divided into four periods:
- The Pre-Season
- Period Of Competition
- Summer Break And
- End Of Season
The Pre-Season: The Pre-Season usually starts in December and continues till the beginning of the forth coming March and the training during this period is basically the Cardio-Respiratory exercises to increase the stamina and overall strength of the rider. In this period the rider works six days a week with training sessions that lasts minimum six hours a day with just one day of rest. The sessions are divided into three hour sessions approximately with the first session being on a Bi-Cycle and the second one in the swimming pool.
Period Of Competition: This session depends on the proximity of a GP race. The training during this part of the year is any one of the two types: If there is a free week without a race then the physical work is completely aimed at increasing the muscle volume but if there is a week with a race then the muscle volume work-out’s will be lower but with raised intensity. This continues for two to three months and gradually the amount of work to increase the physical volume is reduced and again the intensity will be increased. This is again accompanied by introducing more specific work depending on the needs of the rider himself.
Summer Break: In this period the exercises introduced will be according to the demands of the rider which will be monitored for the riders needs whether they have to improve overall or just work to build up a specific area.
End of Season: This is the last period of the training for the current year where the body is given a month’s rest and in this period the riders will not be subjected towards total rest. They will just be given the advantage to choose the sports of their liking such as badminton, basketball etc… and other games and activities that will increase their speed of their reflexes.
Types Of Training
Cardio-Respiratory: This training is to mainly improve the strength and stamina of the rider. The work-out will be like road-racing bicycling and swimming. Riders will ride some hundreds of kilometers every year, climbing mountains similar to “Tour De France” and for the winter the riders will do a cross-country skiing.
Anerobic: This training is specifically designed in increasing the physical strength of the body to be precise the upper body and the parts are sternocleidomastoid muscle, trapezium, deltopectorals, biceps, triceps, and forearms. The main target of these exercises is to attain maximum strength with minimum volume. This exercise also concentrates mainly on reflex actions that are vital for a rider during the race failing to which the results can be fatal.
Specific Work: This happens during the racing season, depending on where the race is the physical work can be modified a bit so that the rider adapts better to the conditions that they will face during the race. The overall aim of this training is to give the rider the taste of the different conditions that they will be subjected to during the race so that the rider can very well adapt to the stressful changes without much stress.
Food Practices: Riders will have a normal diet but with an eye of general control over their food as overweight can be a loss in the race. The riders will have a complete breakfast with lots of calories as they all get burnt during the sessions on the bike. The lunch will constitute protein rich food such as meat or fish and at night carbohydrate rich food will be given as their basic design over this is to have a balanced diet without gaining weight.
Liquids: During a race the rider will approximately lose 1.5 to 2.0 Kg of liquid from their body due to excessive heat, stress etc… So, keeping them hydrated is something very important and also fundamental. The same is followed for the cycling training where the rider consumes a lot of liquid to keep his body hydrated. During the race sessions each rider will carry two essential bottles of liquid one with an isotonic mix and the other with water to keep them hydrated as dehydration means loss of electrolytes and mineral salts that produces higher level of tiredness and cramps that can be fatal during a race.
Rest: This is one of the main thing that a rider must get after all the above mentioned work out’s. The team will ensure that the rider gets 8 hrs sleep a day which is vital, missing that the rider will be subjected to tiredness and fatigue which when happens during the race can be disastrous to himself as well as the others on the circuit. If the rider needs some more rest, then the team will also ensure that the rider takes a small afternoon naps to refresh his mind and body.
These are the vigorous tests that each and every MotoGP rider is subjected before hopping on to their monsters with some X amount of Bhp’s and Torque that can top an excess of whopping 320 kmph or more in just a few seconds. Pretty easy on papers isn’t it?