-----------------------------RIDING TECHNIQUE----------------------------

By Paul Aschmann

The off-season is great time to do all the things you were supposed to do during the year, but were too busy riding! Take the time to get prepared and make your moms, girlfriends and wife’s happy! Just think – they spend the year taking you to the race tracks and shelling out hard earned cash so you can enjoy a sport you are passionate about, think about this before you say no to washing the car!

Firstly we are going to be discussing a few training tips, the winter (depending on where you live) can be a really tough time to get riding in if it’s really cold, raining, snowing or any other adverse conditions, check the Cold Weather Gear story in this issue for what to wear when the temperatures drop. If the weather is good or bad, you still need to start getting yourself prepared for the following season.

A rough guide would be to focus on strength training (if needed) as soon the season ends, probably around October/November sometime, spend the 2 months of November and December doing strength/core training and then in January start with your high intensity training. And remember – just because you are in a strength/muscle building phase, you still need to get at least 1 to 2 days of high intensity cardio in! This will ensure that you stay lean and keep in a fairly good cardio condition.

If you don’t have a gym membership, look at the Health and Fitness section in this issue for some alternative suggestions. Here are some other ways to keep you fit and having fun during your off-season:

Cross train: Whether it be playing racket ball or spinning – It’s a great way to get a high intensity work out without being on the bike. Be creative and most of all have fun!

Jet skiing, if it’s warm enough where you live, mountain biking, road biking, aerobics classes (they not just for girls!).The off-season is also a great time to do some bulking up, consider some supplements like protein shakes if you are serious but don’t forget to get the cardio exercises in! The last thing you want is to get to your first race and be out of breath within the first 5 minutes!

Sometimes gym workouts can be a drag, if you find this get yourself a workout partner, a buddy who can encourage you to push/lift and run faster and longer. Also, keep a log book of the weights you use and targets achieved and constantly try to better them.

Trail riding is another great way to get some bike time in when it’s cold rainy and wet – if you can, find somewhere close to the house to do some riding and while doing it concentrate on a specific skill like clutch control or cornering. Trail riding teaches you agility because it requires you to be very alert to your surroundings. Plus it’s fun!

When the weather permits and you can ride on a track, throw in some variations such as 2 lap sprints with a buddy and see if you can improve lap times, practice riding close to one another, this can bring a fun factor in and keeps things interesting.

Here are a couple pointers you should be doing besides training and keeping everyone happy:

If you plan on getting a new bike for the upcoming season, now is the time, you will want to spend time going through it to set it up the way you want it so it feels right for you… before the season rolls around.