Health and Fitness  |  Endurance Training

Training and Preparation for Racing

Auto racing is an exhausting sport. Races typically last 15-20 minutes or more and you have to be physically “on” for the entire race—in an ultimate state of focus, ready for each and every hairpin turn, possible accident you need to avoid, and ready to pass your opponent quickly and cleanly.

Being physically ready for these challenges involves intense physical training of the entire body, the right diet to achieve maximum energy output on race day, and mental preparation to have the upmost focus and quick reactions on the course. Being mentally and physically prepared ensures you the most success on race day.

So what should you do to get ready?

Although you are sitting in a seat for the entire race, your entire body needs to be strong to handle the challenges of driving a potentially winding course at some very high speeds. A strong upper body and core can help you hang onto the steering wheel while fighting the g-force through those turns, and the quads, butt and calves are also involved when you’re accelerating and braking quickly. A good overall strength training program that hits the forearms, shoulders, latissimus dorsi, quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexor muscles is essential.
Sample Strength Training Exercises:
Standing Resistance Band Row
Standing Chop
Goblet Squat

The core muscles comprise the trunk of the body, so most of the muscles we have! These muscles stabilize the joints as we move under load or pressure, which during racing includes controlling the steering wheel through a tight turn. Functions of the core include respiration (breathing), continence, postural control, joint/segment stabilization, movement generation, and energy transfer. The inner core must be in balance with the exterior muscles of the outer core of the spine (
Sample Core Exercises:
Glute Walk
Single Leg Bridge
Side Plank

Interval training is a type of training which alternates bouts of all-out exercise with rest periods between, and this type of training is best for building endurance. Your body gets more from 30 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) then it does from a steady 10 mile run! Why? Pushing your body to the extreme over and over again gets your heart stronger and your cardiovascular system working much more efficiently and at a higher level. So go hard when you workout, whether it’s a HIIT workout or doing intervals of alternating high and low intensity work on the treadmill.

Sample HIIT Workout for Racing (4 sets of each exercise, 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest in between each set)

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Push Ups
  3. Squat Jumps
  4. Mountain Climbers
  5. Side Shuffles
  6. Single Leg Bridge
  7. Side Plank with rotation
  8. Alternating Lunges or Lunge Jumps
  9. Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
  10. Football Runs

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