Racers are exposed to hours of high temperatures, jarring, and movements that are not familiar to most people driving a vehicle at normal speeds. A racer needs a surprisingly high level of fitness to endure long hours of racing.
Why do Racers Need to be so Fit?
Racers fly around a course at speeds up to 200mph. However, the pressures on the body are not the same as driving on the highway. Racers are pushed against different parts of the vehicle and must use a lot of upper body and core strength to steer the vehicle around the course. Racers must deal with extreme temperatures and heavy sweating which results in weight loss. Losing muscle is also a real possibility in high temperatures. This means that racers have an obvious need for maintaining strength, high levels of endurance and flexibility during a race. They must also learn to recover after a race.
What Kind of Exercise is Beneficial to Racers?
Racers need biceps, shoulder, forearm and abs strength for steering. Racers need to maintain and strengthen these muscles. Racers should also be flexible for moving quickly. Racers must also remain lean because high weight adds too much weight to the vehicle. Racers should train with low weights and high repetitions to gain strength and stay lean. Cardio exercise like running, cycling, and swimming increase the heart rate and simulates the high adrenalin race car environment.
Racers often complain of muscle soreness and muscle pain after a race. Some form of exercise for recovery helps with better moving well after a hard race. Racers often swim, do yoga or pilates to help keep muscles stretched out. Stretching is another way to recover after a race.
Racers need to be in top physical shape to take on a course. A good exercise program that combines strength, endurance, and flexibility will make a racer more confident and stronger in the race seat.