Motocross racing: Speed is everything. If you think you’re going at a good pace, you probably aren’t going fast enough. In the world of motocross racing, it doesn’t matter if you’re on a new bike or a customized beast with the latest and great accessories and special features. Speed is speed, and here are ten top ways to get it going and (literally) leave your competition in the dust.
By maximizing your fitness, skills and doing a bit of testing with new techniques, you’ll be ready to race against the best competition you can find—and win.
Pump Yourself UP
What’s one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of MX? Speed, yes, but those bikes are loud. You don’t have to worry that someone will hear you pumping yourself up with some motivational, positive self talk, or giving yourself verbal instructions (the corner’s coming up, look out for ___ on the side). Using this technique is not only great to motivate yourself, but it will help you improve your response time, too.
No one will know, and if it helps you, why not take advantage of it? Yell that you need more speed to overtake your rival, or whatever it is you need yourself to be aware of—as long as it helps you get the job done.
Smarter, Not Harder
Did you know that MX is just as much a mental game as it is an adrenaline pumping, physical one? Some riders will worry before they are even on the track about who will overtake them, who has a better bike, who has a better track record. None of that matters—instead of wasting mental energy on things you can’t change or don’t know, focus on you. You don’t need to worry about someone overtaking you unless they are literally right on you.
Only drive defensively when you really need to, and focus on your own stuff, and leave them in the dust. Eyes ahead, hand on the throttle, and a crystal clear mind will do more for you than worrying about someone else’s game.
When you’re racing and taking a sharp turn, you’ll need all the skills you can get when it comes to adjusting your speed. You’ll want to switch gears at the right time for the current conditions and the upcoming decent, ascent, or corner. Of course, you’ll want to do this as smoothly as possible, as you’ll be able to improve your speed, and slow down your dirt bike when needed. These are all skills that each rider needs to master, and something that with enough practice can set you a part from the competition.
Turn, Turn, Turn
The first turn is exciting, exhilarating— you’ll give it all your focus, your power— but don’t lose the momentum. It’s easy to almost relax a bit or lose your focus after that first turn, so it’s incredibly important to treat each turn as the first one, and never let that pressure off until you cross the finish line.
Gear ratios are something you should know by heart. Knowing how fast you travel in each gear and how aggressive you can be when picking up speed is critical for becoming a better rider.
To get to know your gears, you’ll need to practice listening to your motor. One of the best ways is to practice on a nice flat area and riding your dirt bike around, so you can hear when you’re revving out, and take it from there.
Walk Before You Race
When you have the opportunity to walk the track, you be able to notice details about the track and terrain. You’ll be able to gain insight on where to speed up, slow down or take a corner a little differently than you would if you had no idea of what is coming next. If you take your time and study all aspects of the track, you’ll have a better chance of seeing a move that could shave a second or two off your time—and that’s all you need to win.
Faster Means Get Fit
Look at any athlete, and 11 times out of 10 you’ll see someone who is in top physical shape. If you want to be an athlete, you have to be—no ifs, ands, or buts.
From gym workouts and cross-training, there’s really no excuse not to be in shape if you are training for a competition—you’ll need the strength and stamina you can get. Let’s take a loot at some of the best workouts that will help you be ready for the track and give it your all:
- Cycling—One of the best training exercises you can do if you are an MX rider, as you’ll be building endurance, stamina, and conditioning the muscles you need on your MX bike.
- Push-ups—We all know what these are, and they are a fundamental strength training existence that will help you in all aspects of your training.
- Yoga—Flexibility is another key to your success as an athlete. Some yoga in your warm-up routine will help with tight muscles that otherwise would lead to strains and sprains, something none of us wants.
- Planks—What does an MX rider need? A strong core and back are non-negotiable for an athlete in this sport. Keeping you centered, and build strength in your front and back core, is something planks can improve.
Eyes on the Prize
Something that is shared among several sports is something along the lines of, “look where you want to go, not where you don’t”. This something you’re most likely already familiar with if you partake in street riding or have been around bikes for long, but it is just as critical (or even more) when you’re in a high stakes competition.
Look up just as if you are on the road, and focus on where you want the bike to go, not on the object or side of the track you don’t want to hit. Where your head goes, your body follows, and in turn your bike will follow, too.
Improving your speed and overall skills as an MX rider takes time, sweat, and dedication. If you incorporate these tips and techniques into your daily or weekly practice route time, you’ll be well on your way to leveling up your performance and taking the prize.
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