Training isn’t about tomorrow’s race,
it’s about a race six months from now.
HOW FAST DO YOU LOSE
I’m always surprised to hear fac-
tory riders say that they didn’t do
well this weekend because they
had a cold and couldn’t train. How
fast does physical fitness go away?
Aren’t Pro athletes really training
for the future, not the present?
Any hardcore athlete can take
a week off from training without
suffering any ill effects, and if he
is sick during that week, he might
come out fitter than if he pushed
himself to train. That said, the old
“use it or lose it” adage is fairly
accurate but not the end of the
world. For example, an athlete’s
VO2 max, the maximum oxygen he
can uptake and utilize, decreases
by 7 percent over the first three
weeks. VO2 max continues to
decrease by another 9 percent over
the next two months. Strength loss
is somewhat different from cardio
fitness loss. A trained athlete holds
on to muscle strength much longer
than cardiovascular fitness during
a layoff. Studies on the subject
show that muscle strength does not
decrease even after a month
of inactivity; however, while
general strength doesn’t change
much in that period, specialized
muscle fibers, fast-twitch and slow-
twitch, do start to decline after two
weeks. Although a small amount of
fitness is lost during layoffs, what is
really lost is the improvement that
could have been made during that
It’s important to remember that
taking time off now and again is
good for a highly trained athlete.
Why? Exercise subjects the body to
severe stress, and any good workout program includes lots of rest
days. Thus, a rider who uses a
few days off as an excuse is just
making an excuse.
Head stays don’t break unless something is wrong somewhere else.
IT’S NOT YOUR HEAD STAY’S
I own a KTM 250SX, and I keep
breaking the head stay. Does any-
body make a stronger head stay?
There is nothing wrong with your
head stay. We would guess that the
swingarm pivot bolt or motor mount
bolts are loose. That is allowing
the engine to move around, which
in turn is cracking the head stay.
Tighten the bolts.