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Race Fitness

I’m not built for speed.

14 years ago, I was at at the peak of my fitness – 11 1/2 stone with barely any fat on me, and prepped ready for a ‘no holds barred’ fighting tournament.

Sadly, after that I got a job in security, and sat there for 2 years eating free bacon from the factory canteen. This now leaves me – although not an outright fat git – at an unhealthy 13 1/2 stone with a Homer Simpson belly.

I still have the balance of a cat, and riding motorbikes keeps my reactions top-notch, but most of my muscles have faded and been covered by 37 year old chub.

Whilst I know I need to get fitter to help me race, I also need to remember that:

A) I’m not a professional racing driver, and,

B) Trying to deny myself of all the ‘bad’ food WILL NOT WORK, and is the ruination of almost everyone’s so-called dieting.

So, luckily for this realistic approach, I’ve stopped my sitting-down-eating-bacon diet long ago, and DO now eat a good, varied and balanced diet.

I’m not going to go over the top with a diet, but am already making some changes – such as snacking on rice crackers at work where I may have had chocolate or something before. These sorts of small changes all add up, and don’t let anyone tell you it has to be all or nothing.

Despite all these fad diets, there is really only one simple rule to losing weight and getting healthier:

Eat less and exercise more.

 

I’d like to lose 2 stone, but a realistic target is to lose 1.

My time in the gym took a knock with an ankle problem recently, but now I’m back on it.

I also know that the absolute best way to get fit is to run!

I’m not an outdoor runner, so do this by pounding the treadmill. This raises your heart rate for the prolonged period necessary, burns calories, and teaches you to control your breathing – something that is very important when hurtling around a racetrack at silly speeds.

I’ve also found that I can focus on the view from a Formula Vee cockpit as I run, visualising lapping race tracks. And THAT motivates me!

I have no real set routine, other than that. I just work the rest of the machines to try and tone up my muscles, and am working for muscle strength and flexibility rather than mass (which adds very little to racing except more unwanted weight).

I’m never going to be the lightest driver on the grid, but I think the Sheane is under the minimum weight limit, so we’ll be using ballast, anyway.

Oh, and the engine is now back in the car! Glenn has made a few changes to the rear ride height and seatbelt mountings, and from now it’s just a case of prepping everything, painting parts, and putting it all back together ready to get it out for testing!

We’re also finding that various bolts and bits can be VERY hard to find after a car has been left in pieces since 2009!

My focus is now stepping up a gear, and I shall be posting more blogs about my thoughts and what I’m doing as I get ready to take to the track!

Thanks for all the support I’m already getting from friends, family, and the other Formula Vee drivers! I’m gagging to get out there, and should do so before the end of this season!

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