The 80% theory
Now this something I used at the end of my 2009 season after struggling to preform that year at Loretta Lyyns. The 80% theory is something that I’ve actually been teaching for some time now and found it to work with most of my riders. So what is it exactly, I thought you’re supposed to give it 100% every day? Well I think there are days for that as well, but I believe especially if you’re a rider that is still an up and coming amateur you should be doing a majority of your riding at 80% of your maximum effort/heart rate. Don’t know what you’re max effort on the track is? Wear a heart rate monitor and do a short moto at race pace, I’m not a fitness trainer so I don’t feel comfortable going to deep into this topic but you can read more here, basically the idea of this 80% technique, is to ride at 80% of your max heart-rate will put you at a pace that you can really focus on your technique, breathing, and choosing better lines, you’ll also notice after sometime of practicing this you will be able to pick your pace up faster and faster. Do not get discouraged trying this the first time as you will probably have to go pretty slow to ride at 80% of your max heart rate, but with some time you will eventually pick your pace up. Another benefit of this technique is it brings the risk of injury way down which I think is a huge key in MX when you’re trying to maximize your progression while staying healthy. The goal should be to eventually get yourself up to 20-30 min motos where you’re just riding smooth hitting your lines (not worried about speed) just focused on connecting the track and on your breathing. This really helps you develop a good pace for racing, I’ve found. You can then apply this to some of the breathing techniques I’ve talked about (in through the nose out the mouth) this can really help with arm-pump. Your week should look something like M, W, F ride the 80% and T, TH you can do some speed work. The reason I like this is because I really don’t think you get much out of riding as fast as you possibly can every day, you’re as fast as you are, and you cant really get faster every single day it just adds unnecessary risk to your program I want you to look at the image below at my results when applying this technique, I always had the speed to win I just couldn’t put it together at the races in 09 after LL, before Mini’O’s this technique allowed to work on my breathing while doing longer motos while in return allowing me to pick up speed when I really needed it. If you’re a rider that has yet to reach his/her maximum potential you really need to give this a shot!