I'm posting this one up a little early because i have the day off tomorrow and don't plan to spend any time in front of the computer. What are you doing for the 4th? (Note the cool photoshop job someone did getting the Magnum in the pic below)
Like “traditional” athletes, competitive drivers and their teams are engaged in a physically and mentally demanding sport, susceptible to such health issues as fatigue, muscle pain and heat exhaustion. Whether you’re a drag racer spending forty-five minutes in the mid-summer in the pre-staging lanes or a road racer like myself waiting on the grid to enter the road course, heat is the ultimate enemy for the driver and the car. If you’ve been sacrificing your personal preparation for the preparation of your vehicle, use these tips to keep your body from breaking down on the big day.
HYDRATION Remaining properly hydrated is critical to your overall health: Every organ in the body and function of the body depends on water. Ensuring sufficient fluid intake on race day is crucial. Studies have shown that even just a 2-percent loss in hydration may result in a 20-percent loss of function to all systems of the body.
Consult your physician to discuss any drugs you may be taking for a monitored condition, such as blood pressure medications, which may affect and influence your overall hydration.
Weigh yourself pre- and post-event to monitor the amount of fluid you’ve lost.
Optimally, consume one quart of water per 50 pounds of body weight over the course of the day. At the minimum, both drivers and pit crew members should drink about 1.5 quarts of water on race day, depending on the ambient temperature.
The color of your urine determines your level of hydration. The darker the color, the more dehydrated you are. If you are properly hydrated, your urine should be a pale yellow to straw color. [NOTE: Urine test strips are available to show your hydration level.]
Avoid the use of alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine three days to a week prior to the event. Both are known to impair hydration.
A good “cocktail” to help replenish your fluids and electrolytes during the vital post-event recovery period--the first half-hour after a race--is a mix of half Pedialyte and half water.
FITNESS Keeping muscles toned and strong increases endurance, which might make the difference between winning and losing a race. Daily exercise also has a positive affect on brain function, and can lead to enhanced attention, concentration and decision-making abilities on the track.
Do range-of-motion exercises for your cervical spine, shoulders, hips and lower back. These areas impact the parts of the body used to keep in control of your car, that maintain stability of your muscles and joints during G-force on the cervical spine and that support the combined weight of your helmet and other attached driver equipment.
Do isotonic and isometric exercises for the cervical spine and upper/lower extremities, along with strength training to reduce exhaustion. NASCAR driver Mark Martin’s book “Strength Training for Performance Driving” is an excellent resource for motor sports athletes.
Do cardio training on alternate days, opposite strength training, to gain increases in stamina.
Do NOT do heavy workouts on the day of the race. Conserve your energy and do only light stretching of muscle groups.
NUTRITION Food is fuel, and with a balanced diet, containing essential nutrients, you’ll have the energy and stamina you need to succeed on a hectic race day.
Eat foods high in fiber and rich in protein, along with grains and good fats (such as nuts).
Eat foods that promote digestive regularity, such as greens, chicken and fish.