This weekend's Malaysian Grand prix is one of the most physical demanding events on the world championship calendar, so how do riders prepare themselves for such challenges - and the racing season as a whole?
Repsol has provided the following information about the training and diet of its grand prix riders, including premier-class stars Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden.
The physical preparation throughout the year is divided into four periods.
this starts in December and continues until the beginning of March. During this period work is basically cardio-respiratory, to increase stamina and all-round strength.
The rider works six days a week, with training sessions that last six hours every day with one rest day. These sessions are divided into approximately three hours on a bicycle and in the swimming-pool (two days on a bike alternating with one in the pool); 'Strength 1' exercises (with the rider's own weight), 'Strength 2' exercises (with machines), isokinetic work (with elastic straps), plus other tasks to improve balance and stretching exercises.
Period of competition:
depending on the proximity of a GP, training during this part of the year is one of two types: if there is a week without a race the physical work is aimed at increasing muscle volume. During a week leading up to a race the volume work is lower and the intensity is raised.
After two or three months the amount of work to increase physical volume is reduced and the intensity is increased. This is accompanied by the introduction of more specific work depending on the needs of the rider himself.
a reinforcement of the pre-season work is carried out, between 10-15 days, similar to the work in winter. Once again the exercises are conditioned by the demands of the rider; it is they who notice whether they need to work on one aspect or another, whether they need to work on a specific muscle.
End of the season:
the body is usually given a month's rest, although not a total rest. Riders takes advantage of this time to practice other sports to break the monotony, sports like basketball or badminton; activities that increase the speed of reaction.
Then comes the pre-season again: from December to the start of March.
Type of training
to improve stamina, work is on a road-racing bicycle. Riders like Pedrosa do a lot of kilometres every year, climbing mountains similar to those in the Tour de France. This is combined with some time on a mountain bike, and in winter they also do cross-country skiing.