There are a zillion different ways to train. There’s running, bicycling, weight training, racquetball, basketball and a whole wealth of other balls. All of that is fine, but never forget that the best training for motocross is motocross. The problem is that you need to ride more frequently than you race. 

That’s a tough assignment, huh? Ride motorcycles. Ride them every chance you get. Ride them after school or work, ride them before school or work. Ride, ride, ride. That’s what the top guys do. Okay, I know it’s not always possible to ride every day, but don’t be a weekend-only rider. Then you have to spend time learning to ride all over again. One day during the week will make you a much better rider. Two days will make you better yet. 


Riding with someone else is more fun and less dangerous. Also, having a friend opens up all kinds of possibilities. You have someone to watch you and critique your style. Better yet, if you have a video camera, you can take turns taping each other. Seeing yourself on tape is quite a wake-up call: “Do I really do that?” Often you can identify a bad habit that you were completely unaware of. All of the top teams use videotape. Do you wonder what Mike LaRocco is doing before the second moto? He’s inside the Suzuki truck watching the first moto. All of the big factory semis have a video-watching room. 


When you practice, see how many different lines you can use. If there are five jumps in a row, and you already know how to double the first set, then try something else-maybe there’s some advantage in rolling the first one and jumping the next two. You won’t know unless you try. If you usually take the inside on one certain turn, then go everywhere except the inside for one session. 


The worst adversary any rider faces usually isn’t another rider. It’s burnout. It’s a catch-22: you want to race because it’s fun; in order to race well you have to practice constantly; when you ride that much it stops being fun. The trick to keeping it fun is to avoid falling into a rut. Don’t go to the same practice track every time. If you have an opportunity to ride someplace new, go for it. Go trail riding when you can. The more you ride in mud, rain and unusual circumstances, the better all-around rider you will become. Whatever you do, don’t just go around the track doing pointless lap after pointless lap when you are tired. If you aren’t in good shape and you do a 30-minute moto, you just end up practicing bad habits. Chances are you will fall and hurt yourself if you push beyond your limits. Nothing messes up a good training program like an injury. 


Remember that stuff about goals? Keep that in mind when you practice. Before you start the bike, decide what you want to accomplish in this particular practice session. It doesn’t matter if it’s starts, turns or just endurance. Schedule your time. Decide, for example, that you are going to spend 20 minutes riding around warming up, 15 minutes practicing starts, and then top it off with a 30-minute moto. Stick to your plan. 


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