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Blog: “Why Do You Feel Fatigued on Race Day?” by Travis Kanellos


Blog: “Why Do You Feel Fatigued on Race Day?” by Travis Kanellos

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all” – Vince Lombardi.­ The most dominant athletes in every sport are usually near the top of the fitness chain.

So how does fatigue set in for most drivers? It can be lack of hydration during the day or most likely the previous day(s) leading up to the event. Water is your best friend leading up to race day but on race day coconut water will be your ultimate hydration. Coconut water is chock-full of essential minerals and electrolytes to keep you alert and focused. The average driver loses 500-1000mL of fluids during a finals race (depending on body weight and fitness level).

No matter how much you hydrate it will never replace the physical fitness work (or lack thereof) you have put in months previous. We aren’t talking about a few biceps curls and bench presses to look good in the pits after a race. We are talking about a structured fitness program designed to make you a better athlete behind the wheel. There are specific muscle groups, energy systems and lactate thresholds that need to be addressed for drivers. Without addressing these areas you will not reach your potential behind the wheel.

During the weekend at Goodwood I noticed a few things: A) The first is as the day/weekend rolled along the fittest and most talented drivers rose to the top. It’s not always the best technical driver that wins but sometimes the one who can withstand the physical and mental abuse over the long haul. B) I saw a couple physical weaknesses in drivers; with the high grip conditions during the weekend some drivers were not in control, the kart was manhandling them rather than the driver controlling the kart. This was compounded over the race distance eventually wearing out the driver physically and throwing them off mentally. The physical and mental lapses lead to things such as, driving errors and excess tire wear/poor tire management. When it came down to the finals these drivers were not able to gain ground or eventually lost ground and valuable positions. Standing at the scales after the final it was evident by posture and physical appearance who was physically fit and who wasn’t. In fact on a few occasions drivers spoke openly to their team on the fact that they just physically faded and could not handle the demands. Fatigue in the form of core, mi­d back, grip, forearms and posture leave the door open for other drivers to get by and prevent any possible attack for podium positions. The more your body physically fatigues the more mentally weak you become. It’s the body’s way of trying to compensate for a weakness. Hunting someone down through 20+ laps while staying smooth and in control through corners is absolutely physical and in turn mental. What separates first from second could be the extra three hours a week you put in at the gym.

The biggest issue is you don’t usually know what being fit feels like until you are fit. Then when you think you are fit you probably have work still to accomplish. We can help…

You have a free one month trial on P1’s Mobile Online Trainer. Just hit the online trainer button, login and get started with your ECKC promo code (handed out at Goodwood registration). Programs are customized based on what equipment you have access to so there are no excuses to get to P1. See you at ICAR…

Position 1 Fitness specializes in cutting edge motorsports fitness, nutrition and supplementation products and services and have trained athletes over a wide range of motorsports including GP2, GP3, Indy Lights, Canadian Superbike, AMA Pro Flat Track and Star Mazda. Position 1 Fitness was founded in order to provide fitness, training & nutritional guidance at an affordable price to motorsports participants worldwide. Whether a weekend warrior or a professional, Position 1 Fitness and its revolutionary P1 Mobile Online Trainer will create a custom program to fit any racer’s skill level, budget and area of motorsports. For more information on Position 1 Fitness products and services please visit To receive weekly tips and information become a fan on Facebook at follow P1 on Twitter @P1_Fitness.

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