October 5, 2013

Speed Secrets Saturday: Getting Up To Speed Quickly

Photos: Roberto Blank?Flickr

Autocross can be good training for this, when you have only three runs to get your time in, it will develop your mental an muscle memory to get you ready to go...from the get go .

Getting Up to Speed Quickly.

Some drivers seem to get up to speed within a lap or two, while others seem to take forever. It’s like they need lap after lap to get into the rhythm before they start turning quick times. If you’re slow to get up to speed, you know all too well the problem with that – losing out on part of each session, and not getting in as much practice time as others.

Your mindset, or your state of mind can affect your ability to get up to speed quickly. If you're too intense or wound up, it may take a number of laps to settle down and get into your rhythm; if you're too relaxed, it may be the opposite. You need to find the ideal performance state of mind to trigger your ability to get up to speed quickly.

Think back to times when you did get up to speed quickly, or at least went a little quicker than other attempts. What was your state of mind at that time? Were you relaxed and calm, or energized and intense? Be aware of your state of mind prior to each session on track. Note what it was like when you got up to speed quickly and performed well. Then trigger that state of mind again by replaying how it felt, and the experience.

If you need to relax more, give yourself some time just prior to each session to sit, breathe, feel your muscles letting go and relaxing into your chair, visualize a very calm scene, and see yourself feeling relaxed in the car.

If you need to raise your intensity level, try physically moving - get your blood flowing - by doing some fast “cross crawls,” riding a bicycle, or even just running in place. You can try some shadow boxing, and even yelling. Use your physical state to trigger your mental state.

Then, think fast-fast. Use that as a "trigger" for the future. The more you do this, the more you'll program yourself, and eventually it will become your norm and you'll be known as one of those drivers who gets up to speed quickly. You'll be the fast-fast one.

Ross Bentley
For more of Ross' writing, along with articles by other famous and not-so-famous contributors, go to www.speedsecretsweekly.com. He can be reached at ross@speedsecretsweekly.com.

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