How to get fit for racing

The world’s leading professional nutcases, daredevils and racing heroes reveal their expert knowledge on the most ridiculous biking feats you can imagine...

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Isle of Man TT racer Ian Hutchinson is the only man in history to win five TTs in a week; a true legend. He’s had to battle back from horrific leg injuries, no one knows how to get fit better than Ian.

So here’s his how to get fit for racing:

“There are times when I hate the gym; I’m not a fitness fanatic, but it’s what keeps me on my game and that’s important. Some riders are bike fit, or bike ready. John McGuinness spends all his spare time on his enduro bike, you can’t beat that. DJ never went to the gym, but was always on a bike.

“I train five times a week if I’m racing BSB at the weekend. The gym work is non-stop, using lighter weights on a small circuit, repeating four exercises, four times over, and increasing the weights if needed.


“We’re not trying to build huge muscles as that would increase our weight, and big muscles won’t last long, they get tired sooner. We need endurance. Your core strength is really important too. On some sections of the TT I’m really light on the controls, just using my core to move around. I won’t train at the TT or North West as your body takes such a battering. I’ll do some swimming if I get the chance as it’s a good way to get the muscles to relax and cool down, or get out on the push bike.

“When I first started racing we used to have a skin-full every Friday night with DJ. But now I try to be professional. After TT practice I’ll have a huge carvery, or chicken and rice, as you’ve burnt so many calories, and need to replenish. If I have two races in a day I’ll have a healthy breakfast, a light meal between races, and stay off the drink until the last night. The TT really takes it out of you, it’s important you refuel and keep healthy.”

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Andy Davidson

By Andy Davidson

Former MCN Feature writer