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A weekly training program is more than just a mindless accumulation of volume, reps in the gym and miles in the sim. To create an effective and successful program one must incorporate many different components, all of which must be combined in the right way in order for a driver to train effectively and to be successful. In addition to training, a drivers’ work, education and personal life requirements will need to be factored in for long-term success.

The purpose of training:

Ultimately skill execution is the key to success in any and all sports and should be the core purpose of any driver training programme. It is obvious that if you are unable to execute the technical skills that are required you will not be able to participate in the sport at a high level. When drivers are new to the sport he or she must develop the skills first… skills should dominate the learning process. Working alongside technical skill training, drivers will need to develop their physical and mental skills… these act to support the technical skills… be aware that being mentally tough and physically fit but technically inept will result in you being slow. So its important that the right balance of priorities is understood from the start.

Type of training:

When creating a training programme we have to also consider the type of training that a driver requires and what they want to achieve. The following need to be considered:

  1. Short term or long term training?: Short Term – This is training that is focused on an upcoming test or race where a driver is looking for an quick increase in performance. This type of training tends to have intense coaching where the coach is heavily involved in telling the driver what to do. This can provide a short term uplift but because it was heavily directed by the coach there is limited understanding and hence poor retention in the long term. Long Term – If training is for the long term coaching will be more reduced and more focused on the driver understanding and learning the skills for themselves. Because the driver was heavily involved in the understanding of the technique and not just blindly carrying it out, retention will be much stronger in the long term.

  2. The time of year – Generally the time of year will dictate the type of training a driver requires. In-season, a driver will be heavily focused on the next race where outcome is a priority. Whereas, in the off-season a driver has time to focus on long term development where core skill training can be undertaken and risks with new/modified techniques can be run, there is also time to focus on marginal gains which really only show results in the long term.

The process:

So now that we understand the purpose of training and the type of training we require, depending on where we are in the season we now need to look at the factors that will actually dictate each week’s training:

  1. The Type of Training - What do you need to achieve this week, is it part of your winter training programme or are your preparing for a test or race?

  2. Training Goals - The Training Goals that you have defined with your coach after completing your Detailed Performance Review (on a bi-monthly basis) is your first reference point and if you have a clear week of training all the items identified in your training goals will need inclusion during the week.

  3. Race / Test Reviews – If you have had a recent test or race there will be areas identified in your conclusions that will need to be included in your programme.

  4. Time Available – Not all drivers have the ability to train all week, so if you are still in education, have a job and/or a family you need to decide how many hours you can devote to your training and on what days. If your time is limited then you will need to focus your training on the big wins and the marginal gains will have less focus.

  5. Tapering – If you have a race weekend in that week then the training programme needs to be focused on tapering your training down during the week.

A fully rounded training programme should include the following:

  1. Simulator – technical skills

  2. Psychological skills

  3. Physical / psychomotor skills

  4. Sponsorship / Career

  5. Recovery and Regeneration


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