Karting Tips: Soreness after Racing
March 23, 2018
No pain, no gain. Blood, sweat, and tears. Leave it all on the field (or track.) These common sayings are the mantras of many an elite athlete – including competitive kart racers. While karting rarely results in blood or tears – if you follow the rules and safety protocols, it does often result in pain. And in that, the feeling that you’ve left your full ability to move without discomfort on the track. That’s common, and it means you are on the right track; giving it your all. It also means that you’re a work in progress and need to keep working!
Why Am I Sore after Kart Racing?
You’re sore after kart racing because you pushed the limits of your physical prowess and gave it your all. Every driver (and every race) is different. But competitive karters often experience sore:
Why? It’s the same reason why professional basketball, baseball, tennis, and soccer players experience soreness after competition or a grueling practice. In the quest to be the best, they (and you) are constantly raising the bar and trying to crush your personal best. This taxes the body.
What Can You do to Minimize Soreness after Kart Racing?
Honestly, the best way to reduce future discomfort is to spend more time in the seat of the race kart. Being diligent about your cardio workouts (cycling, running, rowing, circuit training, swimming, etc.) and strength training (lifting weights, resistance training, etc.) builds muscle mass and strength that will definitely help to ensure you are in good physical condition before you hit the track. But the best way to push through and conquer pain is to spend more time behind the wheel. The more time you spend driving the go-karts, the more your body will be to the physical demands of kart racing. You’ll experience less soreness after each race – and you’ll be a better racer because, “practice makes perfect!”
Take it from A Pro Who Knows
Alan Rudolph is a karting legend. Among many other accolades, Rudolph is a five-time SKUSA King of the Streets winner, inductee into the SKUSA inaugural Hall of Fame, and winner of the Dan Wheldon Ambassador to Karting Award. In other words, he is well-qualified to offer advice to those working to follow in his footsteps. Not surprisingly, he confirms that there is no quick fix or magic bullet to avoid discomfort in the pursuit of greatness.
Soreness, Rudolph says, “Is truly part of it. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Motorsports is an extremely physical sport that demands you to be fit mentally and physically. Imagine being in full driving equipment, suit, gloves, helmet, etc. in 100-degree weather for hours on end. The only way to really train for this is to do it. When you’re not in the seat, you need to be physically training in other ways.”
Lesson learned? There are no shortcuts! But for those who are passionate, committed, and willing to power through the kart-racing pain, the taste of victory makes the journey worthwhile!
To read more pro-karting tips, click here. And, if you in the Houston-Area, come out and race on Alan's karting track at Speedsportz Racing Park. You can even take classes at his Alan Rudolph Racing Academy for one-on-one racing advice from karting pros.