Cardio training for a race car driver – the basics

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Regular training plays an important role in every athlete’s life – also in the case of rally drivers. During a competition, it is not only good driving technique that counts, but also excellent fitness and strength

What is cardio training?

Cardio is a set of general endurance exercises designed to increase oxygenation of the entire body and cardiovascular performance. Exercise increases heart rate and respiratory rate to help oxygenate muscle cells and tissues.

You only need about 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week to stay fit. Among the most popular exercises are riding a stationary bike, swimming and running. It is very important not to stop exercising, but try to keep it continuous. Regular cardio training is a guarantee of proper functioning of the whole organism

Healthy body and healthy spirit

A racing driver spends most of his time sitting – behind the wheel of his vehicle. Similarly as in the case of people working in front of a computer, the spine may be a victim of such a lifestyle. Professional drivers most often have to deal with lumbar pain. The problem can be accentuated not only while in the car, but also while performing other daily activities

Driving a race car is a serious test of endurance. The whole body works – from the feet to the head. Every part of the body needs to be well trained to cope with all the stresses such as high speed, acceleration and huge adrenaline rush. That’s why regular cardio workouts, which are sometimes also called endurance workouts, are so important. They will make sure that every muscle in the rally driver’s body is used to prolonged and intense work. Without this, it will be impossible to stay focused and concentrated while racing.

Cardio training will also help to increase safety on the track

Every athlete must be properly prepared for prolonged exertion at high heart rates. There is no question of a loss of concentration, which can not only reduce the chance of achieving a good result, but also lead to a dangerous accident on the route. Many endurance drivers choose to improve their fitness and capabilities by regular running, cycling and swimming. While it may seem like nothing special, taking such workouts seriously can work wonders. When you exercise, it is extremely important that you keep track of your heart rate. On this basis you will be able to make many conclusions and take steps that will improve your condition even more


Running is popular not only among professional endurance drivers, but also among many people who care about the best possible health. This activity primarily strengthens the joints and bones. The key to success is choosing the right shoes and the right technique. Thanks to such exercises every professional will be able to enjoy endurance and resistance to enormous forces and overloads. During training, the most important thing is to maintain the right pace, avoid breaks and monitor the number of breaths. The pulse rate during running should coincide with the athlete’s pulse rate during the race


Among the most important benefits of regular cycling are increasing respiratory capacity and strengthening the heart. Cycling has a positive effect on the efficiency of the entire muscular, respiratory and circulatory systems, while putting less strain on the knees than running.

Systematic cycling also contributes to increased concentration, which is one of the most important aspects in the work of a rally driver. During the competition, each participant must be one hundred percent focused and physically prepared – a huge number of unpredictable manoeuvres and twists await on the routes. Without the right level of concentration, you won’t be able to react quickly enough to what’s going on around you.


Swimming has a huge impact on respiratory function. It’s a way to increase lung capacity, especially if you’re moving in an indoor style during your workouts. The volume of air in the lungs in people who are not physically active is about 5 liters, while in athletes it can be as much as 11 liters.

Regular stay at the pool will also have a positive effect on your joints, bones and muscles. In water, our body is almost 10 times lighter, which will help us effectively relieve the strain on our muscles. In the case of professional drivers, this is extremely important, as they are tense almost all the time while in a racing car. Swimming is undoubtedly one of the most demanding sports – every muscle group is involved while in the water.


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