How to assess your fitness before the trip

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by samueleuk, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    Hi guys

    on my blog on the scientific aspects of adventure motorcycling, I posted a description of a simple test that you can do if you want to assess your aerobic fitness before the trip: the Rockport Walking Test

    I have also calculated the minimum level of aerobic fitness for adventure motorcycling:

    The Science of Adventure Motorcycling: Minimum level of aerobic fitness for adventure motorcycling

    These calculations assume that you trip will include some off-road riding. If you are going to ride only on the road, you dont need to get particularly fit.

    Having said that, even a moderate level of fitness reduces risk of many diseases (e.g. heart attack) and prolong life. So it is a good idea to be fit anyway.

    As posted previously, if your trip includes riding at high altitude, you need to take into account the negative effect of hypoxia on aerobic fitness, and increase your target. More information here:

    The Science of Adventure Motorcycling: Are you fit for riding at high altitude?

    In future posts on my blog and here, I will provide guidelines on how to develop aerobic fitness. Also, I will provide guidelines on how to test and develop muscular fitness, a very important fitness component for adventure bike riders.

    Drive safe and healthy

    Sam
    #1
  2. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

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    The picture of the scientifically enhanced runner is smokin!

    Bravo:wink:
    #2
  3. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    She is fit indeed. I guess it could be used as a motivational tool. I would jog every day if she was running around here :rofl
    #3
  4. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

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    I gotta be honest, i read the article but did pay more attention to her bewbies!


    Btw, I really like your articles/ blog. Thank you!
    #4
  5. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Is this the 'new modern' assessment to be used by 'modern' people for said task/adventure?
    :D

    Is realitly a factor these days, or not?
    #5
  6. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    you are welcome. thanks for the positive feedback on my blog (and my choice of illustrations) :evil
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  7. K0m4

    K0m4 Been here awhile

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    Nice blog, important subject. I look forward to the excercises one can carry out, because it's important.

    A question on fatigue though: you wrote that the demands of driving a car is less than a mc, so the fatigue from understimulation is less of a factor. However, c an this not be offset by the fatigue from the same factors, e.g. wind noise and "wrestling"? I notice in myself after a long day on the autobahns of Europe that noise in particular is an underestimated source of fatigue. Is this something you've seen in your research?
    #7
  8. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    Thanks for your positive feedback, and for the very relevant question. I have already replied to you on my blog, but I will copy it here as it may be of interest to other readers.

    You are right. Rider fatigue is very complex, and something that may reduce understimulation (e.g., noise) may actually increase the demands of riding a bike and cause fatigue anyway.

    I am not aware of any study on the effects of noise during motorbike riding on fatigue. However, there is plenty of evidence that noise significantly increases fatigue in people involved in other tasks.

    You may want to read this article on this subject: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12689367

    It would be nice to do an experimental study on the effects of helmets with different level of noise insulation on rider fatigue. We should contact AGV or any other helmet manufacturer, they may be interested in such research :clap
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  9. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    Reality check.

    Am I fit enough to do this?

    1. Did I wake up alive?
    Yes, go to step 2.
    No, go back to sleep.

    2. Pack your shit and git.

    Self imposed professionals have to create new professions to be able to call themselves professionals.

    C'mon now, it's not like some fat dude who smokes has ever been able to ride a motorcycle across country before, that's all just mythology.

    I'll be glad when these skinny jeaned hypsters move on to the next fad.
    #9
  10. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    Wish I was skinny jeaned :rofl

    By the way, the aerobic fitness level I calculated (which is not very high anyway) is for riding a motorbike off-road without becoming excessively fatigued. If you ride a motorbike on the road only (or if you dont mind getting fatigued off road), aerobic fitness is not important.

    Personally, when I ride off-road I dont like getting excessively fatigued as I stop enjoying myself. This is why I do aerobic training.

    Muscular fitness and its training is even more important off road, so I will post several articles about it in the future.
    #10
  11. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

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    Can you still get your leg ,over the bike?
    GOOD TO GO. :)
    #11
  12. Ponies ate my Bagel

    Ponies ate my Bagel Bisexual Bandit

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    I don't quite understand this. I think when it comes to riding bikes, especially off-road technique and skill can make up for a lack of fitness. I can't think of a time that I've ever been on a trip that my physical fitness was an issue, and at 5' 7" 215lbs I'm probably not the most athletic person. I think a lot of it depends on how hard you push yourself and whether or not you know your physical limits. Even if you're a marathon runner you can over do it. Knowing when to stop or when to take a break is as important if not more than your fitness level I think.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm in shape to race at baja or anything. However I have no problems pushing myself for 5-7 days of camping and riding on extremely technical off-road trails. Being fit is good, but knowing your limits is just as-if not more important.
    #12
  13. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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  14. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    I totally agree. Knowing your limits is important, and you can certainly undertake adventure motorcycling without being particularly fit.

    However, it is pretty clear that, by improving your fitness, you can delay fatigue whilst riding off road.

    Personally, I prefer riding rather than stopping frequently and limit my mileage because I am tired. So I am going to do quite a lot of physical training in preparation for my trip next year which will also include some high altitude.

    There is also some evidence that physical training improves cognitive performance (e.g. reaction time) and this can only be a good thing when we ride a motorbike. I will review this scientific research in future posts in my blog.

    In the end, doing some physical training is a personal choice. I just provide scientific evidence that being fit can help adventure bike riders, and give some advice for people like me who want to be fit for their trip.

    Cheers

    Sam
    #14
  15. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Are no-brainers no longer recognized these days?

    Is confirmation from other people and other sources now needed for personal validation and security?

    Do you want an app for your telephone?
    #15
  16. jon6.0

    jon6.0 Been here awhile

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    I totally agree. I've been riding street and dirt for over 20 years. I'm 5' 10" and 285#. I can ride all day offroad and on. I walk quite a bit at work and go up and down ladders all day. Riding is the most strenuous excercising I do.

    :rofl
    #16
  17. bob393

    bob393 Been here awhile

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    Great blog, thanks for sharing.
    I cant wait to see what you put in the tba training section.
    #17
  18. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    Thanks for your positive feedback. I write on the blog in my spare time, and there is so much to write about. So you have to be patient with me.

    However, I am planning to write a lot about training in the next 3/4 months as I am training myself to prepare for my big trip from London to Beijing. I hope you will enjoy the reading.

    Feel free to ask me any specific questions regarding your training, or to propose any topic for the blog.

    Cheers

    Sam
    #18
  19. ScooterC

    ScooterC Woohoo!!

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    Dude, don't overthink this. Are you breathing? Is your bike breathing? If the answer to both is yes, you're both fit enough!

    We can plan endlessly, we can cater for every situation, we can consider all that may and probably will go wrong, but then we'll probably stay at home. Take it as it comes. If you're tired, rest. If you're not, carry on. If your bike needs repair, repair it. Overthinking and overplanning will result in you never starting.

    IMHO.
    #19
  20. samueleuk

    samueleuk Sam

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    Well, it is my job to think, so I guess it is a bit of a professional bias :-)

    Having said that, getting moderately fit is not going to harm anybody and it is going to make people more capable of riding the bike without getting tired quickly, especially off-road.

    We should all be fit anyway for health reasons, so I really cant see why you should be so negative about it. If you read my posts, I am not proposing to train for a marathon. I am just suggesting to develop a moderate level of fitness, which does not take that much time and effort. Certainly is not going to stop anybody starting a trip. It will just make it more enjoyable.

    Cheers

    Sam
    #20