The importance of psycho-physical preparation

Columns: Fitness
Before a demanding, long, and energy-consuming season, it is essential to prepare in great detail. For this reason, we have enlisted the expertise of Formula Medicine. (sc - photo ft)

The season is now on the doorstep, and the numerous scheduled races put drivers, especially those in the lower classes, to a tough test. It's no secret that from the 60 Mini to the Senior category, consecutive competitions subject drivers to continuous physical and, above all, mental exertion. The reality of Formula Medicine has set a standard in this regard, starting from the basics and gradually entering the grand Circus, becoming the reference for athletic and, above all, psycho-physical preparation, the true flagship of the entire program devised by Dr. Ceccarelli. In this regard, the Formula Medicine staff spoke to us about their work, equating it to that of a racing team that improves, builds, and refines its technique year after year to offer the maximum to the drivers.

Pre-season training is probably the first piece to start the race season in the best way. Are there specific psycho-physical training sessions for the pre-season?
Winter preparation generally aims to achieve optimal physical and mental condition to be maintained throughout the season when the intense race calendar no longer allows training with the required intensity and consistency. For us, this phase must be comprehensive. Physically, there are three fundamental aspects for kart drivers: aerobic endurance through biking and/or running sessions, neck and upper limb strength endurance to be trained with bands, light weights, and bodyweight exercises, and coordination, an aspect that is too often neglected with young athletes. Regarding mental aspects, with young drivers, we mainly focus on two fundamental components for effective competitive growth: Self-Awareness, acquiring full awareness of strengths and areas for improvement, and techniques for managing emotions and performance anxiety. Obviously, as with more mature drivers, we also work on all mental skills such as concentration, focused attention, speed and fluidity of movements, strategic and decision-making abilities, multitasking... to improve Neural Efficiency, the ability to achieve high cerebral performance with low energy expenditure, which is exactly the characteristic that distinguishes top drivers.

What innovations have you introduced year after year to your entire project, both physical and mental?
Every year, Formula Medicine develops innovations based on research and analysis of data obtained from trained drivers during the season. In practice, we are like an F1 team where there is a working group dedicated to races and another group that analyzes the collected data to design the car for the next year. Today, we are transferring all tests to a cloud, our private platform, to allow our athletes to continue training remotely between Formula Medicine sessions. In the midst of this, there have been many other developments such as hardware updates and the creation of new analysis algorithms capable of objectively quantifying Neural Efficiency.

Over the course of a season, we sometimes hear about some "performance declines." How much does the passage of the season affect the physical and mental condition of the driver, and what are the "ways" to always stay in optimal shape?
Every athlete undergoes psycho-physical declines during a season. It happens to footballers, tennis players, and cyclists, and so it also happens to karting drivers. This depends on a set of factors that cannot be constantly controlled 100%. The goal is to minimize performance fluctuations due to declines in form. To do this, constant and highly specific athletic and mental preparation for the sport is necessary, personalized according to the athlete's needs, as mentioned above. In this context, nutrition also plays a role. The quality of the fuel we put into our bodies is crucial. In this area, too, Formula Medicine has a complete in-house team that not only advises drivers at their best but also carries out a research project. Currently, we can detect food intolerances, study the intestinal microbiota, and analyze saliva to identify characteristics related to the individual's genome. Thanks to 24-hour monitoring with a patch applied to the skin, the study of variations, cross-referenced with the food diary, allows us to define the best nutrition for him, not only on training days but also on race days.
 

Created by: cggiuliano - 12/01/24

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