View Single Post
      09-16-2012, 03:59 PM   #21

Drives: E90 M3, Cayenne T, 991 GT3
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bay Area

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
At this point, I think I've gotten to where I want to be at in most aspects of my driving for my short term goal (to have FUN!). I would like to eventually get into wheel to wheel racing later in life when I have more time and resouces available. And the one thing that I would like to improve is my mental endurance beyond the typical 20 minute HPDE sessions.

I find that I can go pretty strong for about 15 minutes. 15-20 minutes I'll be pretty good. 20-25 minutes becomes a challenge. Then after 25 minutes I go into full retard and my ADHD kicks in. At that point I usually come off the track via time grass, sand, and a couple of black flags were involved. The longest I've gone is 33 minutes (that's what she said).

I'm in very good physical condition and can max the army physical fitness test easily. I know how to train physically...I just inflict maximum pain and suffering on myself. Not sure how to or if I want to take that approach with my head. I stay well hydrated with water, so that's not an issue. I know I can improve my nutrition...don't think a trackside burger is great brain food. But do I really want to get caught eating a salad at the track? Not sure I can endure that ridicule.

With all humorous comments aside, what kinds of things have people done to improve their mental endurance on the track?
I had the same problem in the beginning of the last season. I am very athletic and can focus for hours on calculations and stuff like that, so it was very puzzling. But the cause is very nicely explained in "Inner speed secrets" - too much of your driving is conscious, and your brain just tires out. This an be fixed mostly by practice. One example would be conscious movement vs. ballistic movement - when you apply throttle and unwind consciously, your brain is focused on both activities 100% of the time they are performed. When your brain feels confident that you know how to apply throttle and unwind in a given situation, it gives a command and disengages, unless a correction is needed, limiting focus time to about 40-80 milliseconds.

Another way to overload your brain is vision. When you look too closely or change focal point too often, brain receives many different pictures and has to process all of them. When you 1) look further so that things are moving slower; 2) change focal point rarely (quiet eye) brain has much less work to do.

I worked on that and now can do 45 minute sessions easily without need to cut them short or do a "cooldown" lap in the middle. But on a new to me track I still cannot do more than 3 full sessions a day without losing focus - proves that this is a brain fatigue issue rather than physical.