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      09-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #23
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Great advice in this thread! Bookmarked
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      09-16-2012, 07:40 PM   #24
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I've done close to 20 Chumpcar and Lemons events, most 18-24 hours and the main thing i worry about is keeping hydrated. I use a cool shirt and drink fluids in car and can do 2-3 hour stints all day with a 3 hour break in between.
If i ever mentioned i wasn't drinking the night before at the team dinner I'd be booted off the team faster than an F1 pitstop.
I do find that i need a 'breather' each lap on the main straight and have to peel my fingers off the wheel...yeah i grip it and can't help myself. My stress level really only goes up during the darkness since you feel so alone.

I'm hoping to get out to Cresson in 2 weeks so keep your eyes pealed.
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      09-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #25
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A lot of very good points in this thread for sure.I have always found that the majority of my fatigue is more mental than physical especially if I am instructing on these days and I do not claim to be in the best physical shape at 58 years of age.If we run 40 minute sessions I generally stop about halfway through if I do not have people to "play" with or to chase down during the session.I guess I get bored with just lapping after I get the track figured out as well as I am going to.
When I was racing it was not unusual to do a 3 hour shift in the endurance series we raced in and I never had a great problem with this from a physical point of view but mentally I would be bagged when I got out of the car especially at night.Often my best lap times where at 3 in the morning late in my shift in the dense cool air.But then again that was 20 years ago and I am not sure if I could still do that today for that long a time periodIt was a lot easier to maintain a pace with constant communication from our pit and to help with keeping you mentally alert.
Knowing your limits of physical & mental endurance is very important at trackdays for experienced lappers & students alike.I really notice the degradation with 1st time students during the last sessions on their 1st day which of course is being mentally fatigued.
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      09-16-2012, 08:17 PM   #26
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Thanks for all of the input! Keep it coming.

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Originally Posted by 4sevens.com View Post
If you're able to do this, take a 5-10 minute power nap before your session. It does wonders. Everytime I do that I beat personal lap records
I know that would not work for me. When I'm out, I'm out. I sleep heavy and I'm never really alert right after I wake up. How many times do I stumble to the coffee machine, add water, put the coffee in the water and then turn it on.

Even worse after a short nap.
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      09-17-2012, 10:29 AM   #27
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If I can add my 2 cents worth... In my experience, the best drivers in the world lose their focus/concentration just as much as anyone else. What they do better than most is regain it quickly. So, it's not just how to stop yourself from losing focus - it's being able to regain it quickly that matters.

What do most drivers focus on when they lose focus? The fact that they've lost focus (wow, that's a lot of "focus" in two sentences!). And the more they focus on having lost it, the more they stay un-focused. The key is having a "trigger" to regain focus. For example, if you program yourself so that every time you lose focus, you say the phrase "eyes up," you look further ahead and your focus comes back to what you're doing in that moment - and you will quickly regain focus.

It takes practice (programming), though. Why do we as humans do what we do? Because we're programmed to do so. Why do we NOT do what we want to do? Because we're NOT programmed to do it. Practicing (programming) quickly regaining focus by using a trigger word or phrase is the key. And everything else others have suggested here all help make that happen, too.

It is comforting to know that if we lose focus, we're no different than Fernando Alonso, Joey Hand, or Jimmie Johnson. They've just practiced regaining focus more than most.
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      09-17-2012, 10:32 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross_Bentley View Post
If I can add my 2 cents worth... In my experience, the best drivers in the world lose their focus/concentration just as much as anyone else. What they do better than most is regain it quickly. So, it's not just how to stop yourself from losing focus - it's being able to regain it quickly that matters.

What do most drivers focus on when they lose focus? The fact that they've lost focus (wow, that's a lot of "focus" in two sentences!). And the more they focus on having lost it, the more they stay un-focused. The key is having a "trigger" to regain focus. For example, if you program yourself so that every time you lose focus, you say the phrase "eyes up," you look further ahead and your focus comes back to what you're doing in that moment - and you will quickly regain focus.

It takes practice (programming), though. Why do we as humans do what we do? Because we're programmed to do so. Why do we NOT do what we want to do? Because we're NOT programmed to do it. Practicing (programming) quickly regaining focus by using a trigger word or phrase is the key. And everything else others have suggested here all help make that happen, too.

It is comforting to know that if we lose focus, we're no different than Fernando Alonso, Joey Hand, or Jimmie Johnson. They've just practiced regaining focus more than most.
Totally agree about the "programming" aspect and believe meditation is brain training and programming that helps in these scenarios. The mind controls the body the body does not control the mind
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      09-17-2012, 10:34 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross_Bentley View Post
If I can add my 2 cents worth... In my experience, the best drivers in the world lose their focus/concentration just as much as anyone else. What they do better than most is regain it quickly. So, it's not just how to stop yourself from losing focus - it's being able to regain it quickly that matters.

What do most drivers focus on when they lose focus? The fact that they've lost focus (wow, that's a lot of "focus" in two sentences!). And the more they focus on having lost it, the more they stay un-focused. The key is having a "trigger" to regain focus. For example, if you program yourself so that every time you lose focus, you say the phrase "eyes up," you look further ahead and your focus comes back to what you're doing in that moment - and you will quickly regain focus.

It takes practice (programming), though. Why do we as humans do what we do? Because we're programmed to do so. Why do we NOT do what we want to do? Because we're NOT programmed to do it. Practicing (programming) quickly regaining focus by using a trigger word or phrase is the key. And everything else others have suggested here all help make that happen, too.

It is comforting to know that if we lose focus, we're no different than Fernando Alonso, Joey Hand, or Jimmie Johnson. They've just practiced regaining focus more than most.
I think you hit the nail on the head! I'll botch 2 or 3 corners in a row. Then I'm really focusing on the line, being smooth, feeling the car, and it keeps getting worse. I asked this question to figure out how not even get to the point where I botch 2 or 3 corners in a row. Really, my question should have been how do I get back on the horse and keep the Miata's off my ass.

Nothing worse than ending a session pointing a Miata by...not that has ever happened to me

EDIT: I bought your book...I'm sure this was covered in it! Just didn't get to it yet. It is an AWESOME book! Learned a ton so far and I'm about 1/3 of the way through.

OT: You SHOULD read Speed Secrets. It is great at setting up your intellect to execute better on the track.
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      09-17-2012, 10:45 AM   #30
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Start racing wheel to wheel, in a class that requires you to actually RACE somebody for more than the first lap.
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      09-17-2012, 11:04 AM   #31
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It's not quite the same, but spend some long sessions on Forza. If you can, do it on the track you'll be driving next so you can get some of the layout ingrained before you show up. Drive yourself around the track in your head. Like others have said, you're likely dealing with mental fatigue and these things will help make visual markers more automatic so you're concentrating less on when to brake, apply throttle, etc.

And a few tricks to get your brain prepped I learned Mr. Bentley when he was in Denver a couple of years back: cross-crawls and thumb figure 8's while sitting on grid... tongue on the roof of the mouth and reminding myself "eyes up!" while driving. Thanks Ross!
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      09-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #32
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How cool to have Mr. Bentley weigh in on this topic on his first post on M3post!

Thanks for stopping by! Come back often!
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      09-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #33
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Quote:
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How cool to have Mr. Bentley weigh in on this topic on his first post on M3post!

Thanks for stopping by! Come back often!
No doubt!! I've got 2 of your books and they're some of the best i've read.
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      09-17-2012, 08:11 PM   #34
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Thanks. I'll work at more relaxed driving. I probably need to use the straights to ease the tension a little more. So I guess more seat time helps as well. I really wanted to see if anyone did some weird meditation or yoga thing that I could copy.

I used to start out really relaxed and work incrementally up to speed after 2-3 laps. I wanna say I didn't feel as beat down afterwards. Since I've moved up to the advanced (red) group with the DE organization I run with the most. In red, as soon as you pass the grid marshall, "bitch its on!". Ain't no let's take it slow on the first lap or even in the hot pits. So you're on full attack the entire session. So this mental endurance thing has become more of an issue as of late.

I did 3 long sessions yesterday afternoon, about 1 hour on track within 2.5 hours. I played ice hockey afterwards and was doing all types of totally retarded things that I rarely do...like make passes tape to tape to the other team. I'm always shocked at the effect that high performance driving has on me.
I'd probably shoot at my own goalie if I played hockey after a track event....
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      09-18-2012, 07:29 AM   #35
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Thanks. I'll work at more relaxed driving. I probably need to use the straights to ease the tension a little more. So I guess more seat time helps as well. I really wanted to see if anyone did some weird meditation or yoga thing that I could copy.

I used to start out really relaxed and work incrementally up to speed after 2-3 laps. I wanna say I didn't feel as beat down afterwards. Since I've moved up to the advanced (red) group with the DE organization I run with the most. In red, as soon as you pass the grid marshall, "bitch its on!". Ain't no let's take it slow on the first lap or even in the hot pits. So you're on full attack the entire session. So this mental endurance thing has become more of an issue as of late.

I did 3 long sessions yesterday afternoon, about 1 hour on track within 2.5 hours. I played ice hockey afterwards and was doing all types of totally retarded things that I rarely do...like make passes tape to tape to the other team. I'm always shocked at the effect that high performance driving has on me.
I'd probably shoot at my own goalie if I played hockey after a track event....
Lol...it doesn't take a track day for me to do that.
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      09-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #36
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How cool to have Mr. Bentley weigh in on this topic on his first post on M3post!

Thanks for stopping by! Come back often!
Love to. I can't help myself talking/writing about driving, and when I saw this forum I had to join up. I may not be the most consistent to check in due to travel, but I'd love to jump into discussions and answer questions... Anything tied to M3s is especially fun for me.

Thanks for having me.
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      09-20-2012, 07:08 AM   #37
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Next time you register for a trackday, register for a lower class. Force yourself to drive at least 30 minutes without using ANY brakes. Let go of the gas and let the car roll. What you will see and what really destroys lines and therefore your laptimes is braking.

Remember your cornering speeds when entering the corners at the end of the half hour. You'll see that if you've driven the track 20 rounds without brakes that your cornering speeds will be at least 20% higher then what they are when you brake late and hard and then step on it when exiting the corner.

Next thing is to ride the same track and brake light. Just as you would do when you approach an intersection on the street. Rinse and repeat and start braking more heavily (and therefore later) with every round that you do on the circuit. Look at your lap times and be amazed. They will steadily progress and will be MUCH faster as you drive around at this time without begin exhausted.

Braking late and hard is what get's you exhausted. Almost everyone applies to much brakes before entering a corner. The incoming speed is usually way too low. But all this constant braking and accelarating and being 'at it' is what's getting you exhausted.

Please try it and let me see how it worked out for you. When I got these instructions at first I was looking at my instructor and asked him if he was mad. This technique also works excellent for bike racing on the track.
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      09-20-2012, 07:12 AM   #38
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Another advice to go faster and gain more confidence; (and be less exhausted)

Show up early and walk around the track. On the tarmac. You'll notice 74892374982 things that you've never seen when driving the track. Ask race control first before doing this.
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      09-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #39
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Next time you register for a trackday, register for a lower class. Force yourself to drive at least 30 minutes without using ANY brakes. Let go of the gas and let the car roll. What you will see and what really destroys lines and therefore your laptimes is braking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutger View Post
Another advice to go faster and gain more confidence; (and be less exhausted)

Show up early and walk around the track. On the tarmac. You'll notice 74892374982 things that you've never seen when driving the track. Ask race control first before doing this.
For awhile I was more focused on tooling around with my buddies on the track and going faster. I was working on so many other things that I wasn't as focused on this aspect until I opened myself up to other venues besides your typical 20 minute HPDE session. So good point!

As far as walking the tracks? I've run (jogging...not driving) all three tracks that I run on here in Texas. Yes, there is a TON out there you don't see. For example, at MSR Houston you see a green flat infield from the car. You don't see two big ugly drainage ditches that would probably f your car up really bad. One of which is well within 4 wheel off-range of a turn. I am very familiar with the 3 tracks (7 different configurations) and can drive them all in my head. I drive with reference points and exit strategies, I know how bad places to go off, I feel that I can adequately control the car and there are only 4 places on that I "survive" on in most occasions. I can drive in traffic (just HPDE traffic) and am aware of who is coming up behind me.

Again, Ross hit the nail on the head. It comes down to regaining focus. That's what I will work on in the near future, kind of a 2nd mental wind. I'm consistent in hitting my marks and I'm really close to the edge of the track for about 6-7 laps (~15 min). So then I'm off by maybe a half foot and then the first thing that happens is I start tagging some high curbs which has made for a couple of interesting moments. See the video below to see an example...this was the first turn that I really botched at about 25 minutes. I saved it but I would MUCH rather avoid having to do that...that is one of the fastest turns in Texas. I know what happened, my head wasn't connected to my limbs. So the Miata slowed me down going up the hill. I hit the same turn in point with the same steering input with less throttle input. I know, later turn in was the right answer to maintain speed and to setup the turn...which I was anticipating to be on the inside. The message didn't get delivered in time. Then the rest of the session was crap for me.

If this happened much earlier, I'm confident that I would have just kept going and be fine. I didn't maintain focus on that mistake either. It had trouble getting back into the rhythm.

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      09-20-2012, 07:50 PM   #40
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For awhile I was more focused on tooling around with my buddies on the track and going faster. I was working on so many other things that I wasn't as focused on this aspect until I opened myself up to other venues besides your typical 20 minute HPDE session. So good point!

As far as walking the tracks? I've run (jogging...not driving) all three tracks that I run on here in Texas. Yes, there is a TON out there you don't see. For example, at MSR Houston you see a green flat infield from the car. You don't see two big ugly drainage ditches that would probably f your car up really bad. One of which is well within 4 wheel off-range of a turn. I am very familiar with the 3 tracks (7 different configurations) and can drive them all in my head. I drive with reference points and exit strategies, I know how bad places to go off, I feel that I can adequately control the car and there are only 4 places on that I "survive" on in most occasions. I can drive in traffic (just HPDE traffic) and am aware of who is coming up behind me.

Again, Ross hit the nail on the head. It comes down to regaining focus. That's what I will work on in the near future, kind of a 2nd mental wind. I'm consistent in hitting my marks and I'm really close to the edge of the track for about 6-7 laps (~15 min). So then I'm off by maybe a half foot and then the first thing that happens is I start tagging some high curbs which has made for a couple of interesting moments. See the video below to see an example...this was the first turn that I really botched at about 25 minutes. I saved it but I would MUCH rather avoid having to do that...that is one of the fastest turns in Texas. I know what happened, my head wasn't connected to my limbs. So the Miata slowed me down going up the hill. I hit the same turn in point with the same steering input with less throttle input. I know, later turn in was the right answer to maintain speed and to setup the turn...which I was anticipating to be on the inside. The message didn't get delivered in time. Then the rest of the session was crap for me.

If this happened much earlier, I'm confident that I would have just kept going and be fine. I didn't maintain focus on that mistake either. It had trouble getting back into the rhythm.

Nice save Would also trying seated meditation as mental training always seems to take a back seat to physical training as we age and this really helps with mental control over thoughts and more importantly emotions
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      10-19-2012, 11:03 PM   #41
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we have a saying, "fly the airplane, don't let the airplane fly you". Significance, don't be sluggish and let the car do what it wants and then respond to it. Know what the car is going to do and be one phase at the front side.
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      10-21-2012, 08:41 PM   #42
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I did 12 sessions over this past weekend on two different tracks (8 yesterday, 4 today). Gotta get ready for that cold milwaukee winter.

I've finally got the 3 C's down...I think its control, cadence, consistency. I could never really get beyond the control. Anyway, I did feel pretty tired at the end of today but I posted my best lap. Ross' advice really helped. I practiced resetting myself and I found that I'd screw something up, reset and breathe deeply and then I'm back on the horse. I ran most of my laps in a session within 1-2 seconds whereas I would range from 3-5 seconds a session before, and those were good sessions. Since I was able to be consistent, I tried not braking as hard, adding a little more throttle sooner, and really maintain a decent slip angle for some of the longer, faster turns. I know this was the stumbling block to really fine tuning my technique and getting those extra .1 of a seconds out of certain turns.

I think I've got this...just need to keep working on it.

Ross...that's exactly the advice I needed! Big thanks!
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      10-21-2012, 10:28 PM   #43
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One advice I can give you is with time and more practice it will feel second nature. Once that happens you will be more consistent and will be stressed less. When you are relaxed you won't physically or mentally get tired so easily.

If you're stressed your body tenses up and you become worn out much sooner.
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      10-21-2012, 10:34 PM   #44
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Oh, also going a 100% of your capabilities will wear you out as well. Remain in a comfort zone a tad below your best to keep at ease and relaxed.

The faster you go, the more heat your tires will build, and start becoming slippery. When you reach your car's capabilities the car will start sliding whether from the front or the rear tires. And you must be mentally and physically ready to catch and correct the car, it is straining for most people (including me sometimes).
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