Karting as you age question

Hey everyone, I’m 28 and pretty new to karting. Been looking at doing the HPDE ladder with my 2014 supercharged camaro but found karting as a sport about 2 months ago and it’s such a blast! Still currently on the rental side of things and doing a full rental league next yes at before I buy a kart. But I’ve been studying F1 driver style exercises and have actually lost about 40lbs doing this style training regimens. I’ve also been playing some reaction style games on my iPhone between gym sessions. Now I am new at karting but I can’t imagine these exercises and ideas couldn’t hurt one’s pace. I’ve also read that shoulder pull style exercises tend to decrease the signs of aging as far as posture and back/shoulder pain is concerned. Anything to help in the kart right? :joy:


Anything goes IMHO. As a fellow rental warrior, weight is everything. These 120 lbs kids we have to try to keep up with are pretty slippery.

True it definitely makes you wanna take the cleanest quickest line you can. I’m close to joining the 28 second club at Nola motorsports park. Haven’t quite made it yet. My quickest has been a 29.495

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I’m 35 with rest heart rate in the low 60’s and limited exercise outside of occasionally jumping in kart. When I have run a heart rate monitor, I was at 180 on the grid, 120s pulling up the green flag, 160 as I realised i could win lol. Then it calms down to low 120s as I pull away.

Here’s the first 3 mins of a heart rate monitored race (when I was 31), I was using a garmin watch and it has a funky time stamp so the way the heart rate goes up and down is averaged a little. Its 3 mins because I didn’t pay for race render :man_shrugging:


Thanks. Looks like your “fitness” is just fine despite less seat time etc.

Do you have a smartycam system?

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No, that was a panasonic headcam (strapped to the panel), then used racerender to pull in the data from the datalogger and data from the heart rate monitor, then align them in racerender. I think racerender supports racestudio data as standard but also allows you to pull in csv files (which is how i did it).

My fitness lacks significantly, i’m just a very gentle driver :wink:

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Being gentle seems to accomplish the same objective as fitness then. Lower exertion. Thanks for sharing your experience.

I remember watching two factory drivers when I was kid. One drove with their finger tips and barely moved in the kart and was super skinny, didn’t look like he had any muscle on him. The other drove with the mighty muscle he had and looked like it too. The end result was the same lap time but the might muscle guy needed a new kart every race.

The skinny guy also got thrown out the country for getting caught with cocaine, but that’s a different story of 90s karting.

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Haha. I feel like I was the big guy and I’m turning into the thin guy (minus the coke, thankfully). Maybe someday I can cure myself of the last of my big jerky hand movements.

Assume you guys have seen this:

This is Jordie Ford who’s racing 250s in Europe now. Age about 20 in this video I believe.

And this:

At these levels I’d have thought there’d be plenty of scope for doping in motor sport. In what other sport might one maintain these heart rates continuously for these durations?

Heart rate isn’t purely a function of fitness, but experience and other factors. You are right though there is scope for doping, the tests are pretty easy to get around. The only factor in karting is that because there is no money in it, even as a pro, the investment required to do it properly is prohibitive. But yet, for pretty much anyone, a fully planned cycle would yield benefits to performance. I am sure people are doing stuff.

I know motocross has had a few people recently start to talk about where the physical demands are much higher. There, I imagine, is hidden a real scandal waiting to be exposed.

I’ve heard it said that MX is the most physically taxing of all sports - soccer, cycling, endurance running - everything.

I believe it. In MX they are doing two 30 minute motos… and barely fatiguing. The speed at which some of them return from injury (and this is the same in MotoGP and other sports) does raise a few red flags too.

I have seen the shifter footage before. His HR is alarming to me in that he is at 170 before starting. He gets quite high.

That athlete dissing the driver as not an athlete seems awfully closed minded for a pro. I guess he’s never really been exposed to racing. Generally, it is a good idea to STFU about that which you know little about.

That indycar footage. That looked so good. Watching it felt like Kartkraft.

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I will be using an HRM this season and I imagine my HR runs pretty high before the race starts because I’m running around, thrashing, forgetting things, and trying to make it to the grid.

I also know that my nerves are shot from the time I start suiting up until the green drops, then I immediately calm down and relax.

What I found when I ran with my garmin is that regardless of exertion level, my HR tended to rise rapidly, leaving pits, to what is my sustained max, ie 160ish bpm and stay there. I think that mainly represents “nerves”.

I don’t think racing drivers are athletes. They are often athletic, but not athletes. Are sim drivers athletes? Is there a physical threshold that needs to be breached for driving if not?

Like you never watch a race an go “what an athlete”. Maybe in Motocross you do but nothing I’ve seen in car racing bar a couple exceptions.

@Alan_Dove Eh. There is sustained physical exertion and driving at speed requires specialized knowledge and specific physical skills. It’s not like hockey or anything but it is constant effort and even more constant focus.

Also, you can die. Not that this makes something a sport but it speaks to the seriousness with which piloting a racecar must be taken. It’s not at all casual or “fun”. Racing is a sport, in my estimation. It requires a high level of physical and mental ability.

Well, no, of course not. The forces are simulated. I don’t experience much of the physical. Ironically, a friend was telling me that Renault found his pal to be too fat for their sim team. I guess they want simmers to look like anorexic F1 drivers. That sorta makes sense since competitive gaming is now a thing folks watch for entertainment.

Also, any serious driver trains like any other athlete I am sure. Somewhere out there this AM, Mark Webber is likely biking 50 miles…

God forbid you suggest to a sim racer that they might be better served for weight loss purposes by going karting on Facebook. I was told that sim with a DD was just as fatiguing lol. Okidoki.

Edit: Racing can be a “hobby” but at high levels, it’s a sport and those guys are athletes, even our chubby NASCAR pals. All the Gs all the time at 200mph.

While most kart drivers are athletic they definitely arent athletes, at least not from karting. You do need to be fit for karting. On the other hand, F1 drivers and other high level of motorsport drivers are athletes for several reasons. First off and most obviously, the neck. Drivers sustain up to 6gs several times during a lap for over an hour. (at 5gs a head weighs 35kg). F1 drivers also have resting heart rates of 45-50 which is 25 below average suggesting that they do need a lot of cardiovascular strength. Temperatures also average at 122f. I could go on but im sure you can find more detailed articles about this all over the internet

oh dont forget break pressure which reaches 300lbs according to brembo.