Hi everyone, I recently finished my first full season of racing in karts (X30 Sr. on YNBs) and had an absolute blast, definitely addicted for life. Prior to this season, I had never driven a racing kart other than a couple arrive-and-drive weekends in a 206 on parking lot cone tracks. Early on in the season I am pretty sure I fractured a rib while driving on a club track (which is notorious for being hard on the driver due to small size and rougher surface than most ‘real’ tracks). It hounded me throughout the season and made practicing, racing, and overall just driving the kart and developing as a driver a nearly unbearable pain in the side (literally)! Only in the past month or so (the final two race weekends) have I really been able to drive (relatively) pain-free, with the only discomfort being minor hip bruising and a tender side (which I figure are relatively unavoidable).
My main question is this, how do I prepare myself for off-season practice/testing (and maybe a race or two) and also next season so I can race at my fullest and not have to worry about passive injury or major discomfort? I use a Tillet P1 rib vest size M, modified with some additional strap and velcro to allow me to tighten it more than stock since I’m a little more slender than it is meant to fit. I should probably switch over to a size S but the price and a looming race had me looking for other options (the modifications)… Honestly, my main concern is my seat. I am using an NEK seat (size C5.32), and although it felt comfortable at first, after thinking about it, racing with it for a season, and getting a fractured rib, I believe it may be too big. We’ve had to pad the seat significantly to keep me in place, and it still feels like I am moving around too much in the kart. Does anyone have any good guides or rules for sizing a seat and finding a good fit? I’ve looked as best I can and most seat manufacturers seem to not have anything more than rough guidelines (which I don’t really seem to fit well at 145lb/6ft).
On the fitness side, I hit the gym 3 times a week and try to eat well, but does anyone have recommendations for particular regions or exercises to focus on to prevent rib injury or general side pain?
Sorry for the long and rambly post, but I figured details would help
Thanks in advance!