Interview: Tim Gajser – training

Earlier this month, three-time motocross world champion Tim Gajser did an online training session with Team HRC physio, Filippo Camaschella. Attached is the video footage of the training session, where you can learn a few easy home-based exercises which Tim uses to stay fit and healthy in this quarantine period.

In that session, Tim also spoke about how his life is at home during this lockdown, as well as answering some fan questions about fitness and how he prepares for a normal motocross week.

How is your training at home?
Everything is quite normal really. I have a gym at home so I train normally, but except for the bike. It is really difficult because we have to stay home. I have not been on a bike now for over two weeks, so we will see. Hopefully we will pass through this tough time soon and start with the races again.

Everyday you train at home?
Yes, everyday twice a day, once in the morning and then in the afternoon. I keep my plan and although I’ve had to adjust a little bit, I’m trying to train the same as I was before. I want to stay in good shape because we don’t know when we’re going to start with the races, but I hope we start soon.

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Normally, you have an exact date when you start racing again, whether it is one week or three months away, you know what you have to do, and when you need to be ready. Is it difficult to be training with no exact goal?
Yes, it is tough, but it is the same for everyone. I try to keep myself busy and train hard and be in good shape and that it is important and all I can really do.

How important is physical fitness?
I think to be physically fit is the most important thing. If you aren’t in good shape, you can’t hold the bike because the bike is big and powerful, so you have to be able to cope with that and be able to ride two motos for 35 minutes. It is really important to have a great preparation before the season and even during the season to continue working hard to maintain the condition that you built up at the beginning of the season. So yes, it is very, very important.

What is your weekly schedule?
Basically, my schedule for the week is that I run a lot, I cycle, I row indoors a lot. I go in the gym. Then in normal conditions, not now because of the COVID-19 virus, I would train twice a week on the bike, Tuesday and Thursday on the bike and then usually Friday we are travelling to the races. Of course we ride over the weekend on Saturday and Sunday so basically four days on the bike and then in the other days I’ll be running or cycling or rowing or in the gym. One session in the morning, one session in the afternoon. That’s how I keep my body in shape.

What about recovery?
Recovery is really important, especially for us. We have like 20 races in a season, so almost every weekend we are racing, so it’s really important after Sunday’srace, to have a good recovery on the Monday. You need to be fit for the next weekend so you need to recharge the batteries from the race because you are tired and empty after the GP, so you need to make sure you are topped up to be ready for the new week and the new weekend. It is also important to listen to your body. Sometimes your body is tired and it is better to take a little bit of time off, than to go training because when you are tired, you don’t do correct training and that isn’t good. If you train too much or over-train your body, it isn’t good, so you need to maintain the balance between training and rest and that’s the best way.

Do you keep a check on your heart rate when you train?
Basically, I tried this winter, I tried to ride with the heart-rate monitor strap and I think my average heart-rate was about 178 and maximum was 190. But of course, it is different for everyone so mine will be different from yours. It is useful information, but you can’t really compare it between one person and the next.

Are you riding anywhere now?
At the moment, everyone knows we are in tough times with the virus so it is not easy to go on the bike. I tried at the early stage to get on the bike once a week, but with all the rules that the countries made, they don’t allow us to go outside too much so it’s difficult. So now I try to train in the gym and not on the bike. It’s not easy, especially for motocross riders and all sports-people because we are used to train hard and go everyday on the bike. It’s not easy but we will survive and will enjoy it even more when it is over.

Do you enjoy your riding still, or do you see it more as a job?
I’m really enjoying my riding and for me, that’s the most important thing, to love what you do. Otherwise, if you are doing something without love, then the success won’t come. Because you are there because of something else. I really love to ride my dirtbike, since I was two and half years old, until now and hopefully in the future I will continue to love riding my dirtbike, having fun and having a good time.

All the sportsman, we are lucky because this is our job and we do it for passion as well. I don’t feel like motocross is my job because I am having so much fun on the dirtbike, so I think I am very lucky we can enjoy our sport and have fun and share with all our fans.

I also want to thank all of the fans who watch us and I hope we can see each other at the races soon.

Interview and image: Honda