An Interview with Race Car Driver John Edwards!

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Jackson resident John Edwards is a full-time driver for BMW.  He travels all over the country to drive the fastest, most high-tech cars in the world! On April 11th, 2014 John took second place in the Grand Prix at Long Beach!  Congratulations, John!

Physical and mental fitness is necessary for a competitive driver.   John needed a unique training program specific to the demands of auto racing.   Wright Training was just what he was looking for!

How did you get into racing?  Did you find it, or did it find you?

My dad started racing for fun with a business colleague and I got hooked watching him race. It started as a father-son activity at first, but I began taking go-karting seriously when I was 11, and moved into cars at the end of the karting season when I was 12. Although I now get to drive for the factory BMW team with multiple tractor trailers and a lot of engineering support, some of my favorite memories are of my dad and I loading up and working out of our minivan when I was little. We had no idea how to set up a kart, or why we needed more than one set of tires per year, but luckily we found some help along the way and I ended up with some big opportunities. 

Where is your ‘home base’?

In January 2014 I moved to Jackson full time. My schedule keeps me on the road a lot, but I love coming home to the Tetons. I always try to sit on a right-side window seat on the way home so I can see the Grand as we land in Jackson. 

How old are you?  How long have you been racing?

I turned 23 years old last month. I’ve been racing since I was 8, so it’s been most of my life. 

How fast is your top speed?

At Daytona, we hit around 185mph, but that speed on a big open track with a long straight-away is a lot less entertaining than sliding the car around at 90mph. 

What types of racing do you do?

I drive sports cars in endurance races for the factory BMW team. Our cars are based on the cars you see on the street, so you can see us racing our BMW against Corvettes, Ferraris, Vipers, and Porsches. The series we race in is called the Tudor United Sports Car Championship.

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Why do you need to train to drive a car?   Physically, Mentally.

A lot of people don’t realize how physical racing a car can be. The cars we drive have a lot less power steering than a street car, and a lot more grip, which makes the wheel more difficult to turn. The added grip also creates more lateral G forces than most people have ever experienced, especially in a car. A driver’s heart rate will be 140-180 during a race, and each driver can run up to 3 hours straight in an endurance race. It takes a toll physically, but also mentally as we’re on the limit of the car for the entire time. During a 24 hour race, we drive in shifts, so I might get out of the car at 11pm and need to rehydrate, rest, eat, and be ready to go again by 5am, so recovery after long stints is also crucial. 

Why did you choose to train with Wright Training over other training methods?

I took a class at Wright Training when I first moved to Jackson full time and I got to speak to Crystal about her training methods. It was clear that she understood I had different goals than some other athletes, particularly staying lean while still building some strength and a lot of endurance. Any private program at Wright Training is going to be designed based on an individual’s goals, not copy pasted from a previous client. 

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Which area of your body has to be the strongest?

As a driver, I want some upper body strength to steer the car, but the most important area for me is cardio endurance. It also helps to have a strong core to deal with the constantly changing G forces. 

Have you been in any wrecks?  Were you injured?

I’ve had some hard hits, including one flip when I was 13 years old. Although there are injuries sometimes, auto racing is much safer than people assume it is, especially compared to some other sports. When you watch a car disintegrate in a crash, it is doing exactly what it is designed to do. 

What is your favorite (or most effective) exercise circuit?

As much as I hate to admit it, I think the most effective days I have in the gym involve work capacity. I didn’t even know what AMRAP or RFT stood for before I started training with Crystal but now I dread every time I hear her say it! Doing 10 or 20 minutes when I’m pushing my body’s strength and cardio to the max pushes me mentally as much as it does physically, which is exactly the intensity I need to be ready for a race. 

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How often do you work out/train?

If I’m home for a full week, I train 3 days at Wright and 3 days on my own. Workouts on my own can be snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or biking/hiking in the summer time. 

If there was one food you couldn’t give up, what would it be?

I try to watch my weight since I’m tall for a racing driver, but every day that I don’t eat ice cream is a struggle (which unfortunately is most days…)

Do you ski when you’re in Jackson?

I do some cross country skiing during the winter when I’m not in the gym, but I have to be careful to not injure myself since our season lasts most of the year. 

Do you have any rivals?  Is there someone you really want to beat?  Are you super competitive?

I hate losing more than I like winning, so it’s never easy to lose races that we’re fast enough to win. As far as rivals go, I would say that there are some people I respect more than others. I get more satisfaction out of beating the people I respect than those that I don’t. 

What is your ideal ‘down day.’

I like to stay active when I’m home, but if I take a true day off (no training, no activities) then I can pretty much watch Netflix most of the day. Although it wouldn’t be healthy to do that more than once in a while, it’s a great recharge between events when I’m traveling a lot. 

 

 

EASY DOES IT

2014-04-07

By:Brian Mulvihill

You made it thru the winter without any major mishaps skiing or snowboarding.  Now you and your friends are psyched to start climbing again. You dug out your shoes and harness from the closet and your headed to the rock gym for a couple hours. After a quick couple laps on the bouldering traverse warm up you clip into a cool looking top rope route, gym rated 5.10+, because last october you were sending 5.10 sport climbs easily. Half way up the route you feel like your forearms are going to explode, your footwork is not confidence inspiring, not too mention your fingertips are starting to hurt.

 

Lower down off of the wall and take a few minutes to  accept that your body is de-conditioned to climbing from the winter. Unless you have been maintaining a twice a week climbing gym regiment all winter or just super gifted you are not going to be climbing the same grade you were at the end of the fall or summer. This is not to say that you won’t be able to get back to that same level or higher quickly, it’s just not going to happen in your first few outings to the climbing gym or outside climbing areas.

 

Start slow. Ease your body back into climbing. People with years of climbing experience will be able to gain back their strength and endurance faster due to muscle memory and technique. Newer climbers who are still working on technique will take longer to regain strength and endurance.

 

Make sure you always properly warm up, even when you are climbing at your peak level. Big holds and easy moves combined with stretching of the elbows, finger tendons, and forearms will all help to prevent any major injuries that can curb you for the remainder of your climbing season.

 

I personally won’t climb anything harder than 5.9 for the first few times in the gym. This allows me to focus more on technique and endurance rather than blasting myself in a short amount of time and risking injury. Take it easy, you have a long climbing season ahead of you.

Climbing, Cycling, and Running Fitness!

 

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Get ready to take your spring and summer sport to the next level!

~CLIMBING FITNESS~     

April 7th through May 16th

12 Class Progressive Series Mondays and Wednesdays: 5:30-6:30pm and 6:45-7:45pm

Cost is $192 for 12 classes (2 per Week)

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~BIKING and RUNNING FITNESS~ 

April 8th through May 16th

12 Class Progressive Series
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 7am, 8:15 am, 1:15pm, 5:30pm and 6:45pm Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30 pm

Cost is $156 for 12 classes. (2 per week)

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TRAIN WRIGHT NOW!

South Park Business Complex

New Location:  3620 South Park Drive

307-690-8261

wrighttrain@gmail.com

 

 

A Natural Way to Decrease Inflammation
600px-Cherry_Stella444This is information that drug manufacturers do NOT want you to know.  Tart Cherries and berries produce the same anti-inflammatory benefits as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Naproxen (Aleve).  ~But without the nasty side effects.

Cherry growers were threatened by the FDA in 2005.  They were to face penalties if they did not remove written evidence on cherry packaging that described health benefits.  Bob Underwood, a cherry distributor explained,  “We have the government telling people to eat more fruits and vegetables, and we have the U.S. Department of Agriculture funding some of these fruit studies, and now we have another arm of the federal government that says you can’t use the research.” (Associated Press, 2006). The Department of Agriculture fruit studies proved that dark red fruits can be used medicinally to improve certain ailments.  The growers just aren’t allowed to make any claims in marketing.  We’re on our own to consider our options.

Tart Cherries contain high levels of an antioxidant compound called anthocyanins–  Literally, ‘flower blue’.  Acai berries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blood orange, eggplant, concord grapes, purple corn and red cabbage also contain high levels of the molecule.  Anthocyanins block the enzymes COX-1 and 2, which produce inflammatory compounds called prostaglnadins.    In easy to understand terms:  Dark purple and red plants are an important part of our diet.  They help our bodies regulate inflammation.  When we have lower amounts of inflammation, we see  benefits to our health.

Tart cherries have cardiovascular benefits and help lower cholesterol.  They have been proven to decrease inflammation and pain. Especially in osteoarthritis patients.

They boost muscle recovery in athletes.

“A study conducted at the University of Vermont gave 12 ounces of cherry juice or a placebo twice a day for eight days to 14 college men. On the fourth day, the men were asked to perform strenuous weight lifting of two sets of 20 repetitions each. Strength loss after exercise was only 4 percent with the juice compared to 22 percent with the other beverage, and pain significantly decreased after cherry juice consumption. The researchers concluded, “consumption of tart cherry juice before and after eccentric exercise significantly reduced symptoms of muscle damage.” (www.choosecherries.com).

And still, the FDA doesn’t want the news to get out that a natural food could have the same effects as a drug.  Their stance is that only drugs can treat or cure a disease or ailment.  Cherries have not gone through the appropriate testing to become a ‘drug’ and therefore cannot be marketed to mimic drug effects.  Of course, drugs are a big business in the US and the FDA won’t let cherry farmers have it.

Adding tart cherries or anthocyanins to you diet could make a difference in your health or pain control.  With no side effects, what do you have to loose?  Well, except for the giant 1000 tablet bottle of Ibuprofen on your shelf!

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I’ve always thought of Calcium as an important part of my diet.  Growing up I was told of its importance.  We all heard the slogan, ‘Milk, it does a body good.’ When my mom was diagnosed with osteoporosis I started taking inventory of my calcium intake.  I wanted to make sure I’m getting enough to keep my bones strong as I age.  That’s all fine and good, but no one ever mentioned Magnesium as an important mineral to have in my diet.  Why emphasize one piece of a good diet and overlook others?

Today I complained to my physical therapist of moderate joint pain.  This is to be expected in a knee that I shattered 5 months ago. (See WT blog ‘Broken Leg Blues, March 3)  I have been taking ibuprofen, tylenol, and hydrocodone as needed to dull the pain during the night.  At this point I’m open to new ideas.  To my surprise, she recommended taking a Magnesium supplement as an alternative to help with the aches and pains.   I went home eager to learn more.

What I found was very informative.  Magnesium is very important to our bodies and works as a ‘gatekeeper’ for calcium absorption.  Especially with our highly processed foods today, many of us are potentially deficient.   This can cause amplification of pain, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, muscle pain and spasms, and other severe health issues.  Personally, I’m currently concerned with decrease of muscular and skeletal pain.  Magnesium might be a good holistic solution which could have added benefits down the road.

Of course, moderation is key.  A supplemental dose of more than 350mg per day is not recommended.  A safer way to be sure to get enough magnesium is from dietary choices.  After all, I’m not a huge fan of taking a handful of supplement vitamins in the form of big white pills.  They hurt my stomach, and personally I would rather eat foods to give the same benefit.

Good sources of magnesium are nuts (especially almonds and cashews), seeds like pumpkin, sesame or sunflower, beans, dark greens like swiss chard and spinach, halibut,  and whole grains.

Making this change is pretty easy, and inexpensive.  A great breakfast idea is oatmeal with coconut almond milk.  Toss in some pumpkin seeds, nuts, raisins and/or bananas and peanut butter and mix.  A quick and easy way to get some good vitamins and minerals!  I am an avid bacon eater, but I’m willing to branch out to bring me pain relief.  Bacon on the side? ;)

As always, ask a doctor to see if diet alterations and/or supplements are right for you!

A great website with magnesium milligram (mg) amounts in different foods—

https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Documents/CP0403MagnesiumRichFoods.pdf