IndyCar drivers prepare physically, mentally for Indy 500

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — We are just four days away from 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500. That means the 33 drivers need to be ready both mentally and physically for the 200 laps around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Your morning commute may not be considered a sport, but 500 miles in the Racing Capital of the World certainly is. When drivers become athletes, there are certain workouts that make sure they’re the strongest behind the wheel. 

This isn’t your ordinary road trip. IndyCar drivers push both their vehicle and their own bodies to the limit. That means workouts on the track itself with Indianapolis-based Pit Fit training.

“We’re very focused on preparing them for every physical and mental aspect that they’re going to face on track,” said Alex Wanee, performance director of Pit Fit Training.

Colton Herta is the youngest driver in the pack. He’s preparing for his first Indy 500. While he runs, other drivers like Tony Kanaan are biking on the Yard of Bricks.

“They’re going to have very high heart rates for most of the race, but then also to be able to focus and react so quickly for so long is very, very important,” Wanee said.

As each driver completes an interval of cardio, they go straight to what’s called the reflection board. Drivers must quickly touch buttons that light up.

“We get three or four seconds on a straightaway to recover and breathe and this kind of simulates that to where we still have to focus touch all the buttons, but we can calm down a little bit and catch out breath and it makes us quicker to recover,” Herta said.

It’s a full team of experts who work closely with the drivers to not only keep them safe on the oval but hopefully claim the title of Indy 500 champ. 

IndyCar drivers also do strength training to prepare for several hours behind the wheel. That includes a focus on the lats along the sides of the body and their neck. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Your Tuesday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/12

Thumbnail for the video titled "Your Tuesday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/12"

Warmer Temps With Snow Chances Tonight

Thumbnail for the video titled "Warmer Temps With Snow Chances Tonight"

Recovery Reinvented LIVE Interview

Thumbnail for the video titled "Recovery Reinvented LIVE Interview"

Recovery-friendly work

Thumbnail for the video titled "Recovery-friendly work"

Region 5 Volleyball quarterfinals 11.11

Thumbnail for the video titled "Region 5 Volleyball quarterfinals 11.11"

Region 7 Volleyball quarterfinals 11.11

Thumbnail for the video titled "Region 7 Volleyball quarterfinals 11.11"

Swimming & Diving

Thumbnail for the video titled "Swimming & Diving"

Highway Dedication

Thumbnail for the video titled "Highway Dedication"

Monday, November 11th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Monday, November 11th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Sanford Health

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sanford Health"

Wreaths

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wreaths"

Williston Update

Thumbnail for the video titled "Williston Update"

Kathryn

Thumbnail for the video titled "Kathryn"

Wind Farms

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wind Farms"

UMary Soccer

Thumbnail for the video titled "UMary Soccer"

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/11

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/11"

Your Veterans Day One Minute Forecast 11/11

Thumbnail for the video titled "Your Veterans Day One Minute Forecast 11/11"

Prepare For Low Wind Chills All Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Prepare For Low Wind Chills All Day"

Raising a Reader

Thumbnail for the video titled "Raising a Reader"

Love Without Fear

Thumbnail for the video titled "Love Without Fear"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge