March 22, 2013 | Daryle W. Hier
With the Formula 1 schedule kicking off soon, teams are feverishly preparing for the start of the season. Former F1 champion Fernando Alonso takes strength training seriously—incorporating a regimen of intense Olympic-style workouts into his training. The 31-year-old Spaniard is arguably one of the fittest, if not the fittest, motorsports drivers in the world. (Some think Tony Kanaan is the fittest athlete in motorsports.)
Alonso's fitness regimen is such that he actually missed part of his Ferrari team's preseason testing schedule so he could complete his training program prior to the first F1 event in Melbourne, Australia.
According to his Twitter account, during a three-week period, Alonso biked 936 kilometers, ran 91 kilometers, swam eight hours, trained for 7 hours in the gym, and spent 14 hours actively participating in various sports, such as skiing, tennis and soccer.
Alonso takes cycling so seriously that he even flirted with the idea of starting his own professional team, with fellow Spaniard and two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador. Alonso's cycling obsession is a good thing, since the sport helps improve his cardiovascular fitness.
Alonso's body fat ratio is comparable to many Olympic runners. Racing since he was three years old, Alonso has put his body through the ringer, particularly withstanding G-forces. Staying in tip-top shape is critical for his performance as well as his health. When driving an F1 car, Alonso has to withstand 5 G's, and his heart rate remains at around 170 beats per minute for an extended period of time—equal to that of a marathon runner.
It's important to find things that you enjoy for cross-training. Check out the photos on Alonso's own site to see how he does it.
Due to an unhealthy eating plan, Alonso was a pudgy child. Today his diet is quite the oppoisite: he carbo-loads in the morning with pasta, followed by pasta and vegetables for lunch, and concluding with a high protein dinner (usually fish). He avoids eating fruit at night because of its high sugar content. He eats often but favors small portions. He may have six meals a day, but many of them look more like snacks, including fruit, toast and yogurt. Alonso tries to stay away from alcohol.