Why is Karting So Tiring?

Why is Karting So Tiring?

21 September 2023

Some people make the mistake of thinking that go-karting is one of the easier sports - you just sit back and cruise to victory, right?

We can promise you, those people have never sat in a kart before! Beginners and professionals alike will attest that go-karting takes a lot of physical and (if you’re really competitive) emotional energy, so you may find it difficult to begin with if you don’t do a lot of strength and endurance training. You may find afterwards that you have intense localised muscle soreness, aching ribs, mental exhaustion, or you may be very dehydrated.

This article will lay out all the reasons you may feel exhausted after a round of go-karting, and why.

Lots of Muscle Strength is Required

Go-karting can be tiring because you use more muscles than you think! Your hands, arms, shoulders and upper back may all ache after a race. This is because all these muscles are engaged to keep the car under control, so they stay tensed for a long time. 

The reason you may be particularly sole after a round of go-karting is that you haven’t trained to strengthen these muscles. If you want to make an active effort to prepare them, try improving your grip strength (products are available to help with this) to reduce strain on your wrists and palms, as well as working on your biceps and forearms to help control the go-kart. Working on your body will help you to execute turns well and improve your racing performance!

Adrenaline Coursing Through Your System

We do our best to sell you the absolute thrill of flying around in a go-kart, but there’s nothing like experiencing it yourself! Dopamine and testosterone flood your system as your heart rate elevates and adrenaline takes over.

This high from all the good hormones and chemicals start to drop once the race is over, though, and after that rush you are likely to feel quite depleted. No matter how much strength training you do, this is one reason why go-karting may always be tiring for you - you have to use a lot of energy to get a competitive edge, so it’s no wonder you feel weak once that energy depletes! On a related note:

Intense Concentration:

Maybe you aren’t the type to be carried through a race on euphoria - maybe every race fills you with nervous anticipation, or maybe you take a more calculated route to success? Unlike regular cars, go-karts do not have any power steering - this means people who are razor-sharp and have quick reflexes might find they have an advantage. The mental energy it takes to spot opportunities to get ahead (while keeping technique in mind) cannot be underestimated. Therefore, you may find that mental exhaustion is your big issue after a race - making sure you rest properly afterwards is the best solution!

The Length of the Race:

It’s important to consider that a lot of the reasons you may be tired after go-karting are proportional to how long the race was. Most recreational go-karting sites will feature very short races because they’re best for beginners and amateurs. For instance, our standard race, the Ultimate Race Experience, features very short bursts of activity - you are only racing for 30 minutes total, so the effects of go-karting on your body shouldn’t be too intense - but our more challenging 50 Lap Race requires a lot more stamina. 

A lot of longer races, and big go-karting competitions, are based on endurance. You could be karting for hours, which means the mental and physical exertion will be greater and you could also end up severely dehydrated. Make sure you know your limits - we recommend building up to longer races after lots of time and practice.

What Can I Do to Make Go-karting Less Tiring?

We hope we haven’t scared you away! Go-karting, like any sport, is strenuous but beyond rewarding. With the right training and preparation, you might find it’s the most fun you ever have!

Here are a couple of things you can do to make go-karting less exhausting:

> Ensure you’re FULLY hydrated before getting into a kart. With the suit covering most of your skin, you can get extremely hot and sweaty in no time - F1 drivers lose 2-3kg every race due to dehydration! Drinking plenty ahead of time will ensure you have the stamina to ace the race.

> Karting itself is incredible exercise, but regular muscle training and cardiovascular workouts reduce the chances of exhaustion and muscle pain while improving endurance and overall fitness! What’s not to like?

> Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your go-karting sessions, so you’re not blindsided by a particularly difficult track or race you’re unprepared for. 

> Trying to maintain good posture while driving should prevent you from exacerbating any muscle pain. 

> This one’s underestimated - take the time to properly stretch both before and after you go go-karting! Muscle soreness is always worse when the muscles aren’t properly prepared for strenuous exercise, so a good warm-up and cool-down is mandatory.

With all this in mind, go-karting is a sport where the gains far outweigh the costs, and we hope it starts to invigorate you the way it invigorates us!