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Learning Curves: A Racecar Enthusiast Hugs the Road

The Cars I've Raced and Loved

— Photo by Rob Howard

Talbot's Winning Formula

Before each race, Lee Talbot makes sure he is ready for the challenges of the course. He sits alone in his trailer, eyes closed, mentally driving the road, visualizing the turns and straightaways, trying to get into what he calls "the zone." During the race itself, Talbot simultaneously checks the gas gauge, clocks his speed, listens to the engine, and tries to keep his adrenaline under control.

Though he believes his focus is key to his success on the racing circuit, he follows several routines to keep his mind agile and his body strong. Here's his daily checklist:

1. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes each morning—stretching, jogging in place, lifting weights, and putting in a minimum of 15 minutes on a rowing machine.

2. Read regularly to keep the mind sharp.

3. Nap each afternoon for 10 to 30 minutes.

4. Eat fish, poultry, and lean meats, along with ample amounts of fruit and veggies. "I like a big breakfast," says Talbot. "And I'm not averse to wine or an occasional vodka martini."

5. Be bold and stay positive. "If you think you can't do it, you won't do it," says Talbot. "But if you think you can, the odds are you can."

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