Struggling with my knee for over 5 weeks already, I was forced to drive with one foot only. After years of left foot braking, that was a huge handicap. I was missing my brake points, I was crashing into others online and for sure, I was just so much slower! Five seconds on a Nürburgring lap, can you believe it?
But I had no chance. I just couldn’t brake with my left foot. And so, I practiced and practiced and practiced driving with one foot only. The result? Out of those five seconds I could make two. Just two seconds slower, well, at least that, right? But the surprise came later, when I was able to use my left leg again. Now, I am 3 seconds faster than I was before.
Wait? What? How?
The moment you drive with one foot only, you need to drive more defined, more in control. If your foot leaves the brake pedal for the accelorator, you better have slowed down enough, because once your foot is gone, you can’t slow down any longer. And so there is no alternative to a clean racing performance. Your driving needs to be clean, there is no way around that! And so, I was not only struggling in the last couple of weeks, but I also changed my focus. I was not just racing in order to be the quickest, I was practicing in a different way without even noticing. And now that I can use my left leg again, surprise surprise, I am much quicker now. Why? Because I am driving clearner, smoother and without that constant change between braking and accelerating.
When we go through life, we do not change our focus that often. We do not practice different skills. In sport, in our jobs, basically everywhere. When a runner goes cycling, he is practicing his endurance, his legs, his lungs. Will he get better, sure, at least if he is a beginner in the sport. But the longer someone is doing a certain kind of thing, the harder it gets to improve upon it. If that very runner does some slack line training, trying to balance on that loosy thing, sure, he might feel like he is missing out on his running. He might even feel like doing the wrong kind of training, but in the end, this new workout will help to gain a better feeling for his balance, which he will profit from while running on loose gravel.
I have experienced the very same effect. I was forced to do something different and improved through doing that. That I drive on tracks in my head without actually driving, is nothing new for me, but I was never practicing driving without sounds, or without any feedback. This might help me to get my braking points better under control and feel more what the car is actually doing. Sure, in reality, that’s not really a thing we should consider, but on the simulator, you can do whatever you want.
If you want to avoid plateauing out, you just have to change your focus from time to time, improving through new and unconventional training stimuli.
See you next time!