Monday, March 1, 2010

Already re-thinking things

All right, looking for input again! I have to thank you, my readers, for all the comments you have left me in the past, and I'm sure will continue to leave - I have learned so much from you! You're great! :-)

We're at the point where I have built myself and my horse up to being able to walk/trot for a little over one hour. I also have a nice nearly 5 mile loop with varying terrain!

I know you are not supposed to add distance and speed at the same time. Fine, makes sense.

But which do you do first? Or can you flip/flop, say....Today increase speed, tomorrow distance, rest, then the next ride try the increased speed AND distance that you achieved previously.

If I increase speed on the same route, then I won't have ridden for as long of a time period...and if my goal is to increase time spent in the saddle, then what?

I am probably overanalyzing....but would love your input! Thanks!


Endurance Granny said...


Right now use your five mile loop to increase speed 2 X's a week. Then use one ride to increase your distance at a pace slightly below your other rides.

Does that make sense?


Training Day 1: 5 miles @ 5 mph
Training Day 2: same

Training day 3: Maybe you go 8 miles today but only 4 or 5 of it at 5 mph, and the rest you slow down for LSD

Then next week:
Day 1: 5 miles at 6 mph
Day 2: The same

Day 3: 12 miles of LSD

See what I'm saying?

And what I need to be doing myself!!!


Barry said...

If you feel that you are both comfortable with the distance and speed you are at now, you can do either, but have a day of rest after. Rest after work is every bit as important as the exercise!!
Myself, I would add a little distance for a few rides until the recoveries are good before I added the speed. Sometimes increasing the speed, even a little, messes with their minds and I want a good base condition and a good handle on my horse before we step up to doing things with speed.

Endurance Granny said...

*LOL* Does Barry understand that "speed" for us is something like 6 mph? ~E.G.

~ C said...

I generally use EG's approach. Increase the speed over the shorter rides (so yes, less time in the saddle) and the distance over a slower ride. Eventually (could be a couple of weeks or months depending upon you and your horse), then you'll start going more and more of your longer ride at your "faster" shorter speed.

I've never really worked on developing pure speed. Once my horse was comfortable averaging about 7-8 mph, then I just worked on increasing the distance we were able to maintain that pace. My goal has always been the longer rides rather than winning. If I was looking to top 10, then I would have worked on increasing his comfortable traveling speed.

Keep in mind that, at higher speeds especially, you are essentially developing two different parts of their systems. The LSD is to build muscle, tendon and bone while the speed will help build aerobic capacity. Good bouts of interval hill work or some short gallops can be used as well. Your speed days you want her to be going fast enough to be huffing a bit, but still finish with gas in the tank. The distance days you want to work on developing the muscle to carry you the distance.

Barry said...

Yes, I understand 6 mph is a good average working speed. Once I have a good working base on my horse, I prefer to finish them out doing interval work with increased speed but shorter total distances. Generally by the time we get to the interval work the only long work we do is at the rides.
It works for us, but your results may vary.