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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

February 6, 2009

Over Training vs. Under Training

I'll admit I had a serious problem with wanting to over train when getting Puddin' ready to try out my first ride. By the time we got to one I think I'd about worn her out. I log my training miles and I had done about a thousand miles prior to trying a ride. Puddin' would usually kind of hit the wall at 20 miles, and I never really got her where she could energetically continue. There was her age factored into this. She was not ridden until she was 16 years of age, then I trained her one season, and competed two rides on her the next after another year of LSD. Puddin' was not a horse to take care of herself either. She would hold out on eating and drinking, even pre-ride as she was so psyched out by all the horses, and activity. I hope that Phebes will grow into taking care of herself, but already her drinking doesn't suit me. I've been riding in cold weather though, so maybe she just didn't feel thirsty?

To prepare for a 25-30 mile ride what would the next 10 weeks need to look like? I'm thinking 15-20 miles per week, with a lot of hill and cardio (sprints)? That seems huge compared to my current ZERO. David had suggested I get cracking on 2/ fast 5 mile rides per week, and then add a longer distance on the weekend when I have time. That seems a reasonably do-able training goal IF THE WEATHER COOPERATES!


  1. I may not have a wealth of info on the conditioning, but I have to say I love the new blog design! Very cool header photo! And I love the new color!

    I read somewhere that whatever length of ride you are planning to do, that you should be able to ride 1.5 times that in a week of training. So for easy math, if you are training for a 30, you should be able to do 45 miles of L.S.D. in one week. Not sure how much truth there is to this. Or if you should shoot to do it all the time...just "be able" to do it.

  2. I feel like it's a shot in the dark when it comes to what I do to condition. Here has been my thoughts on the subject lately. With my Arab, if I can do a training ride in HILLS for 3.5-4 hours and I still have horse left, then she's ready for a slow 50, even if the pace was slower than what I would do in a ride. When conditioning I feel that time in the saddle is more important than miles. That's how it worked during my marathon training too. Hours on the road, being on my feet was more important than the actual distance logged.

    I'm not sure what it will take to condition my Standardbred to the point that I can do a 50 with horse left. she takes quite a bit more conditioning and as a result I think that she teeters on the edge of having a lot of overuse injuries. My plan is to do a bunch of LD's with her this year and see if I can make her happy.

    I think there are 2 types of people in endurance - those who tend to overtrain and those that undertrain. I have a tendency to overtrain, so it's good if all does NOT go according to my plan.

  3. I think some horse just aren't really cut out to be athletes. Endurance is an extreme athletic sport. The only thing that at all compares is three day eventing and even those folks aren't riding as long as our endurance friends. It may well turn out that your standard bred will shine at Limited Distance. Some of us humans can't run a marathon, but we might sprint like heck!

    It is my worry about under training and crashing my horse, that makes me tend to over train. I always worry that I'll ask too much, with not enough preparation. So far she's had gas left in the tank but our farthest training ride was 20 miles. ~E.G.