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

January 30, 2010

Being Fit Enough to Ride

So alright, I've been a slacker. Last winter I put myself on a cardio fitness program and was pumping out about 5-8 miles on my exercise bike per session. It really changed my ability to breath, and hang with a posting trot on the horse. Once I was riding, the riding itself helped me to maintain to the point that I did not hit my exhaustion level until about mile 20. Now you folks trucking it down the trail for 50, 75, or 100 miles are bound to be shaking your heads about the pathetic-ness of this, but it is what it is. Me and the Peanut (horse) are just struggling along, doing the best that we can with what God has given us. My current level of personal fitness one year later with the layoff from cold weather is PITIFUL (Michelle can attest to my gasping and pleading during our ride a few weeks ago). So I'm taking off my slacker suit and committing once again to get some cardio. The bike will only be used as back up since I need the roadwork sessions with Phebes. I will begin a walk -jog- walk program which I can do on our road trips for the AWAY portion, then I will ride horse back. The work out is intended for three times a week, however I'm shooting for one or two, as my third session just has to be a long workout for Phebes and time is limited due to work obligations. The eight week walk-jog program that I've found goes sort of like this.

Week one: warm up with 5-10 minutes of walking, then jog for 1 minute, repeat the 5/1 three times. (At this point I will get on the horse, turn her around and trot all the way home).

Week two:Warm up, walk 5 minutes, jog 2 minutes, repeat 3 times, ride the horse home.

Week three: Walk 5 minutes, jog 4 minutes, repeat 3 times, and ride the horse home.

Week three: Walk 5 minutes, jog 5 minutes, repeat 3 times, and ride the horse home.

Week four: Walk 5 minutes, jog 8 minutes, repeat 3 times, and ride the horse home.

Week five: Walk 4 minutes, jog 9 minutes, repeat 3 times, and ride the horse home.

Week six: Walk 3 minutes, jog 10 minutes, repeat 3 times, and ride the horse home.

Week seven, Walk 2 minute, jog 11 minutes, repeat 3 times, and ride the horse home.

Week eight, Walk 5 minutes, jog 15 minutes, repeat 3 times, and ride the horse home.

I might find that once a week won't let me progress, if not I will have to find a way to adapt. The bonus will be regular road work for her. Regular cardio for me. Wondering if Phebes is any good at CPR? ~E.G.


  1. Jogging?! Kudos for anybody that can & does!
    Jogging?! Me, owww!!... Nooo!!
    The best I can do with 145lbs on my lil 5' frame is WALK on my treadmill & work out on my recumbent bike. About 30 minutes on each, 5-6 times a week minimum.
    But guess what?! I haven't lost a single pound! :( (I keep telling myself I'm gaining muscle...)lol!
    I watch what I eat, & have cut out all junk. ...sigh... I can't give up!
    Keep us posted! I might find some inspiration through you! :)

  2. Christine,

    This is as close to "Jogging for Dummies" as I could find. If you follow the plan for whole 8 weeks you are supposed to be able to walk/ jog a 5K after week eight.

    I'm still banking on Phebes taking up CPR just in case....~E.G.

  3. P.S. I'm only two inches taller than you and outweigh you. :(

    Certain my BMI is worse as I'm on the cusp of being a middleweight.

  4. Cool. :) I love the horse/human bond that builds from lots of in-hand work on the trail -- and that's on top of the fitness benefits. Enjoy!

  5. I agree with Tamara. One of the reasons that I get so out of shape int he winter is because I can't run with my horse. I LOVE jogging with her.

    Good luck! I need to get going here pretty soon.....The winter was not kind to the waist line (and neither was the cheesecake I had this morning for breakfast).

  6. I'm waiting on the temperature to go up. Will try to get her out after lunch, sometime this afternoon. The plan will actually be a 3-4 mile hike with some short jogs inbetween. I'll do the required amount of jogging, but then we will be WALKING. Colder than heck out there. If I manage to get all the way from point A to point B that will give Phebes 8 miles today, but only half or so of it with a rider. Doug (LSEGH) is going to ride shotgun and check on us in the car intermittently. I'm also taking the walkie talkie but doubt it will work with the hilly topography, but worth a try. Figure the whole episode to take about three hours if we don't have a rushing dog crisis anywhere. I'm more afraid of that than I am dealing with traffic. I can dismount for traffic if I have to...but yapping, nipping dogs? Urrggg. I'm going to visualize on clear roads, a relaxed horse, and another happy adventure.

  7. Sounds like a great plan! But don't be afraid to adjust it if you need to. Carl & I have started walking training for the mini-marathon training. So kudos to you for jogging! I just can't get myself to do it. For me it's riding on my stationary bike, yoga, and walking. I have taken to hand walking Doc on the really cold days. I find it keeps me warm and lets him stretch his legs.