Iver’s Book Review: Part 3 Training & Nutrition
|November 12, 2009||Posted by Melinda under Product Reviews, Uncategorized|
Part 3 of the book review
ti’s (I found out that this is how he preferred to be referenced as) interval training revolves around the goal of performing race distances at race times before actually racing. He also notes that the horse’s body is “super adapted” to race even faster 48 hours after a maximal effort. Trainers take advantage of this and will “race” their horses to better performance, after doing the interval training so that the horse will stay sound while doing this. My Endurance take: Although it was interesting to see how he constructed his programs with the various endurance, speed, and interval stages, this is where I eyes started to glaze over. After all, I’m not going to go out and do interval training for 50 or 100 miles. Or am I? This is why most recommendations are not to race a horse for the first year of competition. We are supposed to be using the first year of endurance races as part of the interval conditioning process! Yep, a horse will hold up for a while if you race 50’s after conditioning 30-40 miles in practice – but sooner or later that horse will break down because you have not done proper interval training to complete 50 or 100 miles at that speed. Just like a Thoroughbred that has been conditioning using a “conventional” training that values the develop of speed over distance, they may win races in the beginning, but be eventually be beset by injuries – unless they are that remarkable individual with iron legs – than just think of what they might have been able to do with proper training! What ti reinforces in his book is that distance precedes speed. Go longer, than faster, than slower and longer, than faster. None of this information was necessarily new to me, but it’s something that I need reinforced over and over.
Related to the concept above is that a horse will follow your set program for a max of 2 weeks. It’s like an unwritten rule. After that two weeks, someone better be paying attention and adjusting the program because something is going to happen. My Endurance take: Yep – that sounds about right to me…..
ti stresses again and again that you must feed the horse if it is to perform well. A horse may come into training looking a bit round, but during training he should not lose that weight. Instead, that weight should start to redistribute to other parts of the horses body. For example, a horse with a bit of a belly might lose that belly and gain it in the shoulder or hindquarters. It is true that a horse that it in peak condition may look a bit lean to folks accustomed to the rolly polly recreational stock horse look that is common (at least it is in my area), but overall the horse should not give the impression that it is skinny. My Endurance take: I think that the endurance sport has figured out that horses in good condition (5-5.5) tend to do better than the greyhound look. This still varies by the individual as I think Minx did better on the thinner side when she was fit, ~4-4.5 BC. I REALLY REALLY REALLY wish I had access to a scale for Farley. The scale can be an important training tool. You can track how a horse performs in relation to weight to determine it’s optimal performance weight, you can track a horse’s recovery after a hard workout (based on weight). If you have a fancy scale that has separate panels for the front and back legs, you can track how the horse is carrying itself. If you are even MORE privileged you can have a scale with 4 panels, one for each foot. You can catch subtle sore muscles and preemptive lameness. I think that’s a bit overkill, even for me the ultimate is OCD. I’ve decided I would be happy with a 2 panel scale….which is a mute point because I don’t have ANY scale. An no, weight tapes are not sensitive enough to take these types of measurements. 🙂