|June 14, 2016||Posted by Melinda under Equine Endurance, Most Popular, Ultra Running|
When I first started training for marathons I did what I expect most people do and followed a training plan that told me what to do every day of the week for 16 weeks.
It worked OK in the beginning, but as I became more experienced I was able to separate out the key runs and elements in the programs that *I* needed to do in order to be prepared for the distance and build my own program around it that fit me and my lifestyle better than any “canned” program can.
When I started out in endurance and was training for 50 miles and beyond, there weren’t training schedules available. Most of the advice I was given was a lot like my marathon training – key rides or “check points” and some basic training concepts. It was up to me to fill in the blank space between these things that worked for me and my horse.
In this post I wanted to share the “boxes I check” prior to attempting distance runs and rides.
For each of the horses I have conditioned for endurance, this check list would have slightly different things on it. It’s individualized not just for the rider, but for the horse. These are the bare minimums that Farley needs before arriving into ride camp for a 50 miler.
Such a list is built on experience and refined as the successes (or failures) occur. As a result I have a pretty solid list for Farley’s 50 mile distance, 100 mile distance, and my own marathon/50k efforts.
But what about if you are just starting out? How do you know what workouts and elements are key and really matter?
The answer is that you talk to a lot of experienced people that you trust. You ask them what is on your check list. You make a check list for shorter distances that you are comfortable with and try to extrapolate from them.
It works a lot better than some generic training plan for a generic horse and rider. Trust me.
Here’s an example of some check lists I’m still working on.
I’ve done 2 50’s. One was a wild success. The other I did not finish. I’m not sure yet what the “must-do’s” are for a 50 yet, but I’m figuring it out. This list will be refined as I get more input!
What about a distance I’ve never done?
Yeah. My mind can’t even contemplate going that far so I’m having a bit of trouble…..
I suspect that as my 50 mile ultramarathon check box list gets refined, my 100 mile list will look more and more legible. And at some point I will have actual points on this list that when checked make me think that perhaps I’m ready to try a 100 mile ultramarathon. Based on that
disaster learning experience I’ll be on my way to creating a useful 100 mile list!