Friday 11 March 2016

The Fitness Plan

As mentioned, Midge and I are both in need of a better fitness regime. We're already pretty active, but let's face it, we're both naturally more of the strong sturdy build. If three day eventing involved pushing things around a complicated pattern, then walking for a day or two, then carrying/throwing heavy objects on the last day, we'd win tomorrow. Also, we could smash things. We're both quite talented at that. It's unfortunate, but being graceful and running and jumping all the things does not come easily to either of us.

Since walking around smashing stuff is not a recognized equestrian sport (and we both not so secretly aspire to be graceful and agile and jump all the things) we need to get a little more serious and have a plan. 

Random images of the ponies to break the text again today...
Currently, I ride 4-5 times a week. Two lessons which are guaranteed to be a workout, but the other three days are pretty unstructured...we might jump a bit, we might do flatwork, we might hack out. For myself, I walk/hike about 3-4 hours a week. Again, sometimes that means mountains, sometimes it's walking to the store. 

Here's the new plan: 

AM: T - Run 30min
PM: Dressage lesson 1 hour, warm up 15 min. Total 1:15.

AM: T - Barn chores 1 hour
         Bridget - lunge w/ side reins 20 min
Lunch: T - Walk 45 min
PM: T - Run 30 min

AM: T - Barn chores 1 hour
PM: Jumping lesson 45 min, warm up 30 min on trail (hills!) Total 1:15.

AM: T - run 30 min
Lunch: T - walk 45 min
PM: Hack Bridget 1.5 hrs ( 30 min W/T/Canter warm up in arena, 1 hour walk/trot mostly steep rocky roads)

Depends. If travelling home, need to ride Bridget in the AM before work. Arena ride, mix jumping and flat, lots of canter intervals. If not, I run in the AM and it's Bridget's day off.

Either myself or trainer/working student ride Bridget out on trails, 1 hour. Canter work in arena, .5 hour. Total 1.5 hours.
T also goes hiking, about 1.5 hours.

Jumping if I'm not away, if I am this is Bridget's day off.
T goes hiking, about 1.5 hours. 

I know this schedule is vague on the details, but I'm super limited by working full time, daylight hours, and existing commitments. I'm out the door at 6:30 on weekdays, and don't get home until 7:30-8:00. There's not a lot of time left in my days for things like the gym or trailering the pony to a XC field for gallop sets.

Because Bridget is still green, I can't have a definitive plan and say things like "5 min intervals of trot then 3 of canter x 5" because the canter transition might suck and then we hop on that bus for 30 minutes and turn ourselves into sweaty messes struggling for that instead.

The big change for me is adding running back in 3x a week in addition to the current 4 hours of walking/hiking. Also, forcing myself to be consistent and not skip days! Thank you, earlier sunrises and longer spring days!

The big change for Bridget is bumping up the rides to 6x a week, and also being more structured about how we plan and approach them. Currently, I average about 5.5 hours/week of saddle time. Our new schedule bumps that up to just over 7. Also, again thanks to the longer days, we can fit in some hills out in the neighbourhood as a warmup some weeknights. We're going to introduce gallop intervals in the arena and be mindful about keeping the cardio a priority. 

Also, no more gorging on hay, and grain has been cut back (Bridget). No more weekend dinners out (unless they are healthy) or triple mochas in the morning (T).



  1. It can be really hard to juggle a lot of stuff so be easy on yourself if you fall short! Forgiving myself is the easiest way to get myself back on a schedule, also we're only human right. Don't forget a rest day for yourself

  2. Totally agree with L. Williams on this! It looks like you have a great start and an awesome goal set in mind. Can't wait to see where you guys go from here!

  3. Firstly- this made me laugh. If you can introduce smashing, pushing, and carrying heavy stuff around into an equestrian sport we would be champs!
    Secondly- awesome that you have an aggressive plans and I'm jealous of all of your weekday rides
    Thirdly- agree with the above. Don't stress yourself out. I decided not to go the gym this morning, felt majorly guilty, and then realized that 5x this week was just enough.

  4. I am very impressed with your schedule! You two will be FIT when you're done.

  5. Intense plan! I like it :) Going to try to run more too. L makes some great points.