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Re: [RC] How to tell if you are over doing it? - Truman Prevatt

I spent 14 years of my live in competitive running from Jr. high school through college and then at the club track level. I made all the mistakes of over training which led to physical (and mental) problems. When I got to college my legs were a mess. Then a great coach taught me the secret - don't work so hard. He introduced me to cross country training at varying speeds, some walking, some jogging, some running and some flat out sprinting all mixed together traveling through the countryside. The Norwegians have a name for this which escapes me now. He taught me the benefit of the easy day, show up warm up stretch and take a swim, go to the weight room or just hang out and BS. He taught me the benefit of the skills day - working on balance, working on form, working on the blocks, working on baton hand-off, etc. He taught me the value of integrating speed a much shorter distances into the program - we call this interval training today.

What I learned was variety not only helps the body physically it help mind as well.

How does this transfer to horses - pretty easy. For the horse the skills day is practicing dressage moves or jumping obstacles - can be done easily on the trail. For the easy day its an easy trail ride. The cross country is really what we do - or least what I do when I ride. Yep I am probably one of those people that drive some people crazy since I like to change the speeds and gait to use different muscle groups and keep life interesting. And interval training - long uphill gallops pegging the HRM - thrown in from time to time.

I sure know when I got to college and changed my training routine, I felt much better, performed much better and had a lot more fun doing it. I think the same is true for (at least my) horses.


Linda Cowles wrote:

The element that made it possible for me to get so good at running and still be enthusiastic about it was that he encourages runners to listen to their bodies... walk when walking sounds good, jogging when boredom sets in. He encourages regular walking breaks, even for serious competitive runners who know they can continue. DON'T push! Not the way those of us from the "run-thru-pain" and "run-steady" schools were taught.

Learning to run, to condition me, was the best thing I ever did for my
horses. Even if you just get out there and walk, it helps you understand
physiologically what happens with your horse.

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RE: [RC] How to tell if you are over doing it?, Linda Cowles