ridecamp@endurance.net: training logbooks analyzing

training logbooks analyzing

Frank Mechelhoff (fmechelh@c-s-k.de)
Tue, 04 Feb 1997 13:37:45 -0800

Hi folks,

I have a question here for those of you who use logbooks in
training: What are you doing with the collected data? Do you
analyze it somehow, and if yes, in which kind?

As I started endurance training 15 yrs. ago, I noted all down in
paper format (ride calendar): length of ride, time, route, tempo,
stops, locations, P/R in, recoveries. I gathered this data for
more than 2 yrs., hundreds of rides, dozens of different routes.
By means of tempo, P/R and break time, I attempted to make
statements of fitness with a score system. The results I got were
partly useful, partly they were incomparable: too many different
environment factors, like weather, feed, speed, route, footing,
shoeing and stuff like that.
Because the amount of work was too big for the limited results
(all paperwork!) I gave up my logbooks in the middle 80’s.
My next horse was a 7 yr. old partbred-araber. She was so spoiled
that a regular conditioning program was impossible at first.
Because of her sensitive character it was also impossible to plan
anything. If she doesn’t joined in, nothing works. The first years
I rode and trained her "from my feeling" exclusively.
We both learned a lot. At some point of conditioning and
preparation, I don’t get on further in the process with my "riding
from feeling" and missed some reliable clues. I started again to
run ride calendars, but unsuccessful of the old reasons, even
more, because with Ligeira not one ride was like the other. . .To
add one more complication, in the meantime I trained more than one
horse simultaneously.

At a "break" 1 yrs ago - I was in hospital, had broken my ankle
- I was unable to ride, but had the time to think about. With a
laptop on my bed, I designed a type of "database" to catch up all
the different factors in my kind of training and conditioning
horses. Since I was able to escape from hospital, crawl at
horseback and ride it with metal plates in my left leg, I put in
records of every single ride in a EXCEL-sheet.
basis is the DATE. Now the basic sheet is ca. 500 lines (1,5 yrs.)
long (excel allows 16384 lines, that means 44,8 yrs., should be
enough). I ride ca. 2-5 times per week, so some of the lines are
empty. I have special sheets for routes, summaries for weeks,
months and year, for distance, riding time and speed. Notes for
feeding, medical care and shoeing, enable comparison. graphics of
km, speed and time with floating avarages allow a judgement of
workload for each horse and a comparison in the course of the year
(or, of several years).
I still riding, as previously, "from my feeling". If I go out with
my horse, I often don’t plan if the ride will be long or short,
fast or slow. When I’m back at home, I enter the data record of
the ride. The database gets the more valuable the more data is in.
It helps in a kind of review to prepare for future demands. I’m
sure after the last successful year in competition, my database
will help me even more preparing my "race horse" for the rides,
and basic conditioning my "youngster" this year. I wouldn’t ride
according to a rigig plan, i.m.o. a rider should be flexible to
listen to his/her horse.

Maybe my kind of problems appears not unknown to some of you. If
you have found other, similar, or better solutions (maybe a
database exspert can judge it), an exchange of ideas would be


Frank Mechelhoff
61389 Schmitten/ Taunus mountains

Ligeira (Fjord/Arab)
Natascha (Orlow/Arab)
Alex (Islandic)

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