February 18, 2016

EEEK...Conditioning plan

With only six weekends left to condition prior to our first endurance ride since February of 2015, I need to start really buckling down and figuring out how to make it work.

The ride I want to do is 6.5 hours away in FL. The weather should be nice and I have heard that the trails are wonderful. The ride offers two days of 50s and 25s and my big goal for this season is jumping up to multi day rides. I can only get to a few a year and so riding both days really takes full advantage of my time away at a ride. My plan all along has been to enter the first day at 50 miles to get the season to count toward our decade team goal and then see how she is doing to enter either the 50 or 25 the next day.

Here is the issue: Gem is still leaner than I would like heading into such a big effort.

I've poured over the ride calendar a dozen times to see what my options are for a spring multi day ride and there are really only two options. This one the beginning of April or Biltmore the beginning of May. I really try to stay away from FEI rides whenever possible, but Biltmore is only an hour from the barn and it seems a shame to not keep it as a back up.

Currently my plan is to keep conditioning for the April ride and see how she feels. If she seems fit and ready to tackle two days of rides then I will keep with it and go ahead. If not, we will reroute to Biltmore in May.

That gives me 6 weeks to get her fit and ready. My past conditioning seemed to have worked for her, so I don't figure on changing it up too much distance wise although I am adding more speed work in.

Week 6: Wed ride 12 miles (check!).  Weekend ride 10 miles at a moderate to fast pace (hoping to use the Hunter Pace).

Week 5: Weeknight get in an hour of speed work at the barn including hill sets.  Weekend ride 10 miles as a moderate to fast pace.

Week 4: Weeknight hill sets.  Weekend get in a slow paced 20 miles.

Week 3: Weeknight do another hour of speedwork with hill sets mixed in for an hour total.  Weekend do another slower 20 miles.

Week 2: Weekend do a fast paced 6-10 miles.

Week 1: Nothing. She gets this entire week off.

We will see how that goes for her and only time, feeding, and work will tell what she feels and acts like at the end of March. Her shoes go on 10 days prior to the ride and I will do this regardless if she rides it or not. If not, at least we can continue to condition for the May ride in shoes.

If she isn't feeling it and I don't think our chances of success are that high, I will just keep plugging along and head towards Biltmore instead. There are a lot of plusses to re routing to Biltmore, not the least being that Wyatt and Dusty can come since it is so close and he won't need to take a vacation day. They can come up Friday after work and camp with us through the weekend. Plus not having to trailer 6+ hours is great too.

Time to get down and durty wth conditioning.


  1. Biltmore looks like such a gorgeous ride. I'd love to ride there someday.

    1. This is going to come off super snobbish but I have now ridden at Biltmore 5 times and crewed at two additional races. It is a beautiful ride camp, lovely trails and nice people but I would love to ride somewhere else for a change. Plus the entry fee is super high due to the estate charges. It's too close to completely ignore though. If you haven't been, I would recommend it.

  2. Here I was all high-and-mighty thinking "I have so much more time till my first ride." Then I counted. 7 weeks! Thanks for the reminder! Eeek, now I must work on a calendar too. Your plan looks sensible, how many weeknight rides do you manage to fit in? Around here I do some slower "elevation" rides (just did one) with lots of climbing. We have too many mountains to ignore that aspect!

    1. LOL!! 7 weeks is a good amount of time though. I used to get out two week nights for shorter fast rides. Now that she is 40 minutes away I only get out once during the week plus the weekend. She has a really good base on her and conditions well, so two days a week should be sufficient. We will find out!

  3. Hope it works out for you guys! FL sounds awesome after last week and what a perfect time to go :)

    1. I think she will be ready. Sure would be nice to get out and about again. I love going new places.