I have a confession, I haven’t been running much lately. And when I say that I mean I haven’t been running at all and it is starting to show. I last went running back in May and then winter happened and it was cold and dark and raining.
At first I didn’t notice much difference, I took a break over winter last year but I was also riding and competing at a higher level and picked it back up after only a short time off. This year I have been trying to at least walk but it hasn’t happened. Riding wise I feel strong and in day to day riding I don’t get puffed but I really noticed in my rounds on the weekend that I was getting puffed. I didn’t think much of it at the time but I was thinking about it yesterday and put two and two together. Jumping and cross country are starting to make me puff and I am not proud about it!
I have been doing Pilates weekly and have noticed a huge difference in my muscle control and strength which has made a significant difference in my riding. I can isolate muscles much better and I am carrying myself better in the saddle. Sadly Pilates isn’t cardio!
Last year I put a huge effort into fitness, first off running and cycling over summer and then picking up a couple of training sessions with a PT each week. I was the strongest and fittest I have ever been and it was great but I picked up a lot of injuries at PT and I wasn’t that motivated to continue. I stopped going a few weeks before our holiday and while we were away we walked up plenty of mountains to keep us fit. The Pilates has helped to keep me injury free and I like it which is very important for exercise. I hate feeling like its torture because that’s not motivating at all.
Since getting back from holiday life has been a bit rough (mental health issues suck, I do not recommend), and motivation to get out and exercise outside of riding has been low especially since its winter. It seems that now I have to deal with the consequences and go back to square one. It just goes to show how important cross training is when you ride, riding is not enough to keep you fit for riding.
Rosie is allowed out in the big wide world next week so we will be starting to take her for walks. We will both gradually build up the distance and eventually she will come running too but not until her body is ready. I am hoping that having her out every day will help maintain the motivation even in the depths of winter. Plus I have some PBs to beat at Parkrun.
In other news it seems that after some beautiful weather this week and a glimpse of spring, winter has decided to not give up just yet. We are forecast for roughly 9 days of storms and a lot of rain. I was going to go show jumping this weekend but decided against it when I saw the forecast. I think this weekend will be spent catching up on inside jobs and riding around the rain. I’m not too worried about it though as the horses can have a break.
The next few weekends are looking busy with Jonna coming out, a dressage show and Henrys second event on the cards. I am really excited about these plans, especially the dressage. It is really starting to be quite a lot of fun with Henry and this show is where my Grandma lives, a couple of hours away. It means she can come and watch me and I can spend some quality time with her. I don’t get to see her enough and she isn’t getting any younger.
I was really debating about taking Coolie to an event but decided I couldn’t handle the inevitable bad dressage score. Instead there are a few show jumping and cross country only events towards the end of the year that I have put into the diary. It will be a great chance to just go and have fun with him without doing the dressage. I know I keep taking about plans for him but I do actually plan on taking him to these events! They are in the diary and everything.