The first on the list of plates to keep spinning.
This task is relatively straightforward, so long as you dont ask an expert and keep making the time day after day and week after week .............. Strider and I need to be able to do between 100 and 140 miles a week, average in the 120 area. And we need to do it with full load, in any weather and on any terrain. That means we need to be comfortably able to do over 40 miles in a day and two or three successive days of 30+ miles each. We need to be able to do that because accommodation will not be at the ideal distance from the next and because if there is a route problem, or some other difficulty comes up, we still need to reach our bed/field.
So, I am aiming steadily to increase our distances and speeds. The ride starts in May 2013 which is plenty of time, BUT I want to get some rides done late summer and early autumn this year which means some level of fitness before that, and then keeping it and building on it through the winter.
My basic programme is to do more riding and more walking as the weeks and months go by. That will give Strider the work too and, as we have plenty of hills to work on, his hindquarters will build the power we need. I am topping that up for me by swimming and some gym work. My Bowen Therapist has given me two bits of advice: 1. Get one of the large balls you can sit on and use it instead of a chair when at a table or desk. That will build up core strength which is the key to all round strenth. 2. Do not use the gym for anything other than core strength work. I reckon the swimming will improve my suppleness as I will do crawl (breathing both sides), backstroke and breaststroke and in a 25m pool the turns are a good bend and stretch. Strider will also get more schooling which will help him to be more compact (he is a big boy who prefers to work stretched out) and improve his suppleness.
In with the getting fit is getting hardened. He needs to be fine with bridle, saddle and saddlebags on all day and day after day. That includes his skin, and flesh, having hardened up where kit hangs and can rub. Strider will also have hi-viz gaiters on all day and they can rub. I need to be hardened up in the same way against things rubbing. Both for the riding and for the items slung on me: map, trumpet etc. Then I need to develop a claw like grip with my right hand so I can play the trumpet with one hand.
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