Tips & Tricks

Planning for Hills

Question: How do I plan for hills over the route so that we finish 'fit to go on' at the end of the ride?

Answer: Plan first using the ride map / talkround and ask other experienced riders who may know the route and have useful tips (not cheating).

All those red (contour) lines on the map show equal height. On the route marked, riding parallel to them is more or less level. Riding across them (particularly at right angles) is either up or down. the metre figures at intervals tell you which - numbers get bigger as you go up hill!

Profiles - some mapping software gives an outline of the height ascended / descended and total. Check the Library -  there is a profile for some rides >>

The total often looks alot because it includes all the ups and downs, however small each one is! But it helps to plan for the definite longer up hill sections (crossing those lines with the metre figures getting bigger) of very roughly 200 m over 5 km. Good example in Library for Dores 32 km on 1st April 2012 - 180m over 5 km between 15 and 20 km >> Depending on where the hill is in the ride, this might include creating time-in-hand before, making up time after, placing crew strategically after (water/ cooling), working it as a pair, getting off and jogging some, but probably most important - training on lots of hills before the ride!

Judging speed

Question: How do I judge my speed so that we finish within the range of 8 to 11 kph set for a pleasure ride?

Answer: To get going with judging speed on an endurance ride, it helps to do some homework: sorting distances, times and speeds in advance on the map and tallkround. It is not cheating!

Check the Library - for some rides, an additional 'T&T' map has a speed chart to help >>

Reminder to read the talkround before, matching with the map and speed points, making any notes on the map to help.

With experience, judging speed / ability of your horse gets easier! So to start with it can help to find a more experienced buddy to ride with - but still check how you are doing in case their in-built speedometer has broken! Self reliance and confidence in your own judgement is important in endurance riding.

Also check out Karen's 'First Ride' notes>> which have more helpful hints.