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Doggie Day Fair 2

Train your dog before running a dog-human tandem race

This post was filed under Pet Wellness, Recreation.

Ever since my first full marathon (42k) last March, I haven’t been training seriously. Occasionally, I’ll run a 10k road race, or a 5k one… But other than that, I’ve been quite less “active” if you compare it to my training months. I didn’t really have a goal to focus on. That is, until my husband Marc ran with Kubrick at the It’s a Dog’s Life fun run in Lakefront, Sucat last July.

You see, Kubrick wasn’t exactly our “running/walking dog.” It was more of Shantee’s thing — the little doggy boy wasn’t comfortable being around a lot of people, let alone other dogs. It was also very hard to take him for a walk without Shantee and their daughter Pixel — he seemed afraid to walk/run if the pack wasn’t with him.

It was a good thing Marc and I started watching Dog Whisperer on National Geographic before the fun run… Kubrick became comfortable enough with “the walk” that he and Marc even placed fourth in It’s a Dog’s Life fun run! 🙂

I was so proud of my boys 🙂 Shantee would have ran too, but she gave birth to puppies a few days before the race.

Training Kubrick to run really did help a lot. Marc’s a pretty fast runner, but in a dog-human tandem race, the overall speed really depends on both dog and human. Though Marc had to slow down so Kubrick’s little legs could keep up, they were able to sustain a pretty comfortable speed that helped them place fourth. If Kubrick had more training, I think I won’t be exaggerating if I said they could have been in the top 3 🙂

It really does help a lot to prepare before joining a dog-human race. Aside from having an enjoyable run, it’s going to be safe for both the human and the dog too. I’ve already witnessed untrained dogs collapsing in exhaustion during dog-human races. Dogs don’t talk, they can’t tell us when they’re already too tired — besides, they would always aim to please us — so it’s really best to be really aware of your dog’s capability to keep up during a 1 or 1.5k run. Better yet, train them!

I applied my marathon training to Kubrick during our pre-race preps. No, he didn’t run weekly 10k’s or 15k’s — he didn’t even run a 5k, but I built his endurance by slowly introducing bouts of running during the walk and increasing the distance by a few hundred meters. He jogged/walked with me about two to three times a week, and in the days between we’ll just take 30-minute walks so he’ll have time to recover but still keep fit. It worked! 🙂

Try it out! Run with your dog. It’s healthy for both you and your pooch. If you want a more “systematic” training regime, here’s a training program I found on the web: Pooch to 5k. I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems to follow the same concept of slowly building up endurance. Do tell me if it works for you! 🙂

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