Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Coach Does NOT Run

Photo credit: Laertes

For those of you who are avid runners you may find taking your doggie with you to be real challenge. When Doggie Sensei started, it became apparent that my doggie could out-sprint Doggie Sensei, but the differential in strides and rhythms meant that my doggie would speed up or slow down at different times during the run. Her sustained pace changed when mine wouldn't.

Dogs have a different pace, so when you start a jogging regimen with them, you'll have to to change your pace. It's just that simple. This will mean you'll have to do double duty running. In addition to the responsibility to your dog, you'll have to set aside time for your own sprinting or other human paced running activities.

For your doggie to keep a healthy pace, you should run no faster than your dog can trot. You recognize this as it is characterized by the rhythm of "tick-tick-tick-tick" as the front leg and opposite back leg move in unison. Next time you go out, listen for that rhythm. This is very comfortable for your doggie since they can sustain this without discomfort. Then to see the contrast, pick up your pace and watch them as they start that lope that is characterized by the head lifting up slightly as the front feet move followed by the back legs. It's like a ripple that moves through your dog and has staggered rhythm of "dugg-it dugg-it dugg-it".

Learn the sounds of these paces. Your doggie maybe your motivation for getting out there and movin' it, but they should not be running. Just a gentle trot as you both move together is what will benefit you both.


Lindsay said...

That's good, I needed to hear that. sometimes people will tell me I need to speed up so my dog can actually run. But Ace can maintain that trot forever (or at least longer than I could ever run. I make sure he gets the chance to run on his own off leash a few times a week.

Doggie Sensei said...

Years back I had a Husky and could not run with him as the differential between paces was too great. When I started up again with Missy I really had to concentrate on a slower speed.

To compensate, I do a set of pushups and squats right before I go. This way I get a thorough work out overall, as running after the warm up set can be challenging.