Go Running With Your Dog

It's winter now and sometimes difficult to get motivated to go running. Since I keep on training for my marathon, I should continue running in winter. Running indoor on the treadmill is just not fantastic, I like to be outside and breathe the fresh air and not be running 'towards' a wall which doesn't come any closer ;) 


If you are looking to get in great shape and spend some time with your dog, running is a fun and physical activity that you can do together. Having somebody by your side as you run far distances can help serve as motivation and also offer a bit of protection when you are in some remote areas. It really doesn't matter if your running partner has four legs instead of just two, which means running with your dog can be ideal. If you want to make sure that your running regimen is safe for your dog and that you get the most out of your exercise, there are a few tips you can follow.



Before you put your dog on a leash and begin your running regimen make sure you consider these tips:


Running Surface Matters

You might not realize it, but the surface that you choose to run on will have an effect on your dog. Some surfaces are easier on your dog's joints than others. You might have the luxury of putting on comfortable running shoes before your workout, but your dog doesn't. This means that you have to consider the temperature of the running surface and it any debris are on the ground that can cause your dog harm. At the first sign of a limp, you have to be sure to inspect your dog's paws and give it a rest. Keeping the running surface in mind when you are planning your routes is best for your pup. If you want your dog to be your long time running partner, you have to plan ahead and be considerate. Most dogs have no problem with cold conditions or with snow. Just to be safe, you can ask your vet whether it's fine for the dogs pawns and how much extra you need to feed your dog. 


Start Nice and Slow

This running tip is for both you and your pet. You can't go from sitting on the couch each day to running 10 miles at the drop of a hat. This means that you can't expect your dog to have running stamina or endurance right out of the gate. Running can be grueling on the body and this is true for you and your dog. Running might seem like it comes natural, but distance running is something that your dog must build towards. Try starting slowly and mixing running with walking until you are ready to kick your training up a notch.


What is Your Dog's Temperament?

Another thing that you have to consider before you make your dog your next running partner involves temperament. Many of the places that you and your dog will be running will normally be filled with other people and animals. You need to make sure that your dog is used to social environments before you take them on runs that expose them to these settings. Not only do you have to consider your dog, but you also have to think of others. If you don't have your dog on a leash this might make pedestrians a bit nervous, especially if your dog looks intimidating. Always consider your surroundings before you go running with your dog.


Other precautions

Of course most of above is valid for running during the whole year around. There are some special tips for running in the winter period but most of them are the same as for cycling in winter. Check out that post for more tips. Just make sure you dress warm enough (but not too warm) and you build up your runs. Do a proper warmup, some stretching and after the run a good cooling down. Although sometimes difficult, keep on running in your heart beat zones and don't overdo the running. Nothing is worse than to come out of the winter period with an injury...


Anyway, enjoy the running and stay in shape!