Beanie will be running a 5k for charity on 4th October in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. (Find out more here).
At the moment it’s easy to keep Beanie fit and healthy. All we need to do is let her off lead in the park with other dogs. But I’ve noticed that once past the puppy stage the dogs tend not to play and run around so much. So we need to start getting Beanie involved in some activities that will keep her active for her whole life. Jogging seems promising. She enjoys it when just one of us take her. She’s in her element when the whole pack goes running together (me, Paul and Beanie). And running in a race with a whole bunch of people…well she can hardly contain her excitement. So I guess there are some parallels between that and running with a pack of hounds during a hunt (which she’s been bred to do).
She’s in pretty good shape and doesn’t need any special training. In fact she runs the equivalent of half a dozen races with her doggy pals each morning in the park! She did a 27 minute 5k at 8.5 months (Paul had planned on walking the course with her, but she had other ideas!) and will be a year old on the day of her next race. If her fitness keeps improving at the rate that it has in the last couple of months my guess is that she’ll be wanting to run at a pace that Paul & I will struggle to keep up with. So when we talk of Beanie’s training for the big race it’s really OUR training – but we plan to involve her as much as possible as this is all about the three of us spending time together.
Looking further ahead, if all goes well and she continues to enjoy running with us we’ll be increasing Beanie’s running distance when she’s older. And we want to make sure that she’s in very good condition so that she can do her preferred activities safely. She’s now 9 months old, so we’ve been introducing a bit of fun conditioning into her life. She has an occasional jogging session with us on grass just to get her used to running on lead, and a fortnightly swimming session at the pets physiotherapy pool to build lots of protective muscle around her joints. We had taken her hill walking a couple of times which she absolutely adored, but when we told the vet this she advised us to hold of on that for another couple of months. I had actually thought that hill walking should be introduced before jogging to build up muscle, but apparantly not! (Although I did describe it to the vet as climbing mountains so maybe she imagined it to be more strenuous than it really was).
Paul and I plan to integrate our training sessions with Beanie’s walks. Left to her own devices she does lots of flat out sprints interspersed with slow jogging or even rests. That would work well for us too, so we plan to get out into some hilly country side and just let her set the pace. And then simply do our best to keep up with her. We’re going to try incorporating some toys – perhaps some kind of fetch game where we’re racing her for the toy. But we’ve never had much success with getting her interested in toys in the past.