Trail Hounds

Fortunately for us, everyone in our family enjoys running fast rather than far. Unfortunately for us, only the four legged family members can do it! So, in anticipation of some fabulous running and hiking holidays in the mountains Paul and I have been working very hard on our running speed. We’re both making good progress, and Paul in particular is now able to maintain a speed that the puplets approve of….almost.

On a week-in-week-out basis I don’t think any of us would enjoy running more than about 10k in a single run. That said, it is nice to know that you can pull 20 k or more out of the bag for a great trail on holiday. We were therefore pleased when several weeks ago we all comfortably completed a 21.5k run along the Smugglers Trail to Troon. It was quite by accident – we got lost (well, a combination of tempted by ice-cream and lost). But the really encouraging thing was that:

  • I (the weakest link) ran at between my 5k and 10k race pace for most of the way
  • We’d completed a fairly strenuous hill walk the day before
  • We had a club 5k time trial the day after at which Paul and I set new personal bests.
  • The pups stayed calm and didn’t pull too much (something that we’ve been working hard on for months now).

In theory, training for speed should give you distance as a spin off. But until you’ve tried it you’re never quite sure if it really works. Encouraged by this knowledge that we could safely dip into the occasional longer distance run without the drudgery of weekly long, slow plods (we train primarily for 5k distance, cross country and hill running), we decided to find some fabulous new local trails that would accommodate the occasional longer adventure.

We’d planned a reconnaissance run at one such trail this morning – or to be more accurate, a series of interlinking trails along the river Ayr:

It was perfect! You can run for miles and there are a variety of different routes to keep it interesting. The terrain is just perfect for our little Beagles – winding, narrow paths through the woods, along the river bank, through open farmland. It’s going to be wonderful watching the scenery change with the seasons.

It has to be said, it was a little muddy:


A muddy Biggle tum

And a grubby Beanie tum

But thanks to Beanie and Biggles’ sophisticated self-cleaning system they were both sparkly clean by the time we got home.