Last year we planned a lot of our hill walking and trail running trips in advance which meant we visited some of the best places in the worst weather. This year we’ve decided to try and avoid commitments and head for the hills whenever the sun makes an appearance. So far, winter has been miserable. The crisp, white frost and blue skies of the past two years has been replaced by gales, rain and gray skies. We resigned ourselves to staying close to home and working hard on our fitness in preparation for 2012’s adventures in the hills. As luck would have it, when the sun finally came out we’d been training so hard that all we were fit for was a good rest. So much for the new Bohemian lifestyle!
We still managed to get a good dose of sunshine close to home though.
Having completely fried all my muscles with speed sessions and power-lifting over the past fortnight I’m on a strict diet of easy runs this week. Beanie and Biggles are very happy about this as it means plenty of nice 90 minute runs on the beach for them. Today we trundled along in a civilised manner until their dad appeared with the camera part way along our course. Things got a bit exciting then….especially when dad lured the pups through ice cold water dragging their hapless mum behind them!
Blue skies, blue sea, warm sunshine and the snowy white peaks of Arran peaking out above the haze. What more can you ask for?
I’m a firm believer that most things in life are good for you in small doses. And that goes for canicross too. A little bit of pulling in harness is very good for the dogs – it is strength training after all. But just as you and I need to keep strength and speedwork in moderation – and build it on top of a strong fitness base, so too do the pups. As such, the dogs are on flexi leads for most of our long runs (today was an exception because my arms were killing me after a hard gym session!). This is the next best thing to running free as it gives them plenty of scope to vary their speed and run the way they choose. We’ve been trying to take this a step further this winter and have been working on ways to get them off-lead on a regular basis. We’ve come up with lots of off-lead games for the beach which are working well and keeping them close to us, but we also take them to a safe enclosure where they can let rip.
And of course, the sunshine has prompted plenty of play sessions in the garden.
Hopefully our winter training will get us in great shape for the spring and summer. We’ve got lots of trips planned (although no dates set!), the main one being a week long extravaganza of trail running, hill running, hill walking and hiking on the Isle of Skye.