© copyright 03.May.2007 by Dena Harris.
Wanted : Early morning or evening running partner. Strong listening skills desired. Upbeat, optimistic approach to life a must. Pluses include willingness to run in any weather, non-judgmental attitude, and a love of squirrels.
The answer may be lying at your feet. Running with man's (or woman's) best friend can bring new joy to a running routine. It's much easier to motivate yourself to put in a few miles when there's a furry four-legged creature wagging an enthusiastic tail as you lace up your running shoes.
Breed and size are important when choosing a canine running partner. In general, look to larger breeds to accompany you. Bear in mind many herding breeds will see it as their duty to round up all the squirrels in the forest, so make sure your dog is either on a leash or is well trained and will come when called.
Running with your dog provides excellent health benefits for him or her, provided you take a few simple precautions. The first is to start slow. Dogs are like us in that they need a training program to build up strength and stamina. Begin with some easy runs near your home. Once you're sure your dog can keep pace, you can head out for longer runs. However, always check with your veterinarian before starting your dog on a running program. You'll also need to familiarize yourself with the signs of overexertion and how to administer care in case of emergency.
Training your dog to run with you (versus pulling you) is vital for safety reasons. Leash options vary from harnesses to a hands free dog-jogging leash. Running with your dog translates to time spent in the company of someone who loves you and is proud of you, no matter how many (or few miles) you cover.
What more could you ask for in a running partner?
Daily Runs is collection of motivational articles, tips & advice about the sport of running, written by authors who run for fun.
Writer and author Dena Harris ran her first marathon in 2007. After declaring at the finish line that she would "never, ever, do that again," she's continued to run at least two marathons a year and recently qualified to run Boston.
Visit www.denaharris.com for information on her writing, books, running, and cats.