Cani-Adventures 2 & Paraphernalia
I can’t tell you how happy I am you came back to read on, so thank you lol!
I know this blog may not appeal to everyone as its really here to document the considerations I have had when changing from one sport to another but for some of you it should still be relevant even if you are new to walking your dog or want to have new ideas to make it more interesting or would just like to ramp up your fitness - the right kit can really make a difference.
Its lovely to have a platform to share some experiences and hopefully inspire you to brave the elements and get out and about with your furry friends and also to consider their training from both a physical and mental perspective and their general health too.
I’ll be putting my professional head on throughout my posts and dragging in some thoughts and advice to ensure your dog or puppy is well and truly #setuptosucceed, (this is my hashtag # - please feel free to use it I need all the Instagram help I can get!). Whether you are involved in canicross, running with your dog in any way or you just want your fluffy pooch to be involved in all your favourite things – my tips will still keep you on the right track. My main focus is to respect the qualities a dog brings to our lives, and understand how they communicate to you, this is the best gift you can give them!
Let’s crack on with this blog topic and take a look at all the KIT! As kit goes, my absolute favourite is the GB tri suit seen in my previous blog https://www.puppycoach.com/blog/cani-adventures-introduction - not only is it really comfortable but I worked really hard to get!! You won't catch me wearing it streaking down the high street or near home though and its way too skimpy for the British winter weather!
So starting with .......
The Running Belt
As you will know from my previous blog, kit wasn’t high up on my list of things to consider when I turned up at that first event. I had made provisions for our ability and strength, relationship and communication, whether Hogan would actually even enjoy it, nutrition, timing of the event with feeding and travel considerations, but never the kit!
Any running I had done with Hogan at this point was all off-lead so this was all a bit new. My starter set of a belt and bungee lead had served me well but now that I am running more regularly with him I had a couple of annoying issues with the set up.
Because the belt isn’t anchored around my legs it moves up and down a lot. This will partly be due to the flat nature of my bottom (note to self; more squats required) and partly due to the smooth surface of my sexy run leggings!
Regardless, the result was the same, either a sore back as Hogan was pulling me from my lower spine not my hips (never do this it really hurts the next day, and it will physically pull your skeletal system out of alignment so you will be doing John Wayne impressions!), or the belt would slide down over my butt and just annoy the hell out of me.
I was developing this very unattractive pattern on repeat of shoving it over the top of my butt and pulling it tight to stop it moving – 10 strides later and repeat! The issue with this bright idea was painful hips the next day as it was interfering with my run gait so not recommended as a solution.
It’s now time to consider improving on what I have got!
Now researching products for long periods of time isn’t really my thing, give me some form of animal research or a friend or family problem solving exercise and I’m all over it, but generally ‘stuff’ doesn’t really hold my concentration for long!
Unlike my long-suffering husband who researches so much its almost impossible to lock down a decision – so the process usually results in me bulldozing my way in and buying the first thing I see! Is this the fundamental difference between men and women I wonder hummm!
Anyway, (I digress, again!) Our house is full of impulse buy amazon purchases, who the hell thought up the process of linking Paypal to all these websites was a genius, and I’m sure they live happily on their own island somewhere. Meanwhile I, and thousands of others are relieved of their hard-earned cash from the comfort of our own sofas! Brilliant, I love it, no need to fight any crowds at the shops ever again and I can be sporting said new purchases the next day in most cases!
I generally know what I’m looking for, I read a handful of positive reviews, assume they are made up then read a handful of bad ones and decide if I could cope if I experienced the negative issues. Given most people that have too much time on their hands like to moan, I can usually cope with a ‘delay in posting’, ‘didn’t like the colour’, or ‘my dog didn’t like the way it smelt’ and I order it anyway. However, this was quite fun as much of the equipment I viewed had loads of positive stuff and there were a few dominant stand out brands.
I wanted something that would stick round my bum, not move around, with changes of direction, feel comfortable and light and with leg straps that wouldn’t give me the dreaded camel toe!(sorry I hope that didn’t offend but it is something us women have to be conscious of when wearing skin tight gear!)
Bingo – I found it and its perfect – the Non-stop dog wear running belt – retails at £62 which of course is what I paid as I couldn’t be bothered to shop around but I’m sure you can find it a bit cheaper. I was convinced it would rub but, so far it’s really comfy and I love that the attachment to the lead runs on a little gold ring so if Hogan isn’t sitting quite in front of me it’s not pulling on my pelvis. It also has a little pocket for a key or loose change. I love it, so only positive reviews from me J
It also got me thinking about my clients who don’t necessarily want to run but have tricky dogs on leads – this is a really sturdy set up and it would particularly suit dog walking with small to medium breeds who just love to pull their owners.
Hogan is still running in his original blue Zero dc dog harness – its padded and appears comfortable. I’m paranoid about his enjoyment in this, given he hasn’t really been able to have his say as to whether he really wants to be part of the action. I am always checking it’s not restricting his gait or rubbing but it’s all good at our 10 km distances so far. It seems to hug his body well and he loves putting it on so that’s good enough for me. I have seen a variety of contraptions on dogs, many with strapping that extends a long way down the dogs body but I prefer to just keep it simple and ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!”
Trainers and Clothing
I’ve been running without Hogan attached for a long time now and have accumulated many impulse buys some I love others not so much. One of the big problems with winter running is coping with the ‘warm-up’ period ! I’m literally shivering so much at the start I am always worried about being injured, then you get warm and will easily overheat if you’re not wearing appropriate stuff.
You really don’t need to spend a fortune but, you need good layers, I have given up spending stupid money on the top brands and now just head for decathlon in search of a bargain. Their kalenji leggings are the best I have ever worn.
Some arm warmers are also useful as they are easy to ditch if the sun comes out and a lightweight rain jacket which keeps the wind and rain from battering you and can easily be tied round your waist. Psychologically the right kit keeps me motivated, it very odd but I wouldn’t run any further than a few metre’s in my jeans but give me some lycra and I’m off like a gazelle!
Trainers are always a minefield, I generally stick to what I know which are Adidas and Nike. Nike have really dominated the market with their innovative and patented speedy trainer technology of late but my trusty Nike’s were not suited to my fancy technical trail runs. I ordered a couple of pairs of Salomon's and settled on the Speedcross 4 – beware they come up really small. Go a whole size bigger than your normal shoe size.
These grip really well, no more sliding round corners trying not to hit the deck, they are dead comfortable and easy to get on and off. Your foot sits quite high, so my weak ankles and high arches are suffering a bit but, I’ll be getting ankle supports as these are otherwise great to run in. I didn’t realise the difference a good pair of trail shoes could make to my off road running so definitely worth the investment, for me this was £74.99.
Lastly on the kit front – (kit research isn’t that exciting so sorry if I’ve lost you!) I have a couple of essentials…
A good zip, pocket belt for my phone, a door key and some money for a taxi should the event arise!
Plus, lights and reflective running gear. I like the bicycle lights as they have the white and red light options and have all sorts of fancy disco light settings to make sure we are seen running in the dark!
There we have it, a quick whistle stop tour of my main essentials to set you up for a comfortable run with your pooches - now, with black friday approaching hit the internet and get surfing to start your journey - the right kit will get you in the right head space and kick start your day.
Remember a balanced happy relationship with your dog is also essential kit so watch out for my Black Friday deal to get my film series for an absolute steal - valid for 1 day only - grab a bargain! Code BF50 https://www.puppycoach.com/store/YQHLpqqP
See you next time for a training plan discussion :-)