Dogs make great running partners! They're enthusiastic and motivated, and they act as a good reminder that you need to get out there and get moving. But the thing is … not all dogs are super ready to run with you, in particular because of all the awesome smells along trails that they’ll stop to check every few feet; or just because they’re not mature and focused enough to be a reliable running partner. So here are a few sure tips I learned along the way to get Fido ready to hit the ground running with you!
The basic training
First of all, you should understand a little more about your dog’s breed before you run with them. For example, Labradors will have hip issues as they age, so you might want to think about running daily 10Ks with them, maybe think about walking more and running every week instead. In addition, if your dog is too old or too young they might not be able to handle your running program – in fact, if your dog is younger than 18 months you should stick to walking, as puppies’ bones are still developing up to 18 months old and running may have an impact optimal long-term physical integrity. By the way, walking with your young doggo will help built a solid base for a future running program with you. If you’re in doubt, you should go to your vet and ask them all the questions about running with your dog – better be safe with their health than sorry later.
For dogs that are 18 months or older, and if your dog is new to running, I would suggest starting slow and build your mileage together, instead of setting out for a 5-mile run right away.
How far to run?
I’d start with a 10-minute run (you can complete your trail by walking it) and then add 10 minutes each week until you reach your satisfactory training distance. With time, your dog will adapt to your pace. I would also suggest to first alternate walking your trail when your dog can sniff everywhere and mark his territory and run for 10 minutes when no stops are allowed – just be persistent, this is really easier said than done! Just remember that your dog doesn’t know how to be a runner – so it’s your job to teach them, and only with your patience (and also I found that rewards do work here) and time, the two of you will be running side by side at your good pace.
And then there is the leash: first and foremost, use a harness. Leashes connected to a collar are barbaric. Second, basically, if your dog already walks nicely, you’ll transition to running with no problemo. But if your dog pulls then this can become challenging: a thing to do that seems to work in this case is to shorten the leash in order to let your dog be exactly by your side.
5K or 10K training with your doggo
Before you start anything, if you don’t already know it, try to figure out your average mile time, you’ll get this from any app like Nike Run Club or your apple watch fitness tracking app.
Once you have a comfortable pace, take that time and multiply it by the miles to get your run time for a 5K (3.1 miles) or 10K, (6.2 miles). Example: 11-minute mile x 3.1 miles = 34.1 minutes
Begin running with your dog 10 minutes every other day for a week. Then, the next week add another 10 minutes to your running time. Continue training every other day. The third week add another 10 minutes. The fourth week add another. Continue this process until you reach your projected time. Once you reach your projected time, keep running with your dog.
It will take time and patience to get your pup ready, but with a little guidance and practice you'll end up with one of the best running partners ev-er! Good luck and send me pics and vids!
@philippemora > I come from the future.
I work and I workout.
Always be kind and passionate.
Anybody who has done serious, competitive track and field is going to laugh at my ignorance but I was more of a competitive wrestler and judoka in my puppy-state forming years and moved to more serious, competitive endurance sports later in life. I was talking to a good friend who was a convincing and obsessive Ironman runner earlier in his life, telling him that my speed progress on 10K had more or less stalled and I wasn’t really going to get to a faster speed at this later stage of my life. And he replied … Have you tried fart-lick? And I’m like “fart-what?” … “Fartlek, Phil, Fartlek” ….
What is a Fartlek Run?
The word “fartlek” comes from Swedish and means “slow play” or, more generally, “slow fast” – basically Fartlek is a type of run where you vary your speed throughout versus going at a steady pace. In other words, Fartlek workouts entail fast and intense running interspersed with periods of active jogging recovery. The periods of fast running shouldn’t be all-out sprints, but a good short run pace, above your current pace (or at least this is how I interpreted it and benefited from it) and the slower periods super slow enough that recovery happens fully.
Theoretically it’s a type of interval training but different because of the work-to-rest ratio: during a fartlek workout, basically you switch between fast and slow running but in fact you never stop running.
Why Fartlek training?
Well – to run fast, one needs to train fast … that’s how I got into 10K running, I was initially training for 5Ks and my idea that if I could do a 10K fast then 5Ks would be just a super breeze – but speed work is important to any runner’s training plan. This particular kind of speedwork matters because it teaches how to relax and recover without stopping, and to pick the pace back up again when needed. In other words, a fartlek run helps runners learn that they have more than one speed, and that they're also able to slow, without walking, to a pace where their heart rate can recover after a harder effort. So because in the end most runner tend to become dependent on their watches, a fartlek run teaches you to be adaptable and run based on how you feel rather than worrying about paces and time goals.
In summary: Fartlek runs will help boost endurance while also building speed, because they tax both the anaerobic and aerobic systems. By incorporating different types of runs into your training plan (fartlek, intervals, steady state), you can train multiple energy systems in your body, which can improve your performance on race day and make you fitter overall.
How to Do a Fartlek Running Workout
This is why I love Fartlek so much: a fartlek can be as hard or as easy of run as one need it to be. In other words, fartleks should be unstructured and this makes them an easy running interval workout to do on your own. I think it’s a really great prep workout for the running season in summer during the cold winter months. I love to fartlek on a treadmill – makes the treadmill workouts way less boring and frankly this is so effective it would be un-smart to not do it.
Simple Workout = Big Results
I tried fartlek. And in 2 weeks I am already at 1min/mile gains on a 10K. Who knew? Thank you Larry!
@philippemora > I come from the future. I work and I workout.
Always be kind and passionate. 🙏❤️💪🏋️♀️🔥🚀
Wow! we’re already at the middle of 2021 time flies this year! Since we’re coming back to normal, I thought I would also resume my personal monthly fitness and nutrition challenges. And since Global Running Day is June 2nd, I decided to put the emphasis on running, especially because I will be in beautiful Pennsylvania this month (Note: I am in Exeter township but the Exeter race is in New Hampshire, love virtual races!). So here are my personal fitness June 2021 challenges:
In addition, I’ve decided to also focus on stair climbing and strength training at the gym – but that is the icing on the cake for me. So happy June 2021 and don’t forget to be kind with everyone.
The health benefits of the stair climbing machine
Most people hate the stair climbing machine because it’s really hard. For years it’s been giving me a really good and efficient cardio workout, but here are a few additional benefits that add up to your 360 health fitness benefits when you actually do the work and go past the first few hours of pain and strain.
Maximizes Cardio Efforts. The stair climber is actually cardio powerhouse and more efficient (and I would argue harder) than the treadmill. Climbing stairs rapidly increases your heart rate, kickstarting your cardiovascular system right off the bat. This not only burns calories quickly, but also speeds up the oxygen intake of active muscles. This improved cardiovascular endurance will help you push further in future workouts, as well as perform prolonged day-to-day activities. These cardio-centric workouts will extend endurance and burn maximum calories in minimal time.
Increases Core Strength. Stair climber benefits extend beyond the legs—you’ll tackle your core, too. If you hold your form and stay upright, your core will stay engaged throughout the entire workout. This will strengthen your lower back and abdominals. And, the stepping motion alone engages your obliques. Keep that in mind next time you’re on the machine—or carrying groceries upstairs.
Strengthens Major Muscle Groups. Even at slow climbing speeds, the stair climber engages and strengthens most of your body’s largest muscle groups. By repeatedly using your thighs, calves, hamstrings, and glutes to lift your bodyweight, you’re effectively sculpting and toning these areas. This repetitive, step-by-step style of exercise keeps your legs moving in a complete range of motion, actively engaging your entire lower body. The resistance that comes from using your body to climb then aids in creating lean muscle tissue all over that burns more calories when you’re at rest.
Versatile and Approachable. Stair climbing is a low impact, natural movement exercise. That means it’s easy on your joints, knees, ankles, and back. This machine can be used by practically anyone at any level. Regardless of level, because of the resistance and cardio movement involved, you can expect the stair climber to be an effective two-in-one workout. Talk about time well spent.
@philippemora > I come from the future. I work and I workout. Always be kind and passionate. 🙏❤️💪🏋️♀️🔥🚀
Supporting Exercise and Healthier Food Choices for Youth
When school children exercise and eat better, they learn better. That’s why the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation and the Santa Clara County Office of Education have teamed up to produce the Lam Research Heart & Soles Run. The driving force of Silicon Valley success is creative minds, great skills, and an entrepreneurial spirit. We can promote and support these attributes in our region’s children by helping them get access to exercise and healthier food choices.
@philippemora > I come from the future. I work and I workout. Always be kind and passionate. 🙏❤️💪🏋️♀️🔥🚀
An important note here: my colleague Alex featured in the picture above finished top 30 in the 10K race, in his age category. Awesome job Alex!
The first trail race of the year for me. Basically getting up the mountain then down. Last year I injured one of my thighs on the way down the 10K and basically this was it for me for the year, so this year I did only the 5K to make sure I don't re-injure myself. Well I am happy to report that this race was so super awesome I think I am doing the 10K again next year! A little slow again though, but let's make sure about no injuries this season!
@philippemora > I come from the future. I work and I workout. Always be kind and passionate.
It’s a really hard race, goes up the hills of the Santa Cruz mountains in the San Francisco South Bay Area: Sanborn County Park, a beautiful mountain park of redwoods and tan bark oaks.
Last year, I did hurt one of my calves on the downhill of the TrailQuake 10K run … that more or less put me off racing for the rest of the year and I really had only myself to blame for the setback (yup, that’s what happens when your brain is still 20yo and your body is actually past 50).
So this year, I am just doing the 5K and I am coming more equipped, let’s see if mind will win over body the right way this time!
In the last decade, trail running events worldwide have become increasingly popular for those looking to step away from the “traditional” road marathons and track events. Basically trail running goes up and down and I have learned that it really levels the playing field between the runners who are really good and fast on flat (not me) and the more technical yet adventurous trail running (that’s more like me!)
But running uphill is scary .. First you feel you’re out of air almost immediately and then, after the run, you discover there’s pain in many new muscles you never knew they even existed like the upper quadriceps, your buttocks (yup, your butt) and of course the calves. However with the right techniques, foods, massages and creams, uphill running can be tackled and it’s really good to have this as part of any training plan.
The rewards: more efficient breathing, stronger muscles and brain power, and significant general improvements in endurance.
Start slow and on the Stairmaster (and alternate with the incline treadmill)
Obviously not the same, but the Stairmaster will teach you to run “quick and light” and also force you to maintain a normal breathing rate, while all you want to do is ventilate like there’s no tomorrow (yes Stairmaster is hard at the beginning). Also you’ll start to train the right muscles for natural hill running, hence minimizing the potential post-run pain when you start doing real hill running. The incline treadmill is great too for training, major drawback is that it’s really boring. Usually I do fast interval/hill training with them during regular workouts – really good cardio workout and teaches you the breathing part as well.
Get the right shoes
You need extra forefoot cushioning for uphill running and your shoes need to stay light – overall weight is really something you want to pay attention to. Also, one thing to consider is that you will go up, then down. Careful with too much cushioning, it may slow you down when you go down-hill.
Learn to “run tall”
Even with a slope, don’t forget to have a straight body alignment, aka “run tall”: head up, eyes forward, shoulders back, hips and knees aligned. Your elbows should be bent but remember that on an uphill/downhill trail, your biceps and shoulders will work harder than usual. With your body straight, your knees will naturally lift higher to allow for you to climb upwards, and your feet will be doing the angled work that gets you moving in the right direction.
It’s a very well known technique for sprinters. Check this video:
When it comes to running uphill, the greater the incline, the more use of your forefoot for the climb. One of the greatest benefits of running hills is that this is where speed is built for tackling faster flats. Of course, it’s not just sprinters and track runners who benefit from forced forefoot running. If you use your heels too much as when you’re normally walking, you’re going to cramp real fast.
Do the quick and light
This basically you run small steps more often. Trust me it works real well. This doesn’t mean that you increase your overall speed, which would totally change your breathing and your overall running momentum which will get you tired real fast, but you just increase your footspeed.
Only hit the hill when you’re ready
Once small and quick steps are mastered and the right gear is in check, it’s time to move from the stairs to the hills. The best place to practice uphill running are along uneven forest and mountain trails of gradual incline. The terrain naturally promotes twitch-fiber growth in muscles and the landscape always gives you new routes to run and new foot-falls even when on the “same” run uphill. Start easy and small, and find the right incline for your level. Too steep, and you’ll fatigue early, which can be deterring to those starting out. The best way forward is to increase your grade gradually, running the same route until you can claim that climb is conquered and move to a new challenge
Rest and recovery
Okay the bad news first: hill running does hurt. You’ll need to deal with muscle soreness the day of your race, and probably the day after. Here’s what I’ve learned:
It's a really fun race that is a little bit more difficult than the 3 others I worked on this year, because the profile is a little bit more challenging (yes it goes up ....) Anyways thanks Brazen Racing for another fun time running in super awesome spots in the bay area - and by the way I love the race tee and the medal, so super cool design this year!. Next race June 2nd, stay tuned!
This race is awesome! It’s situated at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline Park, located in the city of Richmond, across the boy from San Francisco.
It is on the site of a number of former explosives factories; the largest of these was operated by the Giant Powder Company, which was relocated to this relatively remote spot following accidental explosions at its former sites in San Francisco and at Albany Hill.
Giant had built the first dynamite manufacturing plant in the United States at a site known as Glen Canyon Park, which started up on March 19, 1898. On November 26, 1869, there was an explosion that destroyed every building on the site (including the fence around the plant).
The plant was forced to move farther away from heavily populated areas. Another explosion occurred at the Albany Hill plant in 1892, before Giant built its last plant in the lightly populated area of Pinole Point.
The 10K Race
For the entire course you have awesome views of the San Francisco bay all around the entire course, that we’re very close to the sea so it’s not hot! The race elevation is mostly flat, which makes it a really fun race!
Thanks Brazen Racing for a wonderful 10K race at the Quarry Lakes yesterday! The weather was absolutely ideal and my race was better than last year! Still a bit slow but getting better as the season progresses .... Next up: Nitro Trail 10K in Point Pinole.
Weights, Track, music, PLACEs. Always be kind and passionate.