From Jenn

I’ve Created a Fit Four-Legged Beast (And a Super Reliable Running Buddy)

dogs for running partners

My Fit Bottomed Girl: Siena.

You know how we always say that there’s nothing like having a good workout buddy to keep you accountable? Well, while writing about my fitness endeavors here and being friends with the other FBGs does keep me in check, I have to give my recent 10K training credit to my pup Siena. Sure, she’s not a very good conversationalist—and she may lunge and try to trip me to catch a squirrel—but dammit if she isn’t committed, excited and always ready to run. And she’s been a godsend to my 10K training.

Back when I trained for the full marathon, I rarely ran with Siena. Since so much of my training was in the winter, I did my shorter weekday runs on the treadmill, and then, when my long runs rolled around on Saturday, it was just too far for her to join. Sometimes she and my husband would meet me for the last two miles of a long run so that I had company during those hard, final miles. (Seriously, how sweet is that?! Meant the world to me and always gave me something to look forward to.) But she wasn’t regularly training with me.

But now that my butt is all better and I’ve been adding more mileage—nothing longer than an hour of running though—to  my weekly workout schedule, I’ve been taking Siena on almost all of my training runs. First, our runs started as a way to tire her out, as girlfriend gets serious energy this time of year when the temps drop and the critters are out (tip for the squirrels reading: bury those nuts in the front yard), and as a way to, obviously, keep her healthy. But then, week-by-week as we went from two to three to four miles, she kept up with me. No signs of soreness or being overly tired, I kept having her run with me. And last week, I’m happy to report that we did 4.5 easy miles together.

I’ll probably keep her at about that mileage—maybe five—as I don’t want to push her too much, and, you know, it’s kind of hard for a dog to actually say “Hey, maybe this is too much!” And because I’m pretty sure that if I asked her to run 10 miles with me, she would. She’s just that kind of workhorse, for better or worse on her longevity.

But here’s the rub. While I started running with her to wear her out a bit, the joke has fully been on me. If anything, I’ve made her a fit beast. She smiles more. Her coat seems shinier (is that possible from exercise?!). She naps harder, but she also is more ready to GO. And go, and go, and go. So I kind of created a monster—but a really happy one who won’t let me miss a run. I guess we both win.

Do you run with your pup? Have you seen your dog’s fitness increase along with yours? Pretty cool, isn’t it?! —Jenn 



Comments

  1. Julia says

    I ALWAYS run with my dogs…2.5 miles warm up with my old 12 yr old guy, then drop him off and go 4 to 10 miles with my younger guy. He decided on his own that 10 was his limit, so now I have to drop him off and finish my long runs by myself (as I’m training for a marathon in December). Those last miles are lonely without them. <3 my running partners!!

  2. Kristen says

    I love this! Regular exercise makes such a difference for dogs, both physically and mentally. You should look for some dog-friendly 5ks in your area!

  3. Andrea says

    I LOVE running with my pooch! Since I live in an apt, I have to get her out several times a day to run off all her energy. Can you say instant motivation! She’s a beast when it comes to running and the vet confirmed she was probably the best running dog anyone could ever have (lucky me!). While not all people should own pets or dogs, they are good motivators for the humans who do love them to get outside and exercise!

  4. Ivori says

    I would love to run with my pup , but she is still very young; 1 year old this Month !
    She gets very scared when any one of us runs, even when we are right next to her.

  5. Robyn says

    I can’t wait until my GSP is old enough to run with me! He’s only 4.5 months old now and his puppy energy is so much to handle! He is begging to be my running partner! Runners World rated the best partners and he was up there for long/steady runs, so I’m looking forward to when his growth plates have fused and he’s full grown! We’ll train each other, I guess! @birduponthewind

  6. Diana says

    I just started running with my dog. She is doing Couch to 5k :-) We did Week 2 Day 1 today. Sometimes she is happy about running and other days (like today) she just wasn’t feeling it. Oh well, I guess we all have days like that! Running with her has been fun. She runs much faster than me so I have a feeling running with her will help me out as much as it will be helping her.

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