We believe that the best way for you and your dog to learn how to canicross is to seek guidance from a knowledgeable canicross trainer. Whilst DogFit has a network of certified partners across the UK, if there isn’t one in your area, or the classes don’t fit with your schedule, you may want to consider our online self-paced canicross course.
That’s exactly what Lindsey and Rob chose to do with their pups Charlie (9), Seth (6) and Arthur (2). Lindsay was already a canicrosser but wanted to encourage her husband to try the sport. We caught up with them recently to hear how he got on:
What inspired you to subscribe to the DogFit online course?
Lindsey: I am already a canicross runner in that I have been running with our older dogs, Charlie and Seth for the past year or so, covering distances up to 10K+. Arthur is the newest addition to the family and I was keen to train him up to run with me but wasn’t looking forward to going back to short distances!
So I enlisted the help of my husband, who is not a runner, to help train Arthur up. Rob agreed to it, but sometimes, as a result of depression, can lose motivation with new endeavours. Group classes were out of the question as I work away from home quite a lot and Rob works on an evening so fitting them in would be a problem. I saw the online DogFit course and could immediately see that it would fit our lifestyle as it is totally flexible as to when you complete the sessions. Also, it can fit into daily walkies times, meaning no additional time commitment. Having a structure of week by week sessions also helps with motivation to keep going.
How did you find the course materials?
Lindsey: The course materials were really easy to follow. I really liked the fact that they were split into weekly sections so that it didn’t feel overwhelming and you could just complete one section each week. The short videos provided a clear explanation of what was required. I particularly liked the weekly planner. We printed this out and stuck it to the fridge door and every time we got back from a run, we filled it in, reflecting on how the run had gone for us as well as for Arthur. The other two dogs joined us, but we really focussed on how it felt for Rob and Arthur as they were the ones completing it. Me, Charlie and Seth were just along for the ride and a bit of motivation 🙂
Were there any challenges along the way?
Rob: I had some challenges with energy levels on some of the runs, but I found that this lessened as the weeks progressed and my fitness increased. I also went over on my ankle in one of the earlier weeks so we had to take a two week break whilst it recovered. This actually coincided with Lindsey being away with work so it worked out ok in the end.
What did you enjoy most?
Lindsey: I really enjoyed being able to spend time together as a family doing something that benefitted all of us. I love running with Charlie and Seth so it was great to be able to share this with Rob and Arthur.
Rob: I love how running makes me feel afterwards – clearer mind, happier, more energetic. I already have a really close bond with Arthur, but running together has added to that connection. I also agree with Lindsey, that it’s a really nice way to spend time as a family.
Did the course make you feel motivated?
Rob: I think having a plan to follow did make it easier as we didn’t have to think about how to increase the level of training – it was all there for us.
Lindsey: Seeing the planner on the fridge door also really helped as it was a reminder of what we had achieved as well as what was to come. We also didn’t realise at the start that you got a medal for completing the course, but once we knew, that added to the motivation to complete it!
How was your dog on the course?
Lindsey: All of our dogs really enjoy running, and Arthur in particular runs with a high, wagging tail at all times! At the start of the course he would zig zag all over the path and would want to stop and sniff quite a lot. However, as the time has progressed, this has lessened and he is more focussed on running, though this could be improved further. We alternated between running Arthur on a single bungee line with Rob and running him on a split line with Seth. He seemed to run straighter with Seth and learned good lessons from his big brother.
Any advice for other people considering canicross?
Rob: Just do it!! There’s no need to think “I’m not fit enough” as you can just go at your own pace and you will soon feel your fitness levels increase. Oh, and purchase a good running belt, harness and lead.
Lindsey: Be warned though, it is addictive 🙂
You can find the DogFit online canicross couch -5k course here:www.dogfit.teachable.com