Training training- what’s important in the sled dog world

I have been in sport 2 years now and I can’t believe how much I learn in those few months and how many new friends I have made. I would like to share with you my own experience what to do and why you should train it with your dogs. Note: this is only my own opinion, experience and knowledge.

The start line

There is more then just to go to start line and get ready for your run. If your dog is like mine, you need to control them well as Laferra could easily give me the penalty. Roger on the other hand like to sniff, pee on everything and say hi to every marshal around start line. This is important. I try to keep my two near me and just let them go on “go”.

Saturday 08.01.18 British BSSF Series 1 – 2.

Posted by What's My Time Ltd on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Surprisingly as per video, we did brilliantly at the start at BSSF race.

The finish line

Agata finishing on Saturday BSSF Race 1

Posted by What's My Time Ltd on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

As you can see from video at a lot of events there are those mats and funnel to the vet checks and RM. Laferra was funny about any noise or people at the start line but mainly finish line was a struggle. I went to parkrun as the funnel is getting narrow and there are folks standing around. It is defo something to train to make sure your dog finishes confidently on a tight line which isn’t always the case for us.

On the trails

At the IFSS World Championship, we have a lot of distraction on the trails: talking people, photographers very close to trails or even halfway through a person with a walkie-talkie and beeping machine to check athletes. This is challenging to practice, but we went to Christmas Parkrun and guess what, we passed many marshalls with bells around. Great practice for Laferra.

On the other hand on the trails, you can catch another athlete or be caught by another athlete. Roger has no problem with these at all, however Laferra as a sensitive soul has a lot of struggle with this. She likes to overtake and go away, but she hates when someone catches us and sticks to my heels. She is better than she used to be, as in past she would totally lose her focus, where now she continues to run but she keeps looking at me and the person/dog behind, which means she doesn’t run 100%.

Overtaking

This is one of the challenges while on trails. Most races on the first day aren’t staggered so there is big chance you will get caught by fast one or you will catch slower ones. Laferra is brilliant in overtaking, not even looking once at the dog, but she sometimes struggles when being overtaken. She likes to say hi or look at the other dog, which isn’t ideal and could potentially take as to be DSQ.

Training

Training is there to do mistakes, but sometimes it is just hard to prepare for anything. From where we have been with Laferra in September to where we are now is such a difference and I believe I did great training with her. We are upgrading to more training on wheels now, which means she doesn’t have as much time to think about things around. Hopefully, this will give her even more confidence when out on trails.

Happy training and practising.  

The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle

Sometimes weather interrupts your training schedule, or at least it does mine at the minute with all that snow around. Walking dogs is a pain on those icy paths, so I am not even thinking of running.

Praying for weekend

Although it snows and it gets a bit icy, I am praying that for the weekend it all will melt. I love snow, don’t take me wrong, but it doesn’t really help us. Maybe I should consider buying a sledge?

Dogs are loving the free running, but it is time for some harness work. We haven’t done harness work since Sunday with Laferra. Roger still off harness due to his rubbed belly.

I miss running my wee buddy. Roger, soon you will be back in harness. I bet he will be super excited.

Anyway back to the topic, so due to weather I have plan A and plan B.

Plan A: working with dogs.

Plan B: parkrun on my own and dogs again running free.

Let’s hope for Plan A right?! Hah

BSSF round 2 (race 3 and 4)

Oh, how exciting I am about this. The entry is open and I decided to do two classes for a change. I will get warm-up on bikejor and than canicross later. Super excited!

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If you are looking for something different than just canicross event, this is a must. You can see big teams and mushers going out. I have learnt so much during those events that I really recommend it to everyone. The competition brings the best athletes in the UK to one venue to compete with each other.

Races schedule

Until February, we just train and have some fun with dogs. It looks like it is a bit quieter with races than it was last year. Probably my choice as I am more picky about the events too. However, already planning our trip to France in may. That’s us booked accommodation and hopefully soon looking at ferry prices. How exciting? We are going abroad again.

Exciting news

Hopefully next week I will be able to share fantastic news with you. Keep an eye on our blog and facebook page.

 

Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do.

We have spent a lovely weekend in Wales. It was the first qualifier of BSSF National Champs for Sweden in November. My sat nav chose a historic route for me so I drove 200miles out of 400 miles on windy and twisty roads. it was great to see how beautiful are Wales and Scotland, but I defo changed to motorways on the way back.

Day 1 BSSF National Champs

Pembrey Country Park is a beautiful venue. I have walked the trails on Friday night and got really excited for all those turns and twisty paths. The distance of 3.8 miles scared me a bit as there were tiny hills on the way to finish too. All night I was thinking if we can do it.

The first day we had draw starting times, which meant a lot of overtaking by the speedies. When you are overtaken by one it gives you a boost to go faster, but by 4th person, you start to feel sad and a bit down. Do I really go that slow?

The trails had everything: grass, sand, hills, downhills, turns. narrow paths. It was an amazing test for Laferra to see how she is really with her directions. Surprisingly she did really well. She ran confident and didn’t look twice at dogs that overtook her. We have finish first day in good time of 24:25 min. Not bad for the distance that we don’t really train for.

We have finished our racing day with an amazing walk at the beach. Roger and Lafie could play with their new pals.

Day 2 BSSF National Champs

In the early morning, I have decided I need some time off from everything and everyone, I took Roger for a walk to the beach. Oh, that boy loves the beach. Roger really loves having me just to himself like old times.

I felt tired after Day 1, but we got to start line and I really felt my legs, however, I kept saying to myself I can do it. Unfortunately, we had few problems out there on trails, I really wish people read rules and all the emails that BSSF actually sends out. We lost on the 8th place by just 5 sec. Gutted is the word to describe how I feel about it. On the good note I try to think of positives: a few weeks ago Laferra would probably stop running in a similar situation. This time she kept going, maybe it wasn’t 100%, but she kept going. We got to the finish line but we lost one place by 5 sec. Lesson learnt and I will try to practise it as much as I can. At the moment I feel like I need a short break from running, but dogs will continue training on wheels. Here’s to bikejor and scooter training.

Sometimes things aren’t going according to plan. Laferra is young and she is still learning, but the most important thing is that she loves doing it. She is one happy dog.

Wales done!

That’s the first British National Champs done. We have met so many puppies out there! It was great to see my two actually being very gentle with all of them. Bring on hard training and England in over a month. Actually, bring on training! New training plan in!

Bring on 2018

Ok so we had a look what we did in 2017 it is time to look what we will do in 2018. So far it doesn’t look that busy yet.

January

We are away to Wales this weekend for our first qualification for IFSS ECh in Sweden which will happen 24-26th October in Nybro, Sweden. Apparently Pembery is lovely, so hopefully, it is worth the drive. Roger is suffering from an allergy so rest for him.

A week after that we are away to Muiravonside Country Park for another Scottish Championship race. I think Roger might run this one, but it all depends on his allergy.

February

I am planning to attend D&A time trial in Tentsmuir and check how we progress in 4 months with Laferra. Lovely place for walks too.

The middle of a month is taking us to England for BSSF National Championship, which is a second part of the qualification for Sweden. Another long trip for some great races. We loved it last year.

Laferra was still a pup, but during that trip, she proved she is an easy dog to take on travels. That was when I knew if we managed for Poland, she is going (and as you know she was a great companion).

I am tempted to fly to Italy for races on snow at the end of February. Of course not to compete but just go and watch it.

March

I might go and do one of SDAS races in Ford (all depends timing).

As per our tradition, we always did Plean race, as that was our first race ever with Roger. This year we will miss it as we are away for third and last BSSF National Championship somewhere in Scotland.

Our Easter weekend this year we will hopefully spend at one of the Midlands Canicross Series. Four days of racing in different classes.

April

We still be at Midlands races but also we are away to CSS Strathallan Castle races. As last year plan is to do canicross and bikejor.

May

We are away to France for the weekend. Yay super excited about this.

 

Oh yes there might be more to come for sure! But that’s all that I have defo planned and put in our calendars. Actually it looks busier than I thought. Happy racing yay.

 

 

Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.

I have decided to write a quick post about my year 2017.

My 2017 turned around just before it really started. Laferra arrived in October 2016 and too be honest that has changed everything.

I went into 2017 with having my biggest dream (to have two dogs) already happened. Laferra was growing and was the easiest dog that I have ever dealt with, and soon I knew Roger loves her a lot. Roger and I were training for many races, we attended a lot of races. It was all great fun.

Races in 2017

For the first time, I have attended more competitive race which was British National Championship in Wales. It was literally my first time in Wales too. January was the time when I realized I want to become better in this canicross. We had so much fun with Roger running, and I have met a lot of new people later to call them friends and some of them were very helpful. It was a great experience and so much fun being away that far away. Scotland had it race too.Another exciting race was BSSF in England which was the third race to qualify for the IFSS World Championship in Poland. During those events, I have learned a lot and in April I was laughing that I really need to go to Poland compete. Later discovered that I qualified and got a place in Team GB.

Adventures

It wasn’t just about races, I started doing more fun with dogs and discovering Scotland a bit more. We went to a lot of places that without them I wouldn’t even know they exist.

I also started my adventure with MTB and it is fantastic, met so many new friends.

The MTB helped me to get more confident and try more and more bikejor and scooter with dogs. I started competing with Roger in bikejor competition, and oh boy he can run!

We welcomed few sponsors to our team: Odlo, Merrell, Greepers, Fitline and Scruff Muffins. Thank you all for the support.

Bring on 2018

It was really great year 2017. I am super chuffed what I have achieved and really looking forward to 2018 with some exciting news for you my dear readers 🙂 We will be competing more in Europe too. Keep reading our post.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Dream big!

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

Christmas! Christmas and it is over now. So this year I wasn’t off work, which was a bit weird as I love to spend it at work. Anyways. There was no snow, so a bit disappointed, but the weather was good enough (or that what I believe in) to do things with dogs.

Parkrun at Vogrie Country Park

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First time ever I have decided to go and check out the parkrun at Vogrie Country Park which we know quiet well, as it is the place where our sled dog sports adventure started. It was busy, but they allowed us to start in front. You do 2 loops of same trails and it was amazing. The parkrun is so challenging and distracting for dogs, that was a great experience for Laferra, but she didn’t even look at sides twice. Super proud of her. She is doing so well. We also did well timewise, although I was hoping for sub 20, but we got tangled on a tree and it was a surprisingly hilly course.

Christmas Eve

On a Christmas Eve I took dogs for adventure to Cathkin Brae. Weather was awful but officialy I became a BAM. Follow the link https://www.facebook.com/groups/206832509725490/ if you want to learn more about it. I ran 13.7 miles with Lafie off lead and Roger canicrossing for last 4.5miles. Great fun and super tired two dogs.

After that run I thought I deserved all the ice cream and a wee donut, but I wasn’t so keen on it when I got home.

How do you manage during Christmas

I am lucky as I don’t have many temptations during holidays time for bad food. It must be hard to still go out train and eat healthy with all those Christmasy food around. Do you stick to the plan? Or just eat whatever and being lazy?

I rather stick to plan with maybe tiny expectation of some sweet, but continue with my training schedule or even work harder as I have more time. Jolly of being off work.

Do you spoil your furry babies?

It isn’t just temptation for you, but also for dogs. Do you spoil them with extra treats? I don’t as it might affect them same as us. My dogs get a chewy treat once a week anyways. This year they only got spoiled with toys which they love. A friend of mine showed me best entertaining toy which includes:

These three things make an amazing toy, just check the video below how much Roger and Laferra loved it.

Rest of the Christmas Holidays

We literally spend it as always! Traditional trip to the beach as every year on Christmas Day. I thought going to Portobello would be good as not many people would be out, and it was raining again so a quick run for 2 miles and back home.

We have also stick to the training schedule and work out dogs in harness, which was super excited. Now planning ahead what to do to make dogs chilled and relaxed during New Year fireworks. Watch out for our next post.

 

 

 

 

 

Big dreams turns into hard work!

Most important preparation just started, in 5 weeks from today, Laferra and I will be probably heading to start line to have one first race at the World Championship. Just writing this gives me goosebumps, so I can’t even imagine how I will feel there.

Preparation

Proper preparation started a few weeks ago, and I can see massive progress in me as an athlete who runs, in my body and in my head. I also see my girl is growing up in confidence too. She has her up and down, but it is going well. As they always say it is better to do mistakes at training and work on them, the actual race. I have decided that I will do my best myself, and have fun. I will not put any pressure on my girl. She is an amazing dog anyways!

Vet check

Part of the preparation for that kind of event, we needed to have a passport ready to travel abroad but also a vaccination so she can compete. Surprisingly even tho day before the event there is a vet check if the dogs are fine to compete, you still need to ask your vet for a clear green light and health check! Laferra is ready!

Planning the journey

I think this is the most exciting part where you need to plan when to leave, which way to go and when you will arrive there. What an exciting thing… I am going to leave earlier than we have planned, so we can be in Poland earlier, and recover for races. It is a long journey. 1291 miles. Many hours of driving. We need to plan where to stop too, as having dogs with us we need to make sure they can properly stretch their legs too.

Game up

As per the previous post, I really needed to pick up the game and make sure Lafie is ready. She is shy and timid, so I needed to find the way to build her confidence in very short time. A friend of mine recommended me to start going to parkrun. I always refused parkrun, as they are just too busy for me. It was great to test us last Saturday. I didn’t know what to expect (exactly like it will be a World CHampionship) so I was a bit nervous. What a surprise to see my girl chilled and relaxed around so many people.

We went to Falkirk to Callendar Park. I can say we stormed it! I was super proud of my girl, even tho she slowed down twice. I had a great time and going to be back again this Saturday. Going to ask if we can start at the beginning rather than overtaking 200 folks.

Obedience training

We work hard at home and outside. I make sure it is loud and busy so she can get used that it is all ok. Does anyone want to go to the pub? Let me know. The more unusual places the better. She is doing great.

Running

I feel like it is going up and down, not always the best! But we are getting there. The most important thing is that we both enjoy it and have fun. I feel again that I am getting addicted to all this running! Rest days turn into more running. Maybe eventually it will pay back.

Dreams

My dogs changed my life. I always dreamed of things, but when I have them I live the dream. I make sure all my dreams are becoming true. Dream big, live big. Last year I said I will go to Poland and we are. We will represent My Home country in my Homeland! I am super excited! Counting down begins. And noone said it will be easy! It is hard work.

Happy Friday Folks.

 

 

 

Equipment that will make you a “Pro” Canicrosser or Bikejorer!

I have decided to write a post about equipment as there are a lot of posts on facebook where people are asking for what is the best!

I am not an expert but I have learnt a lot in last few months being involved in the sport. So here’s my experience and only my opinion (you don’t need to agree).

Canicross

Let’s start with canicross. As of yourself, you will need something comfy for running:

It is an easy choice for people as there are a lot of different running companies that sell the right gear, but when it comes to dogs gear that’s another story. When I started my adventures with canicross, I couldn’t find much or I found information that now I know they were misleading. A lot of companies are trying to say their equipment is right for running with dogs, but I have learnt that a lot of them are purely business and money orientated and know nothing about canicross, and not talking here about faster pace sports like bikejor or scooter.

Dogs equipment

I struggled to understand and find something that will be good for Roger. He has an unusual shape. So I made him run in his walking harness (what a stupid idea that was, note on that my own gear wasn’t good either). I have decided to buy my first equipment back in Poland. DC Grizzly belt for myself, manmat bungee line and Roger had his walking harness. We were very slow but we enjoyed the runs (as per photo above).

Eventually, I have learnt that it is very important to have the right equipment:

  • A dog can get injured, if harness is incorrect for pulling.
  • Dogs should be able to use their shoulders without any restrictions.
  • The harness shouldn’t be too high on their throats.
  • Bungee line has a different length for different sports.

So my first equipment was a wrong choice. My belt hurt my lower back. Now I use this belt for hiking and it is just perfect. My bungee lead was too long (bikejor line) and it was harder to work together as a team. Also, Roger harness made restrictions on his running style and choked him.

Right choice

I still struggled to find the right equipment. I thought I went in the right directions and ordered a customised harness for Roger. Well, once again wrong decision. I was close to giving up when I decided to go and ask for recommendations from folks who do the sport for years. They know the sport and they know what is right for the sport and why.

My old equipment ended up in a bag. Roger got his brand new harness from Dragratten. How surprised I was on our next run, his pull was stronger. I noticed that more often when he saw his harness he got super excited. Note from me: his harness was tight, it wasn’t loose, it worked really well with his running style.

I have changed my belt for the lightweight and it was sitting on my hips too. Amazing, no more pain in my lower back. Bungee line was a bit shorter and the whole experience of canicross has changed. We started to progress with our times and I could see it helped as to become stronger.

My younger dog got her pro harness straight away. She will probably grow up from it soon, but it is defo worth the money as she learns in the right equipment from the start. She was 10 months when she got her first proper sled dog harness. 

Why use a collar?

I decided to keep Roger as he pulls a lot during a walk in a harness, but it is a different one than his running. Laferra walks on the collar, which helps before races that I can keep her on the collar when she is trying to be mental. Also during training, it is handy with her to have the collar to cool her down or walk her to start point. When I am nearly starting running I clip her on harness so she knows she needs to pull.

Bikejor and scooter equipment

Ok with caniross you can make mistakes and learn from it, but when it comes to faster speed sports you better with the right equipment. So what do you need here:

  • MTB bike or scooter.
  • Helmet and gloves.
  • Bikejor/Scooter bungee lead (longer than canicross).
  • Dog harness.
  • Arm antenna to keep the lead away from wheels.

People ask why do you have arm antenna on your bike. Ok on the photo above you can see lead is a bit slack as Roger slowed down due to big stones and hill. Arm kept the line away from wheels so I didn’t have an accident. I tried bikejor and scootering without the arm and instead of having fun I was thinking about line and brakes all the time.

Once again a lot of money if you think, but again it changed the way we train and how much we enjoy all this. I use same arm antenna for my scooter.

Equipment is very important

I have learnt: it is all worth the money! The dogs love it more and you can really push your team at training and races.

There are a lot of companies who say they are great for canicross, but think twice. In last couple months, I have managed to stay injury free and my dogs got excited when they see harnesses.

Think twice about your dog health! Use the right equipment, ask experienced folks for advises! It changed my experience and I hope you will find the right path to the right equipment yourself!

I am not an expert but been to may races in UK, I watched and observed, I have learnt out of my own mistakes!.Be happy, enjoy your running with furry friends.

 

Good shop with equipment: https://www.k9trailtime.com/shop/

 

 

 

Highland Fling Canicross Race

I don’t really know where to start with this post. Probably because my head is still buzzing after the weekend and I am still shattered.

Aviemore

I always thought that Aviemore is further than it actually is. I have packed the car in the morning and then we went away. If you don’t know what to pack remember to read my post: Camping with dogs.

Anyways traveling up there was amazing. All those views with purple everywhere. I think it is the best time of the year to go up North. Sooo pretty. I was driving so I haven’t taken any photos. But thanks to my friend Catherine there is one photo how pretty it was. I love Scotland and hopefully one day I can live up north.

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The road up to Aviemore is nice even tho one line most of the time. I felt the traffic was busy, but it didn’t make me tired. We arrived at the Dalraddy Holiday Park after 2.5h driving. Dogs were way fast asleep. Women at the reception were very welcomed and gave us a map how to get to our pitch. Unfortunately, there were no more strawberries left, but they told me there will be more tomorrow (those strawberries are just the best).

Campsite

A lovely park set in 97 acres of mixed native pine & birch woodland with spectacular views of the Cairngorm Mountains range, which now forms part of the Cairngorm National Park. It is only 3 miles south of Aviemore, close to Loch Insh for a superb variety of all water sports activities. An excellent location for walking along the Badenoch Way, taking in the breathtaking scenery starting from holiday park, with some stunning sights along the 16km walk following a path through the lovely village of Kincraig, leading you to Ruthven Barracks in Kingussie.

So there we are driving to search for our pitch. We found out that it was between start and finish line so actually perfect spot. We have arrived and noticed our canicross friends around on other pitches, which was awesome. Dalraddy campsite is dog friendly (only 2 dogs allowed), but you need to keep your dog under control and on lead all the time. The pitches are separated by trees from each other, so my dogs couldn’t really see other dogs. Roger and Laferra really chilled and played tug game at our pitch, not bother with what’s happening around.

It was nice and sunny, so we managed to set up our camp very fast. The pop-up tent is amazing, a few minutes later that’s tent up. A wee walks around to say hi to everyone and few fixes to the bike. All sorted couple minutes later. Great to see everyone again after summer break.

Pre-race night sleep

I was worried that Laferra won’t settle in as this was her first time in a tent, although she camped before with Roger and me in a car. How surprised I was when I zipped tent and took their collars off to see them getting comfy in their bed. Not moving or barking during the night. A very warm and good night sleep for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race day- morning

I felt a bit nervous even tho I did this racing thing for a year now. It was new to me to do two dogs and there wasn’t much time between classes. Dogs walked and hydrated back in the crate and there was me putting and planning ahead my comfy outfits for running and bikejoring. I did help at the registration and then off to prepare dogs for the race. Here is our schedule for preparation (always same routine):

7:30 am Last wee hydration for dog

7:40 am Clothes on, Greeprs fasten

7:50 am Quick walk for pees and poops

8 am Wee energy snack for race

8:05 am Quick run for me including toilet (stress pee) 🙂

8:15 am Another quick walk for dog

8:25 am Harness on

8:26 am Fitline drink for me

8:27 am Laferra’s warm-up

8:30 am Long course starting

8:35 am Standing near start line in a queue

8:46 am Off we go

During race

I think I was more stressed than Laferra as it was her first race. All the time that she was with me since a puppy around races probably helped her to get the right attitude and knowing what will happen. First “haw” and first “gee”: she is amazing on first two corners, which is unusual as she is a wee bugger when it comes to directions. First straight, car passing behind the fence and she doesn’t bother with it. Laferra keeps doing what she supposed to. Approaching the first marshal and I can see it is James, the person she likes a lot. I am calm and shouting: “on by” and she pass without even looking at James. He cheered us too, but she was just keen to continue the run.

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Half way through

I feel so good with her and keep encouraging her. She was fantastic until after single track around 3km, she was a bit confused with tarmac, but she found a nice soft path to run on. Next turn and she is back again on a single track: so focused, but she is terrified of a tape. I reassured her that we just need to pass it and let her go back to front, she is back on track. I didn’t need to encourage her to pull, she was on a mission. We have passed another marshal and once again she didn’t even look. Approaching chalets, difficult crossing, and a marshal, I shout “haw” and there is my girl keen to say hi to marshal (as she does all the time). Somehow we have managed to continue. Around 4.2km I needed to remind her to “get on” with it and start pulling again. Almost at the finish on a nice single track again she picks up the pace. Amazing finish for my girl although she was a bit confused with people standing before the finish line!

She knocked out 1.5min off the time I had last year with Roger. I am super proud and there is a lot of space for improvement. Quick back to the car, water out with some sardine’s oil in, harness off and a lot of praise. Time to get ready for Bikejor.

Race number 2

Same schedule as before. I always have the same routine so my body and my dogs know what we are doing. In the meantime, 20 minutes after canicross I gave Laferra Fastdog- recovery biscuit. 10 am approaching so time for another race.

Start line and as always Roger is super calm. Sniffing around and saying hi to marshals. Oh, I love this boy such a change from last year. The new bike was amazing, it felt so easy to pedal for this wee boy. So much fun riding and shouting in the woods with my favorite. He was as always running his socks off.

Oh how much I love him. We have managed to do our target time, so I am very pleased with him. Back to finish line and he is one happy dog. Got his sardines and water. Harness off and back to the crate. 20 minutes after the run he gets his recover biscuits while I walk Laferra.

Human recovery

Oh, I can feel having two dogs will be hard work, but at the same time, it will be so much fun this season. Right, so I needed to recover fast for my evening races. I felt tired actually very tired, after not doing much in last few weeks due to my business trips.

I have decided to check if the best strawberries are still in a wee shop at the campsite. How chuffed I was when I saw still few boxes left. Quickly ate one box (fine gave 4 to the dogs). I also had some soup and decided to have a nap in a tent. So put the dogs on leads and snooze a bit while they could have fun outside.

Dogs recovered super fast

How surprised I was when I saw them back full beans again just 2 hours after the races. It must have been the biscuits. I was hoping I have something like this for myself. Drunk a bit of my Fitline drink and went to snooze.

Around 4 pm I had a chicken pasta which really filled me and I was ready to go again (well that what I thought).

Evening race time- bikejor

Here we go again. Even tho I thought I feel fine, I felt tired but didn’t want disappoint my dogs, so I kept thinking I can do it. Roger was so excited to be first out in the evening. There we go again. As Rogerowski is cross Staffie and Border collie, he is a good thinker. Sometimes I wish he isn’t that smart. 2nd run: he is doing fine and I feel pain and heavy muscles. He pulls and keeps going, smart boy slowing down at bits with sharp bigger stones, but I am totally fine with it (we are here to have fun). Passing the marshal and stones and he is back pullying like a train. I am super proud and putting as much as I can on the bike. Last single track and he still pulls. There we are at the finish line and Roger is one happy pup rolling all over the grass. Quick hydration and change of clothes. Time for last race of the day.

Canicross in the evening

Last race, I feel really tired. I am hoping for nice and easy run as Laferra never canicross for that long. She does long distance off the lead with me on a bike (MTB), but never canicross.

Start line and there she is, again keen to go and can’t wait for her turn. First “haw” and I am thinking: oh gosh she is great again! First “gee”, I am thinking I am not going to skip training ever again, no excuses. Half way through I hear the noise and thinking: oh no train. Once again she didn’t bother with noise and continue her running. My girl did well. Two races in one day is a lot for such a young dog without experience, but she did it without looking that she struggled.

Wearing Merrells helped my legs for sure. Super light, super comfy was definitely what I needed for my tired feet.

The last corner to run to the single track through the trees, I feel my legs are saying no and I feel awful cramps. I think: Laferra must feel same! I can do it. She sees trees and picks up a strong pull. I cheer her as I really need her help. We did it. We did it again and I have an amazing dog.

From rescues to best pets

Lafie and Rogerowski had a tough start of their lives, they have ended up with me. Every day I am thankful how lucky I am to be able to rescue both. Such a different dogs, but both amazing. Roger is natural at canicross and bikejor. Laferra started from basic, but she has potential with all the hard work we put in she is amazing already. From being homeless and hopeless they become my pets and my life the best. They do everything you ask them for. They are Champions to me no matter what!

Weekend

This weekend was great, so much fun with dogs and friends. Time to rest before more hard training. Couple days off for the dogs, but not for me. Yin Yoga on Mondays is spot on for all those stiff muscles and today I am ready to go again. I will make sure next time I can do as much as those two without a pain in my legs. I am so ready for it. Let’s the fun begins.

I hope you had a great weekend too.

If you have any questions or comments messaged me.

 

 

All the fun begins

Training dogs

This week we will focus on training the dogs. You would think it is easy, just go for a run and that’s all. But it isn’t that easy. I am still learning myself but I will share with you what I have learnt so far. When you think how to train your dog you should see it as how you train to improve your running. If you train for some certain distance, you built for it. You run intervals, you run longer distances, you work on pace and heart rate. It is exactly same for your dog.

The training plan is important but also please make sure your dogs are well hydrated for exercises even if it is just fetching the ball.

My dogs love fetching the ball, even Laferra discovered it is fun to catch the ball, as Roger is chasing her and then she gets a lot of strokes from me for bringing the ball. On that note be careful what ball you are using, as I have read a lot about tennis ball being swollen by dogs but also that it is bad for their teeth.

Balls recommendations and interval training

Personally, I would recommend you those three balls:

  • Ruff ‘N’ Tumble Five senses- it appeals to all five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and feel (it smells like beef, got tiny bell inside). Amazon has it for 4.99 GBP.
  • Rosewood Starmark Durafoam ball– extremely durable design, even Roger can’t destroy this one and it is lightweight but easy to throw far away. Amazon has it for 6.92 GBP.
  • Chuckit Ultra Ball– developed to have a high bounce. Amazon has it for 5.49 GBP.

So my two Muppets play with a ball once a week, usually the beach as Roger can be off lead without any stress. They both sprint to catch it and just jog back, which is ideal.

Canicross

I feel lucky as three times a week my dogs are being walked by a dog walker, who takes them to the beach and both dogs run for an hour. I consider that when planning what are we doing in the morning or evening. They received a bit more food on those days too.

Canicross training is all start and stop up to max 6km (which we do with cani-fit classes). Again I feel lucky to have cani-fit classes, but you can always do it with your social group runs. I do that 3 times a week, but I switch dogs, so probably one dog will do it twice a week.

Bikejor or scootering

This is a new part added to my training for both dogs (it used to be just for Roger). I have learnt that building strength of your dogs is as much important as other training. So once a week short rides that the dogs constantly pull. Roger has no problem with a scooter or a bike. On the other hand, Laferra doesn’t feel as confident near it, but she loves running fast. She is slim, lean and doesn’t really have many muscles yet. So we will do once a week short distance, Laferra pulling constantly with the scooter. Again I feel lucky that I won a scooter, it seems to be very important part of training. Recently Laferra started making that funny noise like purr. It was just for food but now it seems it is for her running harness and scooter. Does that mean she loves the scooter? I hope you watched the video that we posted yesterday?! If not here it is:

Working on her homework! Amazing Sunday morning. what were you up to?

Posted by Dogxplorescotland on Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fun

Ok ok training, training, but where is the fun? These all are fun, my dogs love being just out with me running around the woods. Laferra’s prize for hard work is that she can be off lead and hunt birds or bunnies, where Roger would be 5minutes play with a ball or nice sardines in his bowl when he comes back after the run.

Hydration

When you think about hydration, think twice. How do you feel when you finish run and you won’t drink enough water? A headache, you feel sleepy and very tired? Dogs would feel same. Roger is good and drinks a lot of water during the day normally. Lafie doesn’t drink much at all. An hour prior leaving the house, I put bowl full of water for both dogs. Yes, they won’t drink just a water. I use few things to make them excited every time:

  • Icepaw- Salmon Oil or Cod Oil. 9.99 GBP. It can be any other fishy oil.
  • Icepaw- Fish Powder. 4.99 GBP. (Laferra’s favourite).

When we leave the house dogs are ready to pee all that water! I usually drive to trails which are around 1h drive from the house. That means the dogs drunk 2hours prior training. It works for my two but watch your dog, you know it the best and will know when it was ok to give water to the dog.

After a run, my two wouldn’t drink water. I usually put something in their water:

  • Few Pedigree biscuits. 1 GBP per 500g.
  • Icepaw-Sproutten- two bags 11.99 GBP (it last for a month).
  • Sardines- Lidl 0.37 GBP.

Food

I discover that my two definitely run better on empty stomach, so I feed them an hour after training. Please make sure you don’t feed your dogs before ANY running even if you are going for a walk and they will be off lead running.

This may predispose the dog’s stomach to bloat or twist. Generally Google says an hour prior and afterwards don’t feed your dogs. Depends on how hard they work, they get more or less. I keep an eye on Laferra, as a young dog, we can’t keep same weight on her, so I started feeding her double portions. She managed to gain 2kg in 4 weeks. Let’s keep it this way now.

Again off topic

A lot of folks tell me I am very dedicated to my dogs. Well, I feel I am ready to tell you a short story. Before I moved to Edinburgh my life was just a life, nothing exciting, just normal life. I was even depressed just before I moved to Edinburgh. Big decision and finally arrived in the capital of Scotland. A week later after my move here, I have met Roger via borrowmydoggie. My first thought was I wish he can be my pet. He was amazing, a rescue dog that had a lot of behaviour issues but he loved spending every minute of his life with humans.

I spent more and more time with him and I became happier. One day I adopted him and my life changed. From being a miserable and grumpy person, I changed to that happy outdoory person. Loved spending every minute of my life with Roger. He smiles every day and has such a character that everything else wasn’t important anymore. All my problems disappeared in a second that I was with Roger. I have a bad day at work I come back home and I totally forget about everything. Yes, I am dedicated to my dogs, as I know their life is short and I want to spend as much time as possible with them. I feel like a Hero for them and I know how much they love me. I hope they know how much I love them. Roger changed my life. So be happy and enjoy every minute with your 4-legged pals. They also help me with my health problems, but that’s one thing I rather not talk loud! I have those days that due to pain I just can’t crawl from bed, but seeing smiley Roger helps to fight and forget about it.

August

Anyway, enough all this happy tears notes. August is a month of pre-season training. We are taking it surprisingly very easy due to my injury and high temps. Weather is very funny at the moment, it is very cold for August or surprisingly very humid. No plan in place due to that so more of spontaneous wee trips.

This week back to Roger’s favourite Blairadam Forest. After some rain earlier this week, it was great to see streams full of fresh water. Nice run with Cani-fit  family. This time long loops with max speed for Roger. He is defo stronger after training on a scooter. I can feel more pull. However, I learn that I need to tell both my dogs to “get on” and stop letting them trot around. Roger is definitely strong enough to pull for longer. We are still working on Princess Laferra.

New hobby?

Recently my yoga studio re-shared an event for charity workshop to make dog beds and jackets. I thought what a great idea and we could bring dogs, so great option to socialise weird Laferra (she can be funny sometimes when indoor, she is still very friendly towards dogs tho). Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, I couldn’t take her but I decided to go myself. I had a blast and it was my first time that I was working with a sewing machine. Apparently, there will be more workshops like this, so keep your eyes on our fb page for more details. Here are few photos:

It was amazing and I have never knew that sewing can be so much fun. I really want a sewing machine now. Also as you can see below my dogs approved the bed I made for them.

Lubi Lykan thank you so much for rescuing those fabrics and letting me and others having fun and learn how to sew. I also manage to find best tweed bow ties for my dogs:D Lubi you are a star!

Happy Monday!!