If you’re not happy with your current running distance or fitness level, what would you do to change it?
If you’re currently running, but having trouble with:
- being stuck at a certain distance or pave, and can’t seem to build past it
- coming back from an injury and are frustrated with your lack of stamina due to the time off
- consistency, you know you should go out for a run but often come up with a “good” reason not to
- motivation, you seem to default to the same old route, never pushing yourself to go past your comfort zone
If that sounds like you, or if you’re stuck at the starting line, still working up the enthusiasm to get started – Canicross is the sport for you.
Canicross is a little-known sport that can help you get off the starting block, or help you get out of your training rut. If you already run with your dog, you’re already moving in the right direction. If not, let me step back a minute and explain what Canicross is.
The definition of Canicross (from the prestigious world renown Megan dictionary of definitions) is a sport where a dog in harness is attached to their owner, and helps propel them forward. This can be done at any speed (walking or running – you can skip too if you prefer), hiking, or snowshoeing.
How is Canicross different than simply running with your dog?
I’m so glad you asked!
The main difference is that your dog helps propel you forward, rather than just running with you. With a proper Canicross belt (for you) and harness (for your dog) it gives you a little extra boost, meaning you can cover more ground or increase your pace without a lot more effort on your part. Proper Canicross equipment (don’t worry it isn’t expensive), can also save your body a world of hurt!
If you already run with your dog, you know how hard it can be to use proper running form while holding a leash…not to mention if they randomly decide to pull you to the other side of the trail. Perhaps throwing your back out while doing it. Not that I’m speaking from experience.
So, what sounds better to you?
Option A) Canicross
- Increasing your running distance and pace
- Not needing a chiropractor appointment after every dog run
- Having a running partner to always motivate you to get to the trailhead
Or, Option B) Same old boring running
- Keep struggling with your running goals
I know it’s Option B for me.
Canicross is a little like the running equivalent of using an electric bicycle. You come up to a hard hill. Normally, you’d just give up at the bottom, dismount and walk your bike up the hill. Or, if you’re with someone you want to impress, make a token effort to get a little way up the hill. The whole while looking for a good place to step off. But now, with your electric turbo boost, you push the magic button and vroom! You made it to the top of the hill.
Sure, you had help. But, knowing you had that magic button, ready to call on at a moment’s notice meant you tried. You didn’t give up. Maybe you even tested yourself to see how far up the hill you could make it without pushing the button. Maybe you never needed the button at all – you just needed to know you had it if you did.
Often it isn’t the trail or difficulty that stops us. No, usually it’s that little voice in our brain telling us we can’t do it. That little voice that talks us out of even heading to the trailhead, because we’re not good at it, and can’t do it anyway…so why even try.
You know what’s louder than that little voice?
Your dog. Their goofy smile. Their excitement loading up in the car. Their unflappable happiness just because they get to do something with you. It’s contagious isn’t it.
If you want to quiet that little voice, enlist your best friends help. Let them help you past your fitness level, you’ll never find a more willing partner.
So, what’s your decision? Are you going to: