The triathlon refers to a multisport race involving three consecutive and continuous endurance races. While there are several variations of the sport, the most common form is the combination of swimming, cycling and running. The individuals who participate in this sport are known as triathletes. Being one of the most grueling sports, triathletes spend a lot of time and dedication to train for an event. In fact, their training is constant and periodized, often working on each of the three disciplines. Unfortunately for some, this means less time spent with their loved ones, including their pets. A unique way to train, and one that is more enjoyable, is to use your dog as a training buddy. With the right equipment and patience, triathletes can integrate their furry buddies into their training regimen and daily routine.
One of the disciplines in triathlon is running. Out of all the three sports executed in a triathlon race, running is considered the simplest movement. This is not to say that running is the least challenging. In fact, triathletes still dedicate a substantial amount of time training for the run leg of their race. If you are looking to train with your dog, then the running portion is definitely the easiest one to involve your pooch in. What’s good about this activity is that you not only get to do some training, you also meet your dog’s daily exercise needs. Moreover, an activity done together serves as a good bonding moment between you and your furry buddy.
Swimming is an integral part of any triathlete’s training, especially since triathlons involve long-distance swimming in open water. For dogs, swimming can be considered a fun activity. Dogs actually have an innate love for water and most dogs are naturally good at swimming. Take this opportunity to bond with your dog while simultaneously training for your next race. If you have a big, active dog, then swimming can also serve as an outlet for all that energy. Just make sure that your dog is safe throughout your swim training and that you do not force the issue in case your dog seems uncomfortable in the water.
The cycling leg completes the trifecta of a triathlon race. By default, this portion features the longest distance. Hence, you need to put some mileage in when training for the cycling event. Most triathletes have bicycle trainers so that they are able to train indoors in case of not-so-good weather. However, on a clear day out, it is fun to hop on a bike and go for a ride. What can make your usual ride even more fun is by bringing your dog with you. Cycling works best for dog breeds that are muscular and have high levels of energy, although any mutt can have some cycling fun with proper gear and training.
For athletes, rest and recovery are just as important as the training itself. This goes for dogs as well. A day in the spa is a great way to relax your tired muscles and get your dog all cleaned up and rested. You can go on spa sessions separately or opt for special owner-and-dog spas.
With your dog being a part of your regular training routine, the best way to test your training is to actually go on a race with your dog. Thanks to certain race companies, such as Tridog and Irondog, dog-owning triathletes now have the chance to compete with their mutts alongside them. These races first showed up in Europe but have made its way to US soil. Do your research and look for upcoming races near you.
The triathlon is one of the most grueling sports to have ever been made; it requires not just strength and skill but also endurance. The life of a triathlete is no walk in the park (no pun intended) and entails dedication and a whole lot of training. The best way to make training more enjoyable is to include your pooch in your sessions. This is a great way to boost your dog’s aerobic capacity and to share some quality time together.