First canicross !

Yesterday was a time of premiere for us :

  • First time running a Trail
  • First time running at night
  • First time running a race with my dog, Néron

Let me tell you all about it !

The training

Obviously, I was not going to through my puppy & I into a race that he would not appreciate. I started bringing him running with me right after my first Half Marathon in Amsterdam. And I actually discovered… That he liked it a lot !

He could run 6-8 km without being even slightly tired afterward.

To train him (and I because I needed to learn also how to coordinate my moves with him) we run progressively :

  • 5-6 km the firsts 5 times
  • 8 km once or twice
  • 10 km all the other training

As he already had training class, he already knew orders such as “Left” and “Right” which are really useful during a Canicross race.

I taught him as well “Stop” (to stop at crosswalk), “Go” to start running and accelerating.

The equipment

It took me a while to find the correct equipment. At first I decided to buy a cheap chancres belt and leash as I did not know if we were going to continue. Once I noticed we both appreciate it, I invested in a real dog harness and Canicross belt.

I bought a Zero DC Canicross Belt, which is really cool but it took me a while to perfectly fit it. Next one I will buy might be a sling (from Inlandis I guess). Néron harness and leash are from Inlandis, a french brand. Both are very qualitative and worth the price (not that expensive anyway).

The Race

We arrived at 5pm to discover the place, get my bib and get ready. At 6pm I was at the start line with my Puppy. He was really stressed by all that dogs and people around him (50 dogs and more than a thousand persons around). So I was stressed as well… I only wanting to go and start running.

At 6:15, I turned on my headlamp and huddle up to my puppy to get ready for the start.

3,2,1… GO ! That was it, and it was a bit of a mess ! 50 dogs in small path was really funny and messy. Really soon, most of them have exceeded us. I did not care as I wanted to take it very easy.

My headlamp was really bad : that was my first mistake, I could not see much. Second mistakes : I wore my running shoes which are not recommended at all. Above all when it has been raining and the path is in sand and earth (well it was more slippery mud).

First 2 kilometers it was hard finding my way. I was so lost ! Néron was smelling every tree and grass and listened hardly to my orders. But soon enough we found our rhythm.

We finished our 12km in 1h21 (6,47’/km). Which I found is not bad regarding the conditions. We arrived before last (the last one was a Dalmatien which has really bigger legs than Néron so we were proud anyway).

Néron was exhausted but happy to meet my family again and went back to sleep very fast. I was really happy to have succeeded in this new challenge, above all because eI was not alone in this journey !

Now I am starting my training for the next Half Marathon in April !

What is your next challenge ?

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