Fall is here- and hopefully almost gone with winter on it's heels- so it's time to go over this years dog plans.
First, we are a month into training right now and have just under a hundred miles on the dogs. Which doesn't seem like much compared to some years but we are doing things a lot different now a days.
That's because of a few training experiences of my own over the summer. First, I trained for a 12hr endurance mountain bike race in June by basically following the same style of training as I use with my dogs.
this isn't as wacky as it may seem. Most of the research I have done to learn how to train my dogs has been adapted from reading cyling books. So it seemed natural to use these same methods to train myself.
It worked okay.
I met my goals in the race and didn't suffer too much. I was happy.
But then we all went on a cycle tour down the Atlantic Coast for a month- which was GREAT time! We rode everyday! Some days easy. Some days hard. But EVERY day.
Now this trip was a month and a half past the mtn. bike race and I had ridden just short, fun rides in between with Christina and Pippin. We were all comfortable with rides in the 20 mile range. But by the end of the trip we could have ridden 100! And not even have felt sore (except maybe our rear ends!).
This was true for Christina and Pippin, as well as, me. And they hadn't trained hardley at all before the trip.
I could have easily doubled my distance in the 12 hr race after the tour with just a few weeks of intervals and tapering- maybe even more!
And so how does this relate to the dogs?
Well, typically we train on a fairly consistent schedule which has changed over the years but starts easy and then gets progressively harder as the winter moves forward.
That's how I trained for the Mtn. bike race.
It works but I felt a little flat and bored for the training so didn't get as much out of each ride as I could have.
On the Atlantic trip we rode different amounts everyday. Our bodies stayed actively adapting to each days ride rather than just humdrum moving along. We are going to mimic that with the dogs this year.
Right now we are laying in easy base miles. Just getting a funamental layer of conditioning on the dogs. Nothing stressfull and really being carefull to avoid injuries and any hint of boredom.
We haven't run the same trail more than once this year.
Then in mid-November through mid-December we are going to run EVERY day- sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes slow with a heavy load, sometimes fast with a light sled. The goal being a 75-100mi run by the end.
Then we will taper and be ready for our first race- the Knic 200, on the first weekend of Jan.
More on our race plans to come.....
But you can see that dog training is ever evolving and training myself has had a huge effect on how I approach the dogs conditioning!