Get Fido to run a 5K

Does your dog seem a little lazier than usual? Is he lounging around after his evening kibbles? Is her belly a little bigger after the holiday scraps?

Maybe it’s time to start training Fido for a 5K. A program called “Pooch to 5K” will get your dog running a 5K (3.1 miles) in just 12 weeks, working out 3 times a week. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday? Sunday, Wednesday, Friday? 20-30 minutes a day? Tape that t.v. show, grab a leash (and dog) and head outside. Here’s a sample of what the program looks like:

Week 1: Brisk 5 minute warm-up walk. Alternate 60 seconds of gentle jogging with 90 seconds of walking. Repeat eight times for a total of 20 minutes.

By week 5 your four-legged buddy will be: Jogging 3 minutes, walking 2 minutes, jogging 6 minutes, walking 4 minutes, jogging 3 minutes, walking 2 minutes, jogging 6 minutes.

With gradual increases to each week, your dog will be ready to run the 5K by week 12. Full training schedule here. My local dog shelter has a Doggie Dash every year that is a so much fun. If your community doesn’t have anything like this, how about starting one? At Pooch to 5K they have plenty of resources, training tips, finding a dog running group and even a business plan to start your own dog running program.

Gail and Stella, Doggie Dash

Gail and Stella at the Doggie Dash

Just think of the bonding time, the big smiles, and the appreciation of wet kisses you’ll be getting. Just in time for summer, your dog will be strutting his stuff at the beach. No more poochy belly on this pooch.


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