Canicross - hands free running with your dog

Enve Canine Services in association with Human and Canine Fitness.


What is canicross?

Canicross is essentially running with your dog, hands-free. It is an amazing, fun way for both you and your dog to get fit (maybe shift those lockdown pounds!) and build your relationship. It is the safest way to run with your dog using specially designed, technical equipment that allows you to run naturally as your hands will be free and for your dog to also run comfortably. The idea is that you run together with your dog in front of you, essentially with your dog helping to pull you along. You use verbal commands to direct your dog.



But I can't run....... I'm too unfit ........I'll never keep up with my dog!

You don’t have to be a super fit athlete to enjoy canicross, you can start out simply power walking. Classes are available for all levels of fitness/ability of both human and canine.

Any breed of dog can take part as long as they are fully matured (in most cases over 12 months old), in good health and willing!

The classes will be full of encouragement, fun and enrichment. There will be prizes for reaching milestones and lots of fun games and tricks. You will always leave learning something new about yourself, your dog and over time the transformation will amaze you!

Canicross is not only good for your physical health but your mental wellbeing too. This applies to your dog too – they also benefit from the physical exercise and being able to express their natural behaviours.


Do I need special equipment?

Yes, you do. Canicross equipment is very simple and designed with the comfort of the human and dog in mind. As well as regular running attire and a pair of good trainers, you will wear a lightweight running belt that sits on your hips / top of your bottom with adjustable leg straps. The pull from the dog is therefore through the hips and will not jar your back.

The dog wears a properly fitted canicross harness which allows freedom of movement and maintains comfort for them.

You are attached to each other with a bungee cord. This again reduces any shock from the pull of your dog.

Ciarán will advise on the equipment needed and fit at your taster session (some equipment will be available to borrow for the taster session only).


Where will the classes be?

To start with, classes will be held at Palm Bay (CT9 3GH). Palm Bay is a perfect location for exercising. Not only has it free parking and is sandwiched between coffee stops; it has a blend of wide open spaces, narrow tracks, a coastal path and a beach. Other venues may be added if there is demand.


Introducing your instructor

Ciarán Doyle


Ciarán is a certified canicross trainer with Dogfit. Ciarán is also a qualified teacher specialising in mathematics. He has been a ski leader, is an experienced triathlete and is Dad to two wonderful children and a dog!  The Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa is his next big goal before canicrossing an ultra marathon with Penny.

Penny is a 4 year old rescue border collie and they have been canicrossing together for about 2 years. They both love competing, especially Penny! They have won races like Snowdon and Bedgebury but a gentle sunset run along the beach (with a snack of course) is also the perfect end to the day.


On a normal day Penny is obsessed with her tennis ball but in a canicross harness she will totally ignore it! Penny thrives in this environment as the stimulus does wonders for her mind as well as the benefit of the physical exercise. Canicrossing with Penny allows her to express her natural instincts and behaviour. Running with other dogs, the commands, positioning, different paces and locations all help enrich her life.

Ciarán and Penny are currently working towards Gold II with ENVE. They have an amazing bond and Ciarán hopes you can develop similar with your dog.  As well as family life and competing, Ciarán is also updating past qualifications in personal training and nutrition.


Taster Session

A 1:1 Taster session is a prerequisite to signing up to any of the following courses

Taster session. 1 to 1. £35. Full introduction to Canicross, harness fitting and advice. Included will be a mini three part session (e.g. warm up, main body of work and cool down.) This will give you an indication of what you can expect from a canicross course.

Courses

  • Couch to 5k (Part 1). £50 for 5 week course. This course is for beginners and the class duration is 45 minutes. There is no pressure and the course is all about enjoyment, improving bonding with your dog and making canicross part of your weekly routine. It is a great start to canicross life and a solid preparation for Part 2.
  • Couch 5k (Part 2). £50 for 5 week course. The class duration is 50 minutes. The end goal of this course is to run a 5k and therefore it will challenge you.
  • 10k for Experienced beginners. This is a 5 week course costing £60 and each class is 70 minutes in duration. This course is for you if you have run a 5k race recently or you have canicross knowledge and that both of you run regularly.
  • 1 to 1 personal training session at Palm Bay (1 hour). The cost for this session is £40. All details on application. Note:- The session can be done at another location but a travel surcharge may apply.
  • Family / childrens canicross class. As special belt sizes will be needed please enquire for availability. I am passionate about inspiring the next generation and encouraging children to have fun running outdoors.
  • Race preparation or race pacing. Price on application.
  • Email/ Video coaching. Price on application.
  • 10k to half marathon; half marathon to marathon and ultra marathon coaching. Prices on application.