Coach Rachel: Week 1 of HRH Training and a New Dog

Well Sunday marked the first full week we had Jackson with us. The first few nights were rough with mid- night wake ups. Even though he is 10 months and can hold his bladder, a new place and new people can be tough and getting on a schedule can help avoid accidents. Its not unusual for a newly adopted dog, who is potty trained, to have an accident in the first week or so as they get accustomed to a new home and schedule. In order to avoid that, sleeping on the couch I could let him outside if there was a bathroom emergency, though he had none! He is still not comfortable enough to pee or poop on a walk, preferring to go to the bathroom in the safety of our fenced in backyard. He checks the perimeters less often, but still likes to have someone stand outside with him while he is at his most vulnerable.

Herding breeds are loyal and hard working, but can also be very stubborn. The old idea that you need to roll-dominate a dog has fallen aside to better training methods of teaching pack order. Now leashing a dog and making them sit and wait when you go in and out doors, having them sit for dinner, and crating them is a better way to teach and set boundaries, so then when you are out in the world, you are in charge and the dog looks to you as a leader. We extended our walks a bit longer, threw in a 1 mile run/walk on leash, and during some long trail hikes we practiced heeling off leash for a minute or two. He’s already pretty good at that as we do a lot of on leash heeling on the roads. He will for sure be a good running buddy, he just gets a tad to close to my heels when he heels 🙂

In terms of running, not too much has changed for volume yet. I mapped out all the trails that have some elevation, which is not very much, but something is always better than nothing. I started doing more runs on single track to practice technical running. With no races I often default to running roads and non technical trails, so bringing back more technical trails should help with foot placement. If you’re a runner who runs on roads and trails you probably notice that your gait changes slightly depending on which surface you choose. 

The focus for now is basemiles and base strength for my upper body and core. I ran about 54 mpw, and hiked probably12-15 miles, some with a weight vest to add some strength components to hiking. I lifted for an hour on Thursday, working up to 95lbs squatting on the hex bar, and pressing 50lbs, which is about half my weight. Pull ups, core work, and some mobility for a heavy pack and poles.

I signed up for a 50 miler in March with as much vert as I will be able to find on the EC nearby and started doing 4*20 step ups each leg every other day. Unweighted for now, working up to weight as the year progresses.

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