Four Paws swim/run training partner

The leaves are changing colour and we have had three wet weeks in the UK so whilst I was fully expecting to be getting the most from my gym membership we have had a few breaks in the weather and I’ve managed to get outdoor with my four legged friend and on my bike at the weekends.

As the air has cooled I’ve taken Jango running at weekends. It won’t be long before I don’t get home in time to take him for a walk after work due to nights drawing in so weekends will be even more special for him. Building up from our hilly four mile loop on bridle paths and quiet country lanes he’s very excited hope to get to 10 miles off road with him as we both build fitness.

I have also been able to take him swimming ! Sandford lido is preparing to close at end of season so allows dogs and humans to swim together on the last weekend before they drain, clean and maintain the pool for winter. It was canine chaos, but great fun. Dogs of all shapes and sizes in the water and playing around swopping balls and toys, shaking, spraying and splashing around. Not a dry human at the pool and lots of soggy dogs. Labradors and spaniels were the majority of swimmers. All shapes, sizes, breeds with some more willing and natural ability than others. A few dogs had buoyancy aids and looked well chilled. Most humans wore shortie wetsuits as the water temp was reduced to 21c and chlorine levels reduced too so not to affect the dogs.

lido 1

Not knowing if Jango could swim as he’s never been out of his depth, I was very pleased to see him float and show natural ability straight away. He was totally trusting of me and while he wouldn’t jump in was happy to be carried in, no scratching or panic. First time I took him out about 6 meters and let him float and tread water, then he heard Lucy’s voice and swam back to the point we got into the pool. Paws on the side I caught up with him and helped him out. He had his running harness on which also gave extra grab points which was a great idea. None of the dogs could get out due to pool edge but that’s why  they have humans with them. First event and ticket I have been to when the dog has the lead name then accompanying humans #1 & #2.

We went back in a few more times with him swimming back to entry point each time. The slide was a no go as my wetsuit stuck to it ! After a coffee break he swam over 10 meters alongside me – will sew his swimming badge on his towel of course!
I was in this pool for opening day when entry is just 2p, once again in summer and on closing weekend. Such a great lido and glad that my dog can swim – we have had a spaniel that had no swimming ability and sank like a brick and had to be rescued and  grabbed out of puddles and streams.

lido 2.jpg

Already signed up for the local lake next year with an early bird offer so I will take Jango with me more so we can swim and then run together. Canine Aquathon anyone ?!

Joined a  12 week progressive Wattbike course based on British Cycling coaching, week one was a FTP tests which confirmed I have lost over 50 points since April and pre shingles. Something to work on over the remaining weeks when we test again at the end.


Expecting to have to ride indoors  at the weekend I had my Netflix films/documentaries  lined up based in time – 75/90/120/150 minutes. However been lucky with dry weekends so have actually managed to get outdoors a few times and ride in sunshine with blue sky but breezy days enjoying the autumnal colours. These ride have been very social with friends and coffee stops. Although I did have a mountain biker draft me for 3 miles into a headwind as it was tough going ! When he got his breath back he did thank me and chatted for a mile when we were out of the wind.

ride 1

Building strength & conditioning training into my week with an aim of three sessions a week, one of which is gym circuits and with only 2 of us attending its like a personal training session with nowhere to hide and the PT focusing on our form and technique while pushing us to the max. We’ve had blood sweat and tears but hopefully building core strength as again that has been lost over the summer shingles.

I few local races planned for winter, need to get my trail shoes muddy again – so clean after the summer swim/run event. May event get the headset on mountain bike fixed.

Winter health update – Flu jab done. Asthma and lungs noticing the colder air so need to keep on top of that, bring out the Buffs.

As I write this it is 300 days to ironman Copenhagen – -eeekkk, don’t panic plenty of time to fill Training Peaks green in the new year.





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