Preparing yourself and your dog for a 5k run

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The weather has been unseasonably warm and people have been out and about for weeks. Some are training for upcoming races in the Piedmont while others are just strolling with the family dog.

So, why not combine the two?

Getting your dog fit enough for a 5k run is fun and very similar to getting yourself in shape. Of course, consult your veterinarian to be sure your dog is healthy for tackling longer distances and a faster pace.

Younger dogs, 18-months-old or younger, should stick to walking until their bones are fully developed.

Start slowly, adding five to 10 minutes to your walk every week. When you’re ready to jog, run for two to five minutes, then walk.

Repeat that pattern to give your body time to recover between longer and longer periods of running. Be sure to allow a couple months minimum to build up your endurance. That gradual increase is key to getting you and your dog fit at a safe pace.

Leashes that attach to your waist are great for running with your dog because they allow you to have your hands free for a water bottle. You can find one for around $25.

The Waggin’ Wild 5k is Saturday, March 4 at Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro. The race starts at 10:00 a.m. and you can walk or jog with your four-legged friend!

Proceeds from this race go to Loving Pet Inn Adoptions.

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