2020 - It's a year like no other. In many ways, we would normally be winding down to the end of the year & getting ready to rest our dogs from a long trial season. Instead, many of us are ramping up to get in a few trials before the end of the shortest season ever. So a high priority for many is getting fit fast, whether that is for the Show Ring, for flyball, or for Agility. Rally O and Obedience are also in full swing, with trials expected to run with a short break over the Summer, here in Australia. In chatting with many of my Clients over the last week, they are looking to get the most out of a short time, and hit the rings with some form before the season closes for the year. So I've put together my 5 top tips to get the most out of your dog's workouts as you head to the rings every weekend up to Christmas!
1. Hone in Make your dog's work out specific to their sport. Focus in on what you know you will need them to perform well and consistently with over the next 6 weeks. For example, if you have an Agility jumping dog, then get specific to strengthening their workout around sprint and strength/flex.
2. Get balanced Make sure you're doing as much Cardio as you are Strength and Flexibility training. If you can balance out your program, then you don't need to worry about lacking in speed or strength.
3. Take a rest Give your dog time to rest and recover.
I recommend resting the day prior to an event. In addition, an active rest day following the event allows your dog to recover through casual movement. Swimming, walking & just hanging out are great ways to support an active recovery.
4. Drop the drills
If you're focusing on trialling, cut the number of drills you're doing to improve your ability to perform at trial events. Not only will the cognitive rest give your dog's brain a chance to do some fantastic neural pathway development and settle latent learning, the muscles, ligaments and tendons have a chance to recover and rebuild quicker.
5. Stretch it out
In addition to your warm up, stretching out your dog's muscles will continue to support recovery and prevent injury. Check out my last newsletter and blog on the details about stretching for your sports dog.
What next? If you're a member of the DogFit Conditioning & Performance Academy, there's plenty of content to get you started. I recommend the AgilityFit 30 Day Challenge to kick off yours and your dog's fitness. Know how to help your progress: Take one of my foundations courses in the Academy or join my Monday Night Chats - on the AgilityFit Facebook Page . Skills: take yourself to the next level by booking a 1:1 session with me either in person or online, and see how you can get to the next breakthrough, no matter your sport or activity. Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.