Page 1 of 2If you're looking for another good reason to try running, look to your dog. Running together can be a great way to make sure your beloved family dog gets or stays in shape right along with you. Many dogs are happy to run alongside their owners for short distances (up to 5K), while some breeds are perfect for longer runs. There are even special leashes and harnesses that make running with your dog a little easier.
To give yourself a deadline and a challenge to face together, train for a dog-friendly race with your furry exercise buddy. To get into 5K shape, check out SparkPeople's 5K Your Way Training Program or the dog-specific Pooch to 5K program, which is spread over a longer amount of time to make sure you don't push your dog too hard. (Regardless of the training you choose, check with your vet first to make sure your pet is healthy enough for strenuous activity.)
Most running events don't allow dogs, so before you sign up for a race, make sure that it explicitly states that canines are welcome to join. There are, however, numerous dog-specific races around the country, and for most of them, you can choose whether you want to run or walk the course with your pet. You could even plan a vacation with the whole family (and Fido, too) if there are no doggie runs near you.
Here are 15 dog-friendly races to consider:
Race for the Rescues
Month: October and November
Location: Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, CA, and Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA
Distance: 1K, 5K and 10K
Rocky Dog Trail Run
Location: Golden Peak in Vail, CO
Distance: 1 mile or 5K
Oregon Humane Society Doggy Dash
Location: Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, OR
Distance: 1.5 or 2.5 miles
Location: Seward Park in Seattle, WA
Distance: 5K Continued ›