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The Paths We Share: Trail Running with Fay, Lulu & Foxy

You can usually find Ruffwear Ambassador Fay Preene up in the fells of England’s Lake District National Park, running on the trails, or adventuring with her dogs, Lulu and Foxy. She made a brief pitstop by our blog to share how introducing trail running to her dogs brought fun and playfulness to an activity she has long done on her own.

Woman sits in back of van with her two dogs nearby

When we were deciding what breed of dog to get, we knew that it had to be one that would happily run across the Lakeland Fells. A spaniel was the perfect match – tonnes of energy, great overall health, small enough to jump stiles and weave through gates and their stamina is amazing.

After looking at advice online and speaking with our vet, we understood the importance of letting the girls grow to an age where their bodies and joints were ready to run. We built them up slowly with small runs and increased the mileage. This was the hardest part because they just want to go and go and go! We had to be strict and not overdo it too soon.

woman and two dogs in vast, green landscape

It was so much fun introducing them to our outdoor playground here in the Lakes. Teaching them to run with us was very natural and required a lot less training than I first imagined.

We kept it fun for them by taking them on a variety of different trails and terrain. From running up in the mountains, to lake paths, to the depths of the woods and everything between. The girls love having new places to explore and sniff around, and different locations and trails provided them with this.

Two dogs trail running on leash

Nothing can beat a few mid run swims along the way - this is a great way to cool them down whilst letting them have a swim, which they love.

I always make sure that I have some treats in my running vest too, which they know all too well about now. If I am running with the girls, I am relaxed about my speed and pace and just enjoy being out with them. My priority is them being comfortable and happy and we take as many sniff and drink breaks as they need.

woman trail running with her dogs on leash and her arms outstretched

The girls make running SO much fun! I don’t think anything gives me more joy than watching them be happy through the life that I give them. Having them to look at and watch really distracts my mind and makes running feel effortless. Their energy is infectious, and I love exploring together. It means I never feel alone when I run, and it gives me a purpose to get out of the door when I don’t always feel like it.

We should all be a bit more Spaniel.

spaniel dog playing tug with a rubber toy

Wonderful Wild Women have a variety of activities every month, there is something for everyone. From coffee mornings, to hikes, to runs – dogs are always welcome and they act as a great conversation starter.

People are social creatures, but sometimes social interactions can be difficult for people. Dogs are the perfect icebreakers – the moment you see someone with a dog, chances are you are going to go up and start a conversation. 

Wonderful Wild Women meets, plus dogs, equals the perfect, mostly welcoming social interaction.

group of women running across bridgeHaving a dog definitely motivates you to go outside more often, so not only does being a dog owner encourage you to be more active, it also opens up plenty of opportunities to be more social and meet new people. 

Fay, Lulu & Foxy's Running Kit:

Ruffwear Ambassador, Fay Preene, is a member of the Wonderful Wild Women community in the Lake District, UK. The Wonderful Wild Women are a collective of people who are passionate about the outdoors and making everyday choices to live more adventurously, more actively, and more mindfully in whatever capacity that takes for them. They aim to inspire all women no matter what their age, experience, or ability to get into the outdoors and get active.