I just bought Biddy and Tristan (and myself!) the best Christmas present ever! The Spindrift Daisy Runner from The Dog Outdoors. We've gone on one test run and I'm already telling myself I should have gotten this months ago! Essentially it is a belt with clip ons for two dog leashes so that you can run hands free. Yes...you could fashion this for yourself, but the Spindrift Daisy Runner has a padded neoprene lining, which really makes a huge difference when you are running and sweating. It also has a reflective strip on the back which is nice for early morning/evening runs.
I got the leashes that come with it which are bungee style...again can you use your own, yes, but I wanted to try the bungee style which gives a little more shock absorption and I am glad I did. They don't stop your dogs from pulling, but they do cushion it a lot on both ends of the lead.
The truth be told, my dogs are super fit, but unfortunately I'm not and over the last 10 years or so I've gradually let the weight creep on. So here I am today at 47, 25-30 pounds overweight and not getting any younger (which continually surprises me...since in my mind I see it differently!). The only exercise I have ever been able to stick to has been running.
Running with two Brittanys is a bit of a challenge to say the least. It takes us about 3/4 of a mile to get the edge off and settle in to a pace that we are all comfortable with, especially me! I had been just holding both of their leashes, but this resulted in me running most of the time with my arms pulled forward, and torso pitched forward as well, which put a lot of stress on my knees, which are not in bad shape, but the extra weight has been hard on them. It is a struggle enough without adding anything else to it!
The Spindrift Daisy Runner gets it done by really doing two thing in my opinion. It helps keep your torso upright instead of pitched forward, and it kind of puts and end point in how far the dogs can pull. Throw in the bungee leashes and we are moving along a lot more smoothly. The challenge, especially with more than one dog, is keeping each dog in their lane. Since the leashes have attachment points, if Biddy is attached on the left, she needs to stay on the left, end if story (well sort of....).
So this took a little bit of time to get worked out, but by the end of the first run, they got it. I think with practice this will solve itself. The bungee leads I chose are 4' long with stretch, so they have room to move and sniff, they just can't cross lanes. If they do, you need to stop and guide each dog back to their side. I made the mistake of putting them on the wrong sides at first...Tristan always walks on the right, Biddy on the left...they let me know this wasn't going to work right away. While the belt is easy to clip, you want to have all of this worked out before you start for sure.
The bungee leashes have handles up at the top so if you do need to guide along, which I suggest especially in the beginning. You can guide the dogs in a similar fashion to a horse's rein. They also have control or city loops down closer to the collar which are adjustable as well. These worked really nicely when I wanted to reel the dogs in and have them both right next to me. I was able to walk in a comfortable position, holding each control loop and have the dogs right there. Especially helpful in the presence of squirrels! Oh and you can clip your poop bag holder in as well without any interference!
If you haven't shopped at The Dog Outdoors, check out their website, awesome selection of things to get you and your dogs in action! They have great videos on all the products so you can really see how they work and if it is right for you. The price tag on a lot of the items is not cheap, however, they are designed to last. They are a family run business with incredible customer service. I got the Spindrift Daisy Runner plus two bungee leashes. The entire set up was around $63, so I wanted to make sure it was going to work. I sent Scott an email with my questions and he answered me back right away. Between their videos and his quick response I felt good about my purchase. I had it in just a few days and now we are off and running! Right now I am at my limit of about 2.25 miles doing the Galloway walk run.
My goal is to get back up to about 5 miles on each run. About 3 years ago I did a half marathon...which I am glad I did. I finished in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 28 seconds...mission accomplished! But, and this a big but (butt?) I didn't lose any weight and when training for the full hurt my knee at around 20 miles. For me, in order to go that far I was constantly re-fueling so as a result I never lost the weight. At the end of the day...if I can get to a steady 5 miles, I think that will be good. Now I just need to practice some of that portion control I do so well with my dogs!