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The Need for Speed

Fitness is a dog’s ability to perform physical activities both static and dynamic. These activities generally require endurance, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination as well as a general awareness of the environment those activities are being performed within. 

Back in 1980 I was doing a program that required an hour of jogging every day. After a couple of months of doing the daily jogging, I discovered there was this guy who had a crush on me from just watching me jog by the bus spot every day. Eventually he started talking to me and jogging with me from one bus spot to another (about 2 blocks). One day, the bus came early and he was too far from the stop to make it in time at a jog. So he teased me to race him to the stop. I did, I beat him; he had longer legs. I felt like I was flying.

The point here is that speed happens when you are building skill, strength, flexibility and balance. I’d been jogging over city streets, sidewalks, dirt, weeds, grass and other obstacles for over two months. It all contributed to allowing the speed when needed.

According to many fitness trainers in the human world, “to improve running speed requires a training program that focuses on leg strength and power, with appropriate technique training to best utilize your strength and power development.” Which requirement falls right in line with what I experienced when jogging and then taking off in a sprint.

Not all sports need speed on a continuous basis. Agility, fly ball, racing, and coursing are the ones that come to mind. However, all sports need speed of some sort. Speed is more than just racing through the countryside as fast as possible, it’s also quickness of mind, going from zero to hero in four strides, or maneuvering around obstacles with fluency and verve. All of this requires strength. So training for strength increases speed, the rest is aerobics to increase lung capacity and cardiovascular function.