I have been swimrunning all year, in all weathers. When the weather is nice it's usually pretty easy to find a swimrun partner, but once the winter sets in it can be a struggle to find anyone mad enough. That is, until I doscovered my dog, a Springer Spaniel named 'Jake', absolutely LOVES swimrunning!
Although he does get a bit intimidated by the larger waves he has since developed a passion for winter swimrunning, which brings its own set of challenges, but also has some advantages!
Actually I have found it beneficial for my training as the dog loves to run and keeps me going on the trails and Spaniels are good in the water too; when I swim with my shoes on he can keep up on the swimming legs too.
To Tether or Not to Tether?
When training with the dog I opt to tether him to me, mainly as I get the benefit from having a running partner willing to pull me up the hills! The dog loves it and thinks it's all just a big game.
I use a nylon belt with some hoops that my wife sewed onto the belt onto which I attach a carabina. I then have a 3m piece of para cord, looped at both ends, which I use to attach to the carabina and the dog.
This works great when running as the cord is attached to my waist and it's easy to hold the cord if needed to stop getting my feet tangled.
When I get to the water I simply swivel the belt around so the carabina is in the small of my back and then I tow the dog.
If needed I stop for a breather in the swim leg and let the dog catch up but need to be careful he doesn't shred the wetsuit as he will try and climb on my shoulders!
Sometimes though, accidents do happen, usually on the run, when it's really muddy, as in the clip below...!