Recovery and muscle relaxation after a run are equally important as the actual preparation before the run. What should you do after a run, after training or after a competition day? I bet you know more about Cool-Down of your dog than Cool-Down for yourself after a run. The whole „Cool-Down“ process takes some time, but it is very effective. Again, I asked Marcela Capkova – past FMBB World champion in Canicross and Bikejöring for some tips. What are the phases of „Cool Down“? Walking Trotting Static stretching At a competition, workshop or intensive training, you usually have more runs to complete and many of you with several dogs. Often, there is not enough time to perform complete „Cool-Down“ routine after every run. Here are some basic tips, that Marcela recommends implementing even after a short performance. 1. When finishing a course run in Agility After the run you need to relax your musculoskeletal system, so it can recover for your next performance. Take your canine athlete for a walk. Start with slow walk and continue with slow trotting. 5-10 minutes at low pulse rate is usually enough (optimal is up to 65% of your max. pulse rate). Your body will benefit from this and you will be able to feel the difference in your next run. If you have enough time, after you have finished trotting, you can complete some static stretching exercises – find some inspiration in the video below. The worst thing you can do right after your run is to sit down because your legs hurt. A short period of slow walking is the least you can do to relax your muscles. Your legs won’t feel as „stiff“ and „heavy“ in the next runs. 2. After competition After a competition day, after training or after a longer run, your body deserves to recover and rest. You finished your run, completed walking and trotting. Now it is important to stretch your muscles – watch the video for static stretching exercises. It should take you about 20 minutes, you can do it even at home. Great help is also massaging, whirlpool, sauna, hot bath, etc. Ready to train? Marcela offers online courses to improve your running skills. Run Class course lasts 6 weeks and focuses on improving your running technique for agility and canicross. Plans are tailor-made only for you and also if needed, for your canine athlete. Use our promo-code: HAVOHRAVORUN in your message to Marcela and get 10% discount Find more info at dognrun.cz Why Cool-Down? Many competitors do not perceive agility as a high-performance sport, where it is necessary to effectively prepare for your performance. Remember, that preparation for the run and following recovery help improve your performance and prevent injuries. You can find inspiration for a Cool-Down routine in our short video. It’s not complicated and you can quickly learn the individual exercises. Now, you need to implement them into your after-training or after-competition „routine“ and you set the basics for effective recovery. Martina About Marcela Marcela is fitness and running couch. In 2017 she became the FMBB World Champion in canicross and in 2018 in bikejöring as well. In the past she was part of Czech national agility team at the European Open, IMCA, FMBB. During her athletic career she won several races, e.g. Slovak National Champion for 800 m run.