Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Who's Running Who? Tips for Running with Your Dog #Healthiertogether

This post is sponsored by Nulo™ and the BlogPaws Pet Influencer Network. I am being compensated to help share information about Nulo, but I only share information I feel is relevant to my readers. Nulo is not responsible for the content of this article.

I have the best running partner. He never hits snooze on those early morning runs. He never cancels. He is always enthusiastically ready to run. His schedule never gets in the way of our runs. He never complains. He never talks my ear off and he always listens when I talk. He is perfectly content with running in silence. He always strives to protect me against the potential dangers on the road: people, dogs and especially those pesky squirrels. He doesn't care about pace. He'll go as fast or as slow as I want and he loves Fartlucks. "Hey, a squirrel, let's run fast to catch him! Hey, this tree smells interesting, let's stop and check it out."

The only downside? I have to pick up his poop! (I don't have that problem with human running partners.)

Ollie is my running buddy. We are healthier together. We live a physically active lifestyle together. I am a running coach and a dog lover. Running with your dog is a great way for you both to stay fit and healthy.


Remember the first time you hit the road for a run? You didn't run three miles on your first time out and neither should your dog. Just like a person, a dog needs to adapt to fitness. Start slow. Take your dog out for a half mile at first, build to a mile and then build from there. Try a walk/run regimen at first. If I am on a long run, I might take him for a three mile loop or two (he is conditioned for that) and drop him off at home while I continue my run. 

Is Fido Fit to Run?


You have those fancy running shoes, your dog's paws don't have the rubber soles to protect from the heat. Before you run on the street in the scorching heat, place your bare skin on the cement or asphalt. If it is too hot for you, it is probably too hot for him too. Dogs will need to be acclimated to running in the heat, just like you. 


Hydration is important for you and is just as important for your dog. I bring water for Ollie on our runs or I plan our runs past a park or school water fountain. If I see signs of over heating like panting excessively, I let him lie in the shade to recover. His safety is always more important than my run. 


I am an athlete and proper nutrition helps me look, feel and perform my best. Ollie is an athlete too, why should it be any different for him? I make sure he is fueled for all his daily activities by feeding him high quality food  Nulo premium pet food. Nulo‘s unique recipes uses fresh chicken, lamb and salmon and pairs them with yummy things like apples, carrots, lentils, and sweet potato. Pet nutrition is just as important to fuel his healthy lifestyle at nutrition is to mine. I always make sure the first ingredients listed are real meats. Ollie needs quality protein just like his mama. As a high meat protein dog food, he devours Nulo Pet Food. Available at Nulo.com and PetSmart.com


Don't be that person who lets your dog poop in the neighbor's yard. Be prepared with plastic bags and do the right thing...clean up after your running buddy.


Your dog probably doesn't need to run a half marathon. (Some dogs may be trained for it, but you certainly can't expect it right out of the gate.) Too many miles can cause too much stress on his body if he is not properly trained. Keep the runs with your dog short and sweet. A 30 minute run/walk will give your dog a great workout without taxing his body too much.



No matter how well-behaved your dog is, please always run with a leash. There are too many unknown factors that can change the situation in a blink of an eye. Stay in control with a leash.

Six legs are better than two as long as you apply common sense and put your dog's safety and enjoyment first! Feed you dog like an athlete. Check out Nulo at your local PetSmart or PetSmart online or learn more about Nulo at nulo.com

high-five Ollie!
Do you run with your dog? I love to see pictures of you and your favorite four-legged running partner! Share on Twitter and tag me @leagenders and @nulopetfood or on Instagram @runningwithollie and @nulopetfood. We'd love to see your furry-faced friends!

Ollie would say bye, but he's busy. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nulo. The opinions and text are all mine.

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, November 11, 2016

Furry Friday Feature: Luna & Mairi

Welcome to the latest edition of Furry Friday Feature when I introduce you to the cutest four-legged runners on the internet. This week I am thrilled for you to meet Mairi and Luna from the Isle of Lewis off the west coast of Scotland.

Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner.

My lovely running buddy is such a sweetie :) She is a 6 year old fox red Labrador called Luna who is such a happy girl.

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

We love to run at the woodlands in the main town of the island. There are lovely trails and places to explore and it's especially pretty just now as all the leaves are all beautiful colours. We also love hitting the beach for some sprints 

Have you ever raced with Luna? 

I haven't raced with her but would love to do a local 5K together .

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

Running Moments that made me proud are completeing the London marathon, the Isle of Skye half marathon and some local 10K's :) I also have 3 fantastic children that make me proud daily.

Tell us a funny story about Luna.

Luna loves when I practice planks in the living room . She always tries to crawl under me and wags her tail. Needless to say I never maintain them for long.

What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?

Dogs teach us to run happy and enjoy every minute . Take time to stop and look at the view once in a while.

Thank you so much for including our Luna in the Furry Friday Feature, she's delighted.

You can follow Luna and Mairi on Happy Runner Girl Blog or on Instagram @mairikmac76

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday, November 4, 2016

Furry Friday Feature: Jog with a Dog

Friends. This is what Furry Friday Feature is all about. This is the dog love that makes the world go 'round. I am so proud and honored to share the the Greenville County Animal Care's Jog With A Dog program with you for this extra special Furry Friday Feature.

Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner.

Greenville County Animal Care's Jog With A Dog program takes high energy shelter dogs to a local park for exercise and enrichment. We take dogs of all breeds and ages as long as they love to run and meet new people.

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

We run at a local park near downtown Greenville that popular with local runners and triathletes. It has a great running path and allows us to give the dogs some extra exercise and put them in front of the people that might be most likely to want a dog with higher energy.

Have you ever raced with your dog?

Animal Care organizes an annual 5K dog friendly race. Every year I pick a shelter dog and run. The first year we put a gopro on the dog and we were the top male finisher. This year the entire adoptions team picked a dog and entered the race.

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud.

On one run I took a little cattle dog named Leah. She was full of energy and wanted to run and play with dogs all day but was not so great at listening or cuddling with people. I watched her go from very fast, independent dog to one that listened very well to anyone she bonded with and ended up being a huge snuggler! I paired her with a foster that could continue this bonding and we had her adopted in no time! Before the running group she would be very hard to get adopted.

What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?

The dogs we run with are usually the most stressed dogs in the shelter. When they are out running you can watch the stress disappear. They are just dogs doing what dogs love to do. People need to also find something they love to do (for me its running) and let themselves escape the day to day stresses of life for a while.

Please friend, follow at https://www.facebook.com/gcanimalcare/ to support this cause.

The Jog With a Dog program at Greenville County animal Care has been immensely beneficial in getting the large, energetic dogs adopted and has helped us on our path to create a no-kill community in Greenville SC.

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Day in the Life of Ollie the Dog: #HealthierTogether

This post is sponsored by Nulo™ and the BlogPaws Pet Influencer Network. I am being compensated to help share information about Nulo, but I only share information I feel is relevant to my readers. Nulo is not responsible for the content of this article.

Hi. My name is Ollie. My mom says I'm an English Pointer mix and a handsome boy. I like belly rubs, chasing squirrels and stare-down contests with cats. Mom asked me to write a guest post on her blog about a day in my life since we all know I am the real reason you read this blog. My life is so much more interesting than hers anyway. She leaves the house for 9-10 hours every day. I have no idea where she goes but she always comes back.

Hi, I'm Ollie.

My mom likes to sleep (a lot) so every morning it is my job to make sure she gets up on time so that I can go on my morning walk and eat breakfast. Sometimes she tries to ignore me but I know if I keep licking her face she will get up.

wake up mom!

Mom and dad eat a healthy breakfast together every morning and it is my job to make sure no food gets on the floor. I don't mean to brag, but I am pretty good at it. When I'm sure there is no food left at the human table, I am usually ready to eat my own food.

My mom is a personal trainer and is studying nutrition. That means that she helps other people get healthy and fit. She pays attention to the foods that she eats to make sure it is healthy for her body. She knows when she eats a lot of processed foods she doesn't feel, look or perform her best. She does the same for me. Why would she feed herself healthy foods and then feed me unhealthy food? That wouldn't be right. I am an athlete, just like her.

She checks the ingredients on the dog food bag to make sure they are are whole nutritious foods that are healthy and I would enjoy. Nutritious foods makes me feel my best.

She went to PetSmart this weekend and bought me Nulo™premium pet food. She didn't take me with her. Isn't she rude? Doesn't she know PetSmart allows dogs? Doesn't she know how much I love to ride in the car? If you can't get to PetSmart like me, Nulo is available at PetSmart.com and Nulo.com. (Just don't tell your humans that you use the computer when they're not home.)

Nulo™ has everything mom looks for in a healthy dog food for me. The main ingredients are all whole foods. It is high in protein, lower in carbs and grain-free. I gobbled it up so it must've tasted good. Pet nutrition is just as important for active dogs as nutrition is for active humans.

Exercise is important to my mom too so she and my dad make sure I get plenty of exercise every day. My favorite part of the day is my morning walk. Walking is a great exercise for humans and dogs alike. It is so much fun to go out in the neighborhood and see all my friends behind fences.

Whoah, that's a big dog.

I have a girl friend too. This is Laila. Isn't she cute? Doesn't she look excited to see me?

This is my best friend, Copper. He is younger than me and really likes to play. Copper helps me stay active.

When it's nice outside I have a pretty full day playing in back yard chasing squirrels and playing with my friends. I also like to nap during the day when I can. My bed is pretty comfy.

Sometimes when mom gets home in the evening she takes me for a run. I LOVE TO RUN! (Yes, all caps because that is how much I love it.) It is my favorite thing ever and even though sometimes I get tired, I will never let mom know because I never want to stop running. I am an athlete too. Good pet nutrition is so important to fuel my healthy lifestyle. Mom and I are healthier together.

Mom and Dad make sure that I get enough exercise, healthy food, play time and quality time with them. This makes me a happy healthy dog! My mom will let you know how I like the Nulo in a couple of weeks. I just started eating it this week after she went to PetSmart (without me!) and she will give you honest feedback of how it makes me look and feel over the next couple of weeks. So far so good.

Mom and I are going for a run now.

If other dogs are reading this, you can tell your human to buy you Nulo at PetSmart, PetSmart.com or Nulo.com.

If you are an active dog with an active human I'd love to meet you. Share a pic of you and your active human with me! Share your dog pic on Twitter and tag @nulopetfood and my mom @leagenders or on Instagram @nulopetfood and @runningwithollie

See you soon!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nulo. The opinions and text are all mine.

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

5 Lessons I Learned in 5 Years of Fitness Blogging

Hi, friends! It is my five year fitness blogversary this month!

I often cite December 1st 2011 as my first official blog post from my first running blog, Running for Dummies, but I have had this blog since January 2009. I once said in a post that Nov 4th was my fitness Blogversary. The dates may be a little muddy in my mind but this is what I know:

On January 4th 2009 I officially started this blog. It didn't have a blog name, just my name stretched across the top. I didn't know anything about blogging. I didn't even know that there was anything to know about blogging. I was blissfully unaware. I just opened a free blog account and started writing. My first post ever was a year-in-review of 2008 which was mostly pictures, something I still do every year. I like to look back on my year and remember the highlights. I read that first post from 2009 and realized that I ran my first 5K in 2008. Blogging is cool.

This wasn't even a fitness blog at first. I just blogged about whatever was on my mind. I didn't have an editorial calendar, a mailing list or the realization that those were things I was supposed to have.

My first post about fitness was this one on July 14 2011. It is really not bad for a first fitness post. I thought I would look back and cringe (maybe I did at my graphics) but I started off OK. There were plenty of other posts to cringe at over the years.

In November of 2011 I renamed this blog 'Running for Dummies' and began my first journey into fitness/running blogging. In 2013 it was growing so fast I worried about copyright infringement on that original name and I rebranded as 'Running with Ollie.'

I learned a lot in five years of fitness blogging and I realized as I was writing it that the things I learned about blogging are also important life lessons.


I learned that Pinterest-friendly graphics can drive a lot of blog traffic


It's my blog. Of course it's about me. right? Yes and no. I realized pretty quickly that people don't care about me. Not really. It's human nature. People care about themselves. If I wanted people to read my blog and return to read more, I couldn't just blab on about myself all the time. I had to either inform or entertain. People don't care about my latest PR (personal record), they care about what they can learn from it in order to achieve their own PR. They don't care about my race experience, they care about what to expect before they run it themselves. They don't care if I lost 10 pounds, they want to know how I did it so they can try to apply it to their own lives. They don't really care that I $hit my pants on a long run, but they sure enjoyed laughing about it.

I'm not saying people are jerks. They are not (well most of them). It is just that people are too busy to read blogs about nothing so it is important to share information that is relatable, informative or entertaining.


I had no idea back then that there were blogging communities and maybe in 2009 there weren't. Around the time I started 'Running for Dummies' in 2011 I learned about the Fitfluential and Sweat Pink fitness blogger communities. In the early days of these groups I made many blog friends that I am still friends with today. I learned so much about fitness blogging from the people that were already doing it and the people like me that were just learning to navigate the blogging world.

Today Facebook is inundated with blogging groups from every niche imaginable, it is almost overwhelming. I am grateful to have been part of my online fitness communites when they were smaller and more personable. They are still great, but they have grown so much over the years that they naturally have changed and evolved into something much bigger. The connections I made in the early years mean a lot to me, especially the people I eventually met in-person at races, events and conferences.


Just like anything in life, you get what you give. If you live in a blogging bubble and just pump out content without ever engaging with other bloggers, you'll never get anywhere. It really goes back to both of my previous points. It is not all about me. I have to get out there and see what everyone else is doing, leave thoughtful comments on blogs and share great content from other bloggers. Engaging with other bloggers is critical to success of a blog because you can't do it alone.


People are starting new blogs every day. They start blogs with good intentions and then sometimes they naturally fall off and fade away. What is the difference between someone like me who has been blogging for five years and someone who lets a blog go after six moths because life gets too busy?

Passion. I have a passion for writing, fitness and blogging. Someone once asked me "Don't you ever just not feel like doing it?" If I ever truly didn't want to do it anymore I would stop. This isn't my career. My mortgage payment doesn't depend on this blog. I do it because I love it. It's a hobby, a part-time job and passion rolled into one.

It is a ridiculous amount of work, so much more goes into it than just the writing. But it is a work of passion. It is my creative outlet. I get so much personal fulfillment from this blog that I don't get from my day job or anywhere else. Sure, like anything, there is an ebb and flow to it. There are times I am less motivated and step away for a short time, but I always come back. I can't imagine my life without blogging. I often wonder what I did with my life before 2009, I honestly can't remember.


These days I watch people in those Facebook blogging groups freak out about launching a new blog. They want to have two months of flawless content ready, a logo, a mailing list opt-in download and a solid SEO strategy. There is nothing wrong with striving for the best but I read these threads and am grateful for my ignorance in the beginning.

I didn't know about Google analytics, unique monthly page views or SEO. I wasn't comparing the success of my blog to other more established blogs. I didn't even know what success in blogging meant. I didn't know anything, but one day I started and I figured it all out along the way. I did some stupid things and made many mistakes over the years, but day by day, I learned just about everything I needed to know to run a successful blog.

It wasn't perfect then and it is certainly not perfect now, but every day it gets a little better. I didn't worry about launching with the perfect blog. I launched my blog and perfected it (on my terms) over the last five years. Then I took what I learned about blogging here and applied it to my new blog on www.leagendersfitness.com. Just imagine how much better I'll be with five more years of learning and evolving under my belt.

Blogging taught me an important life lesson. A lesson that I am applying in my own fitness business. You don't have to know everything to start. You just have to start. You learn along the way. You make mistakes. You keep moving forward. You keep getting better. You fall. You get back up. Not knowing is OK. Not starting because you don't know is NOT OK.

What do you think?

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...