Friday, January 26, 2007

Get Your Animals To Tri!

You heard it right. If you're like plenty of triathletes we know, you probably have a cat. Or a dog. Or some kind of animal to make up for the fact that you're training non-stop and need some unconditional lovin' in between.

But between work, friends, family, and training, perhaps said pet has been a little neglected. If you're like TriDiva, perhaps your cat is getting a bit pudgy--like beyond what you can attribute to cat fluff. It's like the fit parents with the fat kid. What to do? It's time to share your passion with your pet!

Step 1: The Swim

SwimCat Cap and suit optional. This is the part most human triathletes struggle with, so if Fatso doesn't take to it instantly, don't worry. Just ease him into it with a little water therapy every day, until he's comfortable immersing himself in the pool. The key is not to let on you think he's fat and needs the exercise, just to introduce him to swimming in the hopes he'll take a liking to it and drop 10 lbs.

Step 2: The Bike

CatBike One pedal stroke at a time. You might find teaching your cat to pedal is easier than teaching him to swim. They tend to be attracted to moving objects, and as long as they can keep that pedal going, they'll be amused for a long time. Put it in an easy gear. And try attaching a bell to it for added stimulation. Just remember to take it off before heading out with your buddies. Don't buy Fatso a bike just yet. You can wait to ensure he becomes dedicated enough to riding, so the investment will be worth it in the future.

Step Three: The Run

CatRun By far the easiest part of triathlon to teach Fatso. A tried and true way to get him up off the couch and do some plyometrics and accelerations: Santa on a string. There's just something about that red hat, rosy cheeks, and little bell on the end of his hat that gets cats all riled up. Or maybe they're bitter that all Santa brought them for Xmas was some canned tuna, while they know darn well you got a plasma TV. Whatever it is, help Fatso strengthen those muscles so he has something left in him when he competes in his first tri.

CatSanta Just remember: it's not easy to start a new life as a triathlete after having been a sedentary snuggler for a long period of time. Start Fasto off easy. Praise him for all of his small accomplishments. Give him incentive, (but NOT food!) like inviting his favorite female friend over for playtime one day after he swims 2 bathtub lengths.

Pretty soon you'll come home, and he'll be on your trainer already. No prompting needed. Good luck! Wishing you and your fat cat a happy healthy tri life together.



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