Regular and diversified programs
Previously, the training of dogs was daily races to "accumulate mileage," now, this is a real structured training programs, adapted to different races that the team must participate.
Methods traditionally used in the human athlete (long distance, interval-training, active or passive recovery, ...) have been transposed in dogs, to allow to improve their qualities of endurance, speed or strength depending on the objective of competition (sprint, middle distance, long distance, stage races).
Now, these programs are implemented most of the year. Through the development of highly sophisticated training equipment, dogs can enjoy the outdoors all year.
When the dogs work the masters
It is difficult to imagine the work involved in driving a team of racing.
Take for example La Grande Odyssée.
Training begins at the end of July. First,it is short runs (2-3 miles) at night or early morning to avoid the heat of summer (even in Alaska it's hot in summer). Progressively, each week, the mileage will increase and reach 40-60 miles per day in December. Meanwhile, specific sessions of speed work, recovery, climb, descent, have been completed.
For the musher, it is several hours per day on the kart, then the sledge with his dogs. Most of the time, he must train twice more dogs that he will take in his racing team. He will select the best just few days before the race!
The best mushers organize with their veterinarian, a true medical monitoring of their dogs. This is the origin of canine sports medicine!