I had been running for a few years before I had my son, so naturally I knew I would want to run with him in a jogging stroller once he was born. Well that first run threw me for a loop. Gone were the days of dashing out the door – I now needed to plan ahead! I’ve learned a lot along the way and here are the need to know basics for starting out with jogging stroller.
Besides the usual benefits of running, pushing your baby in a stroller gives you a little extra bang for your buck. You are pushing extra weight so it’s great for your overall fitness level. It is also awesome for your back, core and shoulders – you’ll feel the burn those first few times! And one of my favorite perks is that it teaches your kids about having an active lifestyle.
Chances are you will be running at a slower pace than what you’re used to – especially if you just had a baby. Since you are using your arms to push the stroller, you will have to get used to running without your arms, seems simple but when you first start out it takes some getting used to. You use your core and arms to push the stroller – the day after my first stroller run I couldn’t figure out why my abs and arms were sore, then I realized it was from pushing it! Trust me, it gets easier with time.
Start slow and with low mileage and add them on slowly as you feel more comfortable. If the stroller is totally new to you, start with walks around your neighborhood then gradually add in some running – this is also good if you are just getting back to working out after having a baby. Once you get in better shape and used to the stroller you’ll be able to do longer and faster runs.
As you get used to pushing it, I find that it is easier to run while pushing it with one arm (switch between the two during the run). I also don’t push the entire time – the stroller will sort of roll/glide itself as you go (on flat surfaces). If the terrain is rough or hilly I use two hands to push and steady the stroller.
Making Runs Baby & Kid Friendly
If you have a small baby, check with your pediatrician on when you can start running with them in the stroller. Most recommend waiting until your baby can hold their head up on their own. It’s a good idea to run without headphones (or with just one in) – you’ll want to be aware of your surroundings and keep an ear out for your baby.
Plan your runs around nap time/feeding times. If your baby is small you’ll want to make sure they are fed and happy to hit the road in the stroller (or ready to nap on the ride). With older kids make sure you pack a snack, water for them and maybe a toy or a book. Don’t forget to make sure they are dressed appropriately for the weather, too. My kids usually get a little chilly in the stroller while I run, so I usually pack a blanket for the ride in winter months.
Picking A Running Stroller
Running strollers are different than regular strollers. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that they have 3 wheels versus 4. The wheels are larger and turn more easily – many of them have a front wheel that can lock or is stationary. The breaks and suspension are also different; they are more similar to those on a bike. Some popular brands include BOB, Baby Jogger, Schwin, Joovy, and even brands like Graco make them. Personally, I love my BOB strollers – I have a BOB Ironman single and a Bob Revolution double (that thing is a beast but rolls like a dream). Also jogging strollers pop up for sale all the time on Facebook, OfferUp and Craigslist so you don’t have to spend a bunch of money to get one.
There you have it! A few of the basics for getting started running with a stroller. Comment below with any tips you may have or any favorite running spots in the East Valley!