Stroller Running (Ahem…Jogging).

Several months ago I did my first run with Mary in the stroller.  I came home from a long training run and popped her in the seat for two miles.  I was hesitant to see how it would go, but excited to introduce her to the world of running.

Stroller2

We have a great running stroller, but it is slightly bulky for travel and we had to leave it behind when we went to NYC for the spring.  We recently pulled it back out and took Mary for a 6 mile run and Rock and I took turns pushing each mile.

While Rock was coaching hockey last week in Wisconsin, I had the chance to push Mary during her naps.  My goal was to get her to take her shorter morning nap in the running stroller.   We tried it out for an entire week and it was fantastic!  The first day it took her 15 minutes to fall asleep and the second day she fell asleep within the first mile.

Each morning she slept for just about an hour, which was long enough for me to get in my daily mileage.

Here are my pointers for running with a stroller:

Invest in a nice timepiece.  When doing our baby registry, we were overwhelmed.  What the heck do new parents really need?!  If you are a runner, you need a jogging stroller.  If you are a walker, you need a jogging stroller.  They are pricey, but please take my advice and do your research.  Figure out what your family needs.

Rock and I looked at all of the available strollers and went with the BOB Revolution SE.  It is comfy for Mary and has great attachments for baby and parent (snack table for baby and coffee holder for mom).

Stroller1

This thing has shocks like a car and an air pump to make sure the wheels are good to go.  There is a sun roof and pockets galore.  The only drawback is that while it does fold down, it isn’t nearly as compact as an umbrella stroller or our Maclaren (yikes, kids are expensive!).

Make Sure Baby Is Ready:

Our pediatrician recommended that you do not run with your baby in a stroller until they are able to sit up on their own.  While Mary was able to do this during the winter, I didn’t want to subject her to crappy weather.  So we waited until spring.   You definitely want to wait until they are able to hold their heads ups comfortably, as you do not want them bouncing around and out of control.

Ease Into It:

You don’t need to do a marathon on the first day.  Try doing 20-30 minutes the first time.  I put her snack tray up and added some treats to make the jog a little more enjoyable (for her)  A quick trip for your first attempt is a good idea.  It will be challenging for you and you also don’t want to overdo it for baby and make it a bad experience for them from the start.

Plan To Run Slower:

Pushing a stroller with a baby is no joke.  It isn’t super hard if you have the right stroller.  But it isn’t also won’t be easy.  I run a minute and a half slower per mile with a stroller than I do on my own.  There are great benefits to slow running and you can chalk it up to resistance training too!

As I mentioned on Monday, I ended up running a really solid race the weekend after doing 5 days of slow mileage pushing the stroller.  It won’t ruin your pace in the long run.

Always Be Safe!

Running with your baby presents new challenges.  Make sure you always wear the attached safety strap for the stroller.  While you may be the strongest and most diligent parent/runner, accidents happen.  If you trip, the strap will ensure that the stroller stays with you and doesn’t stray down the road.

While I love listening to music to keep my mind from focusing on the miles, when I run with Mary, I keep my phone handy for emergencies, and I am 100% sans technology.  If anything, I spend my time chatting with her.  Music should be left for your solo runs.

Be smart and obey the rules of running on the road.   Always run against traffic.  Run on sidewalks whenever you can.  And run defensively.  Assume that drivers are not paying attention.

Do you run with a stroller?  What tips would you add?

 

 

15 thoughts on “Stroller Running (Ahem…Jogging).

  1. I ran with both girls in strollers (not together) when I was on maternity leave and worked around their nap times. It was great for both of us. I loved my jogging stroller and was sad to get ride of it. I thought about getting a double stroller but it wouldn’t have been used much and just didn’t need another “thing” in the house.

  2. She looks so cute in her t-shirt! Is she walking on her own now or still uses her lawnmower?

    Maybe she fell asleep in one mile on the 2nd outing as it was rhythmic from when you ran with her in your tummy (well, not your tummy, but you get me!) 🙂

    • That’s an excellent point. She actually enjoys when I push her while running. Even when she wakes up she is happy to just ride along. Mary is a full time walker now and has been for a few weeks now. Kind of awesome and kind of sad. She’s growing too fast!

  3. Running parents make it look so easy to push those strollers! I still have vivid memories of riding in the yellow child seat on the back of my dad’s bike when I was little. The bumps when going over curbs were the most fun. Hopefully this is only the beginning of Mary’s happy running experiences!

  4. she’s so cute!! i’m not a mama so this doesn’t apply to me, but my bff has a newborn so i should send her this post for when/if she decides to try some running again one day.

  5. Great post! I started to comment before but had to run before I finished, but as always I love reading the other comments!

    A couple of quick thoughts:
    – I never ran with our boys – I was always a pre-dawn runner and thankfully they were asleep! 🙂
    – We had an umbrella stroller, single and then double stroller (the boys are 17 months apart), all were ‘top rated’ but none were running strollers.
    – I wonder if I HAD been a ‘daylight runner’ or run on the weekends and had gotten a jogging stroller if at least ONE of them might have gained an interest in ever running with me! *shiff* Oh well, they are both younger than I was when I started … so there is still hope!

    Random anecdote:
    – Our new neighbors around the corner have a toddler and a dog and both are runners, so it was fun last weekend to watch them try to do it all – husband had the dog, wife had the running stroller, toddler loved it, dog had no interest in making things easy. Next loop? Wife was just running, husband had the stroller .. can only assume the dog was at home! 🙂

    Final thought:
    – OK, before the kids were born we did loads of research into brands and models and criteria and on and on – and our parents offered us cribs, etc – and we basically said “thanks … but no way are we putting our babies in those death-traps!”. Our kids are now 18 and 19.5, and at this point pretty much EVERYTHING we used has been declared unsafe – cribs with drop sides (guillotine), Graco pack & Play (unintended fold-up), swings, strollers, and on and on! I totally get what the research has shown and am not disputing it – it is just amazing how you can do everything you think is possible for the safety of your child and realize that other people doing the same thing ended up with horrible injuries or death!!

    • It is so true and I do my best to never judge what or how parents do things. We are all likely doing it wrong anyway! It has been fun this year trying to incorporate our lifestyle around having a child. Mary would sit in her swing and watch me lift weights. She’s met us at the end of many a race. And now she is “running” with us. My hope is that she will continue to be a happy and active little kid and grow up seeing us do these things as a fun and healthy way to live. She doesn’t need to be a runner but knowing it is normal to enjoy fitness is something I would like for her to have from the start. As always, thanks for the excellent and thoughtful comments.

  6. I really wish I had invested in a better jogging stroller because I *hate* ours. It wasn’t cheap, but it certainly wasn’t expensive and isn’t very nice. Now I would feel guilty buying a new one!

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