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.
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).
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?