Running with your child can be a great way to stay in shape and spend time together. It’s not as easy as grabbing your stroller and heading for the sidewalk, though.
Before you lace up your sneakers, here are a few tips for running with a jogging stroller.
Purchase a Running Stroller
Sounds obvious, right? (In case you aren’t sure – your everyday stroller will not work as a jogging stroller. It may get you to the end of the driveway, but it won’t be a pleasant experience for anyone.) Invest in a jogging stroller that is designed for the style of running you prefer. If you only want to purchase one stroller, look for one that has a locking swivel front wheel. While running, you can lock the wheel in place – making it ideal for runs – and unlock it to manage turns easily while shopping, etc.
If you and your spouse will be using the jogging stroller, look for one with an adjustable handle height – and try out the handle. If you can’t easily move it from one height to another, chances are good only one of you will be using it.
Other important features
Storage – Is there enough room for diapers, keys, water bottle, etc? Is it enclosed so you don’t have to worry about things falling out while running?
Brake – Is there a handheld brake allowing you to easily slow the stroller down?
Shade – Does the stroller have a sunshade that allows for full coverage of your child?
Now that you’ve purchased the right stroller, there are a few things to keep in mind as you head out to your run.
You are Running with a Stroller
Yes. This is pretty obvious. You may need to say it a few times out loud, though – just so you keep it in mind. Your time will not be the same as it is sans stroller buddy. Adjusting to the extra resistance of a stroller will require a change in form and will change your speed. You may eventually regain speed, but it will always be different than without a stroller. That is OK.
The natural tendency may be to push the stroller away, and lean your weight on your arms. Pull the stroller back towards you, and keep your weight off the handlebar. Another no-no is running with your toes pointed out. Especially when running up a hill, you may want the extra push off the inside of your foot – avoid the temptation. Make sure that your feet plant firmly on the ground straight on – don’t duck step behind the stroller.
Running with a stroller is an adjustment – for you and your child. Don’t expect to run in the next marathon with your stroller in a week. Learning the steering process and building up endurance for the extra resistance workout will take some time. Alternate days with and without the stroller for a few weeks, until you’re completely comfortable with the new routine and workout.
Jogging with your child can be fun and fulfilling – but like any new exercise routine, it takes some getting used to and a lot of work. Stick with it – the rewards are worth the hassle!