Before kids, we had much more time to head to the gym, on a run, and unlimited uninterrupted workouts. After having kids, we have to get creative with ways to fit in our workouts and any time for ourselves. I know you all can agree, that we wouldn’t have it any other way, but man does it feel good when we get a good workout in! One way I am able to still get a workout in, is to pack up the kids in the running stroller and move!
For me, it’s a great way to get myself and the little’s outside enjoying the fresh air, the sights and sounds in nature and setting a good example. I am able to get in my workout and reap the benefits of those endorphins—it makes me a better Mom, and overall person (my husband would agree haha). I’m a huge believer that we all need to make sure we are doing something for ourselves each day so that we can be better parents/friends/neighbors/spouses/employees, etc.
I think the running stroller is one of the best tools out there for mamas to be able to get a workout in, yet if you don’t know what you are doing, the trip can go south. I have learned a lot over the last 2.5 years running with the kiddos in a running stroller—what has worked and not with keeping the kids content so I can complete my workouts, how to push it, how far to go, etc.
I have put together a few tips for running with the jogging stroller that I thought I would share in hope for you and the kiddos to have the best experience.
1. Choosing a Good Stroller!
Before you even think about going for a run with the kiddos, you need to get a stroller that works for you! Many running strollers recommend certain ages (normally 6 months) or weight requirements for your baby before using it for running. Personally, I added an infant insert and adjusted the straps and started both my kiddos earlier than 6 months because they both had good head control and felt secure. Running strollers differ greatly from “regular” strollers in many ways and it makes it much “easier” with the right one. Personally, I use the double B.O.B stroller and love it! I also used the single City select stroller since it was a gift and had no issues or complaints! I recommend looking on your local yard sale site to save some money, just be sure to make sure everything works properly!
2. Remember Good Form
If you’re not use to pushing anything on your runs, boy are you in for a treat haha it definitely takes some time to get use to, but it gets better! Trust me, I have had moments where I wanted to grab both hands on the handlebars with a death grip and using it to hold myself up, but overtime this can cause injury. I recommend that you maintain good posture and try not to tense up, aka death grip on your stroller. Overtime, it will cause you to waste energy and even an unwanted in jury. If you tend to lean forward when you run, maintain that position with the stroller. It also impedes your natural arm swing, so try pushing the stroller with one arm and swinging with the other. Keep switching arms so you get to work both sides and this will save a lot of pressure on your legs.
3. Don’t Go Too Far From Home.
The furthest I have gone with my littles is about 5 miles. Although this is true, I try to not be too far from our house or car in case something happens. Mom’s we all know that kids can be unpredictable and for that reason, try not to get more than a couple miles from home without a back up plan!.
4. Be Prepared For Some Stops Along The Way.
Go into your runs with the kids knowing that you will take many stops to either check on them, give them their next toy, etc. My kid’s always went through the stage of throwing everything out of the stroller. I have learned since then and gotten things that tie to the stroller even the blankets. I always end up stopping multiple times to either hand them water, more snacks, a different toy, etc. I also talk to the kiddos if they are awake and it helps to limit the stops, I ask them to find the birds, flags, dogs etc.
5. Stop at a Park.
If you’re on a longer run, the kids tend to get antsy and impatient (if they are awake). It helps so much to stop at a park and break up your run. For example, one day a week I meet a good friend by her place and we run around stop at the library and park and then run back after! The kiddos love the routine and can look forward to the park on the way there and lunch on the way home. Happy kids, happy mom’s, total win! My other friend and I bring exercise bands to the park and do little circuits at the park while they play—doesn’t always go as planned, but something is better than nothing.
6. Don’t Wear Headphones
At first, this was hard for me to adjust to, but for safety reasons, you need to be able to hear the kids and the environment around you. I have become accustomed to listening to “wheels on the bus” and “baby beluga” on blast from the iPhone speakers. Overtime you will get more comfortable with running without them and this will become your new normal. I look forward to conversations with Marlie and even her cheering me on “go mommy go” and the occasional “faster mommy faster”.
7. Bring Snacks and Water For Both of You!
If you know my kids, snacks keep them happy. I mean don’t we all feel that way haha. Depending on how long you run, prepare by bringing water bottles, bars, fruit, etc. I make sure to always have pouches, bars, veggies galore, you never know what can happen. mom’s it is easy to forget ourselves, but be sure to have enough for you too! If you do not have a cup holder on your stroller, I recommend that you get one.
8. Bring a Mini Diaper Bag.
You know those moments when you thought you wouldn’t need a diaper because you’re only going out for a second…and then boom blowout. Ya, don’t let that happen to you. Always have wipes, diapers, sunscreen, etc. with you. I normally just grab the essentials from my diaper bag and put them in the mesh storage on the B.O.B.
9.Don't Expect to Run Your Usual Pace
Despite your slower pace you are doing some added resistance training, and burning calories galore using that extra energy to push. You can expect your pace to be about one minute per mile slower than your usual pace, but don’t stress about that. You'll find that the more you run with the stroller, the easier it will become.
10. Keep a Positive Attitude!
This may be your first workout after baby, or your first workout with a running stroller— it might be tougher than you expected and you might want to give up. I promise the more consistent you stay the more you and the kids will get used to it! It will eventually become less of a hassle and way more enjoyable. Mom’s we are a strong breed and there is nothing better than getting #SweatyasaMother!
Hope you find these 10 tips helpful to either get started or become a better stroller runner! It takes time for both you and the kids to adjust, but I promise if you use these 10 tips, you will have more successful runs and begin to feel so much better, both mentally and physically.