The best feature of stroller-running is that you can include the whole family. That being said, pushing a stroller is hard work and sometimes your little passengers won’t be into it. So how can you start logging miles with a fussy baby and tired arms? Here are 10 tips to prepare you for your stroller running journey.
1. Car, stroller, what’s the difference?
Yes your baby may fuss in the stroller from time to time, especially when you first start running. DON’T let this be a deterrent. Remember that babies like routine. If you stick with your stroller running regimen, eventually they will get more comfortable with it, less fussy and potentially really excited for your daily runs!
Of course this is easier said than done. When you first start running, it’s really hard physically and mentally to keep yourself motivated, and a cranky, whining baby will make it even harder for you to push through the pain. Just keep in mind that your stroller runs are no different from car trips to the store, just a different vehicle. When you’re on the highway, headed to x,y,z location, do you stop the car and take your baby out when she fusses? Probably not. Same rules should apply when you’re out getting your exercise. Just keep driving! 🙂
2. Register for a stroller-friendly race.
Let’s face it, we thrive in competitive environments and look forward to showing off our skills. If you’re putting in lots of hard work stroller running, you should get out there and participate in a race or group running event. While stroller runners are often mandated to start at the back of the line (bummer!), there are some races like the Rivertown Strollerderby that feature the stroller running crew. RunStrollerRun.com is a great resource for finding stroller-friendly events in your area.
3. Get your partner involved and take turns pushing.
The beauty of running is that just about anyone can do it and you can start at almost any fitness level. My husband is a “natural-born runner”, I am not. He is way faster than me, but he’s also a great teacher and has helped me to become a more comfortable runner. Sometimes he’ll run far ahead of me and other times he’ll pace me until I’m in my groove. The point is, we’re out exercising together. We also take turns pushing the jogging stroller. We might switch off every mile or pick days where one of us runs stroller free, while the other pushes through a full three miles. Switch it up and make it fun!
4. Invest in a good jogging stroller.
I read loads of runner blog reviews on joggers before selecting the BOB Revolution as my running companion, and I’m so glad I did. The BOB is a smooth ride for both the driver and the passenger and it works great on or off-road. It was a little pricey for our family budget ($350), but I consider it my gym membership, and it had been so worth the investment.
5. Keep your stroller form in check.
When pushing, make sure that your elbows are bent and your grasp isn’t so tight that your arms are stiff. You have to find the balance between having a good grip on the handle bar but keeping your upper body loose enough to get a good rhythm going. It also helps to keep the stroller bar close to your body.
6. Pack the trunk with running essentials and entertainment.
Although my daughter is usually entertained by the outdoor activity on our runs, I like to have back-up toys if she gets bored. Right now we have a board book, a stuffed animal, a dragonfly and a sippy cup on hand. In the trunk I keep water for me, a hand towel and our Ergo Baby carrier just in case she gets totally fed up with being in the stroller. Always good to have a backup plan!
7. Choose a running app to start recording your mileage and speed.
It’s hard to know how far and how fast you’re going, but I find it’s helpful to keep track of these things. I’ve been using MapMyRun, a free app for your iPhone that uses GPS to follow your run. If you have a Garmin watch, that’s even better!
8. Good sneakers are a plus.
Any running shoes will do to get your started, but if you want to get serious about your running, you should probably find the right shoes for your foot. Try to get fitted for shoes at your local running shop for best results.
If you’re not ready to run, walk! A power walk is a great way to warm up to running. Find the big hills and challenge yourself to push the stroller up at full-force. On flat land you can alternate between running and walking.
10. Take a stroller running selfie with your family and add it to your scrap-book.
One day you’ll look back and remember the joy and pain of stroller running and probably wish you could do it all again.