Getting out with your baby and the stroller can be a lot of work. Sometimes just pushing the stroller, your baby, and all the gear you’ve packed is punishing work.
So if you’re planning on squeezing in a workout on the outing, this can be especially difficult. Between selecting a route that won’t get you too far from home but will allow for mileage, and ensuring that the route or sidewalks you pick are smooth, you also have to consider putting one foot in front of the other whilst simultaneously keeping an eye on your kid! Whether you are on a casual stroll around the block or during the middle of a training program, running with a run stroller is tough!
Fortunately, when done correctly with the proper form, jogging with a running stroller can help you become a better athlete, offer some much-needed fresh air, and allow you to bond with your child.
But how do you put together the connections between wanting a great stroller run and actually having one? Runners, parents, and coaches share their experiences over the years in this blog post.
Table of Contents
How To Run With A Stroller
Do Not Overexert Yourself
After giving birth, your body is still healing and will have to adjust to all of the changes. You will also need to figure out how long your runs will take, considering the weight of your jogging stroller.
It is critical to start slowly so that your body and baby can get used to it.
Adopt A Flexible Mindset
“Runners enjoy training plans, especially when they’re training for a long-distance endurance race.” Dorothy Beal, is an RRCA- and USATF Level 1 run coach and mother who spent nine years training for marathons pushing a running stroller, she tells us:
“When it comes to running while pushing a stroller, many runners have trouble wrapping their brains around flexibility. However, flexibility is precisely what you need in order to accept when it comes to training and running with a stroller.”
Why? Well, according to Beal, trying to stick to a precise training plan while pushing a stroller will make you insane as well as angry.
A better technique: Have a vague concept of what you want to run (such as between 2 and 4 kilometers), then if you feel fantastic and are able to accomplish it (or more!), it’s a success. However, if you don’t reach your goal and only manage two miles, you will not beat yourself up either.
Of course, it is critical to pack all of your baby’s necessities, but you also do not want to burden your stroller with needless items.
Make Your Child Feel Included
When Beal’s kids were small, she’d rather ask them if they wanted to go on a walk with her than tell them she’d push them.
“I made them feel like they were doing something, too,” she explains. “We played eye-spy and other games during our walks. We spoke about life and the world—and I used that time with them to engage in a way that I didn’t do when we were playing with toys at home.”
While her children were convinced they could keep up, she would usually invite them to join her on runs. As a result, the trips became more pleasurable for everyone.
Set New “Normal” Times
Here’s the truth: “The paces you’re used to running are going to be very different while pushing a stroller, especially in the beginning, because—just like anything else—there’s a learning curve,” says Ellen London, a 15-time marathoner, 13-time Boston Marathon qualifier and co-captain of Heartbreak Hill Running Company’s running team.
Instead of stressing over going slow or ditching your watch because you’re frustrated, London encourages moms to wear their watches and establish new stroller speeds and milestones. Knowing your stroller times might help you make progress, and it also allows you to create a fresh database of information.
“Because we’re all data freaks, I believe that most runners find it amusing since we are,” she adds.
“I believe it’s pointless to claim that while holding a stroller you can’t run fast-for-you,” Beal adds. “You certainly can if you want to. That being said, I feel it’s best to set lower expectations and be satisfied with simply going out there.”
Do Not Deathgrip The Stroller
When running with a stroller, it’s easy to want to cling on for dear life; after all, your most important cargo is in front of you. However, London advises maintaining your form as close as possible to how it would be if you were running without a stroller.
Try holding the stroller with one hand at a time and swapping hands every few minutes while running on a flat surface, similar to how you would change hands if carrying a water bottle, she suggests.
She recommends that you make sure your hand is lightly resting on the handle and that you swing your other arm completely. “Over-clenching the stroller can lead to a variety of muscular problems and stiffness.”
Keep The Tires Inflated!
It is a simple suggestion, according to Dr. Helms, yet it is crucial! Your running stroller’s bicycle-style tires must be kept inflated to the manufacturer’s suggested level, unlike conventional strollers with automobile tires. This is typically straightforward by using a low-cost bicycle pump.
Under-inflated tires may feel as though you’re raising a baby up a mountain the whole way around.
Do Not Switch Up Your Running Form
Dr. Helms adds, “Recent biomechanical research demonstrated that keeping both hands on the handlebars most closely simulates a natural stride.”
Although she urges to keep both hands on it, there’s nothing wrong with holding it only with one hand from time to time. However, she does advise, “If you decide to keep the one-handed grip, be sure to change your grip frequently.”