Parents with little ones often find themselves struggling to fit in a run. Running with the little one in a running stroller is a great way to spend time with your child and exercise at the same time. If you are going to run with a jogging stroller, there are some things to keep in mind.
There are some tips to successfully run with a child in tow.
Be Sure Baby is Old Enough
To run with your baby in a jogging stroller, the infant must be at least six months old and have adequate neck control. This is so the baby’s head does not jostle around while you are running.
So does that mean 6 months old is a magical number? Most experts concur that the baby should have reached that age and have good control, not one or the other.
Runner Tracy Ham advises, “Pack for the apocalypse and find routes with potties or bushes so they can relieve themselves. They will undoubtedly need the bathroom the minute you are a mile from home.” Ham runs here with one in the stroller and one in the oven.
Prepare for the Weather
Your little bundle needs to be prepared for the weather. Remember: baby isn’t moving around, working hard like you are. You should think about how you would be dressed if you were outside standing still. If you are standing outside and you are cold, the baby will also be cold. Also, if you have a canopy that will be over the child, check the weather while you are standing in the shade.
Is it windy out? Do you need to prepare the baby against getting chapped cheeks? Is there any chance of rain? Do you have some type of cover for the stroller in case of a change in the weather? Is there room on the stroller to pack extra gear for your baby?
If you are focused on your run, you might miss if your toddler tosses mittens over the edge, or something slips out the front, and you just roll right over it.
While we are discussing the weather, think about other aspects of running outside. Are there insects that might bother baby?
Casey Boye pushing a custom running stroller made specifically for pups. Pictured with pugs, Nina and Cody. Since pugs are prone to breathing difficulties, strollers are a great way to get a workout while your fur baby gets a little exercise!
Use the Full Harness or Belting System
Do not skimp on safety with your little one in a jogging stroller. Don’t compromise on this one. If there is a 5 point harness, secure it completely.
Lock the Front Wheel
Your stroller owner’s manual will probably caution you to lock the front wheel when running. Most strollers have a rotating front wheel to make navigating around things easier. However, while running, a stationary front wheel puts you in the safest situation for your baby.
The last thing anyone needs is a stroller going rogue on the running trail!
Close to lunchtime is a bad time to take your child out for a run. Right before nap time is a great time! Think about your little companion’s schedule and habits and schedule from there.
Motion is likely to help lull little one to sleep. Use that to your advantage.
Mary Rose Stewart had four children in four years, which made a well-built stroller a necessity if she planned to get outside. She used hers to run, walk, and hike. She gives great advice to newbies. “Slow down ahead of time, keep a firm grip and pull slightly up on the handle to stop. With 200 pounds in a stroller, it can get dicey!” Stewart agrees that planning around nap time is a good way to get runs done, in particular long runs.
Find the Right Fit For You
Most runners agree that you should not scrimp on your running stroller. Find one that works for you. Although there are many favored brands, they do have different style handles, brakes, etc. Try one out to be sure you will love it for the long haul. Quality strollers are built to last!
Ashley Lahm has great advice for running with your little one. She suggests you try out the stroller before you buy, if possible. Most of her friends prefer a BOB, ,but she found the hand brake position of her Thule to be more comfortable. Your stroller should last you a long time. Be sure you love it!
Push With One Arm
Find a stroller that you can comfortably push with one arm if you are comfortable doing so. This will ensure that you can still do your natural arm swing with the other arm.
The one thing every mom or dad pushing a jogging stroller agreed upon is simple: PACK SNACKS! While most parents probably mean fruit snacks or animal cookies, Kenlee and Kade Kegal would say, “Sometimes you just need something a bit more substantial.”
But seriously. Pack snacks. And when you think you have enough to tide them over and keep them occupied, pack more snacks.
Bring Things to Amuse Your Little One
Some parents pack small toys that are tethered to the stroller. Others rely on a tablet or cell phone to amuse their small people. Consensus does dictate that you bring along something to amuse the child or children in the jogger.
Stay Off of Heavily Traveled Roads
To keep yourself and your precious cargo safe, it is advised to stay off of roads with a lot of traffic. Especially if you have a wide or double-wide stroller.
Some of the runners interviewed don’t just run with strollers, but they also run with a dog in tow. Quiet roads are a good choice when running with a family entourage!
Quality Equipment = Epic Running
As a writer, I often reach out to my online running community, asking for advice and photos for this blog. When I requested people share epic race photos of their jogging strollers, I envisioned smiling children.
Enter Stacy Brault of MyTeam Triumph. She, and hundreds of other runners, help to make amazing things happen for people.
Stacy Brault pushes Captain Kayla on the Fox River Trail of the 2019 Bellin Women’s Half Marathon. Brault is part of myTeam Triumph- WI chapter. Team Triumph provides specialized racing gear so people with diverse abilities can work together to compete in endurance events.
✓ Your time will slow down while on stroller training runs, but your race times without the stroller will be faster and feel almost effortless!
✓ So much storage
✓ Toned arms from pushing the weight
✓ Ego boost when you pass people
✓ Bonding time with your loved one
✓ Fresh air for you and your precious cargo