Stroller Running Tips
Happy Monday friends… why do the weekends always just FLY by?!? I swear it was just Friday and here we are back to work and starting another new week. We were supposed to have a busy weekend with Henri and his dad working on our upstairs bathroom but Henri woke up sick on Saturday morning so we had an unexpectedly lazy and fun weekend.
Mother Runners – today’s post is for YOU!
Running with a stroller is a totally different experience than running solo but it’s a great option for a lot of moms to get in their miles. some days it’s my only option to get in my run and I fully embrace that. I know lots of moms that wouldn’t be able to fit a run into their day if they couldn’t bring their little one along for the ride.
Luckily for me, Liv actually likes running in the stroller with me and since it’s not an every day thing for us I really enjoy the runs that I get to bring her along. Since we have had such a positive stroller running experience I thought that I would share my tips in case there are any stroller running mamas out there that are struggling. These happen to be what works for me and Lavinia but I hope that they are applicable for you as well.
1 – Buy a quality running stroller. This is the #1, most important thing piece of advice I have. Especially if you are going to be putting in a lot of stroller miles go with a high quality stroller like a Thule or a BOB. We have the BOB Revolution SE in orange and it’s really great. I’ve walked and run with it a lot over the last year and a half and it’s in great condition. I can see it lasting many more years too so it was worth the investment. (I’ve also heard good things about the BOB Revolution FLEX and BOB Revolution PRO)
2 – Only hold onto the stroller with one hand. Let your free hand swing naturally, like it does when you’re running without a stroller. Switch hands throughout your run so you don’t get tight in one shoulder.
3 – Listen to a favorite podcast or audiobook. Reward yourself for pushing your little one(s) through miles and miles by reserving that special podcast or audiobook for your stroller runs.
4 – Stay positive. Running while pushing a stroller is hard. It’s physically hard to push the stroller but it can also be mentally tough if your little one isn’t loving the stroller running experience. Staying positive will keep you motivated and shift your perspective a bit, think about the fact that you got to get out for your run today, that you can have a water bottle on hand for when you are thirsty (and don’t even have to hold it because you can throw it in the stroller basket) and that you get to share your love of running with your little one.
1 – Start early and often. Obviously you should wait to run with your baby in the stroller until they are big enough to ride in the stroller and have good head control but even walking with them in the stroller early on will help them become accustomed to extended periods of time in the stroller. I started walking with Lavinia in the stroller about 1 week after she was born and we would go for walks almost daily. We started jogging with the stroller around 3 months, after she had established good head control and she’s loved the stroller (for the most part) ever since.
2 – Start with short walks or runs close to home. In the beginning I was very cautious to stay close to home so that if at any point Liv was upset or wasn’t enjoying the experience we could go straight home. I didn’t want her to have a “traumatic” stroller experience that she then carried forward with her so if the stroller was ever not fun we stopped (this has happened maybe 2 times total). This helped keep our stroller runs fun going forward!
3 – Reserve 1 or 2 special toys for stroller runs. I’m a toy minimalist and so I’m not a fan of the often suggested tip to “bring all the toys” on stroller runs. My approach is to bring one or two of Liv’s favorite toys with us, and to reserve one that only comes out for stroller runs. I’m also pretty strict about toy throwing on stroller runs because I do not want to be stopping every couple of minutes to circle back for a thrown toy. I give Liv one chance with each toy, if she throws it once – no big deal, we’ll stop and go back and get it and she can have it back. However, if she throws it a second time it goes in the basket under the stroller until the end of the run. This method has worked out well so far and she rarely throws her toys, during our last 3 stroller runs (21 miles total) there was only 1 toy thrown out of the stroller.
4 – Promise them a special experience after the run is over. For toddlers and older kids ending your runs at a nearby park or having a special treat together afterwards can be a good reward for good behavior in the stroller. Liv is a little young for this but I end 75% of our stroller runs at the park and I think one reason she loves starting our stroller runs is because there is a high likelihood she’ll end up at the park on the other side of the run. ha
Do you have any other stroller running-related questions or comments?
If you’re a stroller running mama – what tips do you have that I missed?